Summary: In flashforwards, Kate is on trial for her crimes and things aren't going in her favour. In a desperate attempt to help her, Kate's lawyer brings Jack to the witness stand where he attests for Kate's character to make her appear more likeable. Kate speaks with her mom, the main witness and gets her to decide not to testify. Kate is given a deal, 10 years probation and no leaving the state which she takes. Jack and Kate meet outside and discuss their future. It's revealed that Kate has a child, and it's Aaron. On the island, Kate sneakily talks to Miles when Locke doesn't let her see him. Kate wants to know if they know who she is. Miles agrees to tell her if Kate can get him with Ben for 1 minute. With Sawyer's help, Kate sneaks Miles into Locke's house where Ben is. Miles offers to tell the freighter that Ben is dead for 3.2 million dollars. Locke realizes what Kate has done and sends her home. He learns what Miles said to Ben and then banishes Kate from the barracks. Sawyer tries to get Kate to stay but when it's clear that Kate is planning to leave anyways, a resigned and annoyed Sawyer lets her go back to Jack's camp. Meanwhile, Jack gets upset when Desmond and Sayid haven't called in from the freighter and that nobody knows where they have gone.
The Good: Once more, this episode was really compact and had a great pace to it. The drama on the island was really engaging and there was a sense of importance in the main plot. Kate's goal to get Miles to speak with Ben was an engaging story, and it set up some fun setpieces as Kate and Sawyer schemed their way past Locke to make this meet-up happen. It's enjoyable television that leads to a tense climax as Miles gives Ben a very intriguing offer that continues to amp up the mystery surrounding the freighter (see: The Unknown).
Outside of the plot, this episode spends a lot of time teasing the idea of Kate as a mother. It's mentioned frequently on the island and it's contrasted by the reveal of Kate having a son in the flashforwards. The episode heavily teases that the baby is Sawyer's, and there's a lot of time spent setting this up as a possibility. It seemed so heavy-handed to me and initially I wasn't a fan of how the show was so heavily building to this obvious reveal. But of course no show can surprise like "Lost" can, and we get the surprise ending reveal that Kate's "son" is actually Aaron. It's an excellent twist that's not only really surprising, but is also quite ominous when you remember Claire's flashbacks with Richard Malkin and how Claire is supposed to raise Aaron. This extra information turns a pleasant surprise into something that could be a major twist that completely changes the show. I'm very excited to see what comes next.
I thought that this episode did a superb job depicting the characters. Kate is of course as selfish as ever as she refuses to settle in with Sawyer on the island, and outright rejects her mother in the flashforwards. Ben is fittingly quite manipulative as he preys on Locke's insecurity as effectively as ever. Locke on the other hand is completely lost despite having his faith renewed and is totally unsure of what to do. Terry O'Quinn is excellent as always and it's great to see Locke's frustrations coming out again. Sawyer comes off superbly well. He genuinely looks to be in love with Kate and wants nothing more than to spend more time with her. However, he isn't a fool and we get to see him very openly chastise Kate over her poor treatment of him. It's a lovely bit of character growth as Sawyer adjusts to the flaws in the woman he loves. Hurley is as loveable as ever in the episode as he cluelessly falls for Kate's trap. Finally there's Jack who is suitably angry about the lack of news from the freighter and quickly turns on Charlotte and Daniel to get what he needs for his people.
As a final point, I thought that the flashforwards had some really strong scenes. Jack on the witness stand (see: Best Moment), Kate reuniting with her mother, Kate and Jack's conversation near the end of the episode, and of course the Aaron reveal were all very good scenes.
The Bad: Some of the writing here was extremely sloppy and it prevents this episode from scoring higher. What particularly irked me was the lack of attention to detail during the trial scenes. The trial itself is practically nonsensical and all logic was thrown out the window for the sake of drama. It was clear that the show did not care at all about authenticity when setting up these courtroom scenes. Hell, the courtroom didn't even look like a courtroom! It's very easy to poke holes in the drama we are presented. The witnesses are called up in the incorrect order. Furthermore, it's amazing how there was only one witness against Kate (her mother). Were there really not any other people who would attest to what she has done. How able the guy from the bank in "Whatever the Case May Be" or the thugs that Kate worked with? How about her ex-husband? Any other strangers who witnessed any of the multiple crimes she committed? It's absurd that Diane was the only witness to build the case upon. I'm sure if you have a greater knowledge of legal proceedings than I do, there are even more holes that can be poked into this story.
Kate's arc on the island is pretty difficult to buy into. Is she really willing to go to such an extreme only to figure out if the freighter people know who she is? Of course they know who she is! She was preparing for this exact situation back in "Born to Run" in season 1! Did Kate expect people to just forget about her? It's ridiculous. Furthermore, why does she have to ask Miles, who seems like the least likely person to answer her question. All she has to do is go back to Jack's camp and ask Daniel or Charlotte instead, which is much less risky.
I get that the writers wanted Locke to do somethign dramatic in response to Miles orchestrating something behind his back. But sticking a grenade in his mouth and pulling out the pin is the height of stupidity. It takes one tiny mistake from Miles and he's blowing up. One jaw cramp, or one sneeze will kill Miles. What use is it to keep a hostage like that if you're going to take such a huge risk with his life?
The Unknown: What is the exact story that the Oceanic Six told the press? Why did they lie about what happened? Is somebody forcing them to stay quiet?
Why does Miles want 3.2 million dollars specifically? It's a very odd number. Is this the whole reason he signed up for this mission? To make more money from Ben? There's still a lot to be uncovered about his motives.
Why has it taken so long for Desmond, Sayid and Frank to arrive at the freighter? Did something happen to the helicopter? Does this have something to do with Daniel's experiment from the previous episode with the time discrepancy?
What was with Daniel's memory test? Has he been having memory problems? How did that happen? He seems to be quite bright.
What went wrong with Jack and Kate? They were on much better terms here than in "Through the Looking Glass".
Is Sawyer not one of the Oceanic Six? It seems odd to have a Kate-centric episode and not have him appear if he is actually off the island.
Why is Kate the one raising Aaron? What happened to Claire? Did she die? How did Kate end up with Aaron in this situation? What are the consequences of Aaron not being raised by Claire? How is this going to effect the future of the show?
Best Moment: The most powerful moment to me was Jack effortlessly throwing out lies on the stand as he sticks to the false story that the Oceanic Six have apparently been telling everyone. Kate's evident discomfort as Jack says things about her that are inherently false is terrific and it was the part of the episode that hooked me the most.
Character of the Episode: Kate.
Conclusion: Kate episodes have always been a weakness of "Lost" and that remains true here. However, a strong plot twist, engaging drama and some really good scenes ensured that this wasn't a bad episode and was actually quite fun in spite of some writing issues. Season 4 is running at a much better pace than the first 3 seasons and I'm intrigued to see if this pacing can be maintained throughout the season.
Summary: Flashforwards show that Sayid has become a hired assassin. He meets a woman named Elsa, who he uses to get to her boss, an economist who is Sayid's next target. However, he grows to care for Elsa and gives her a chance to leave. Elsa shoots him, she is aware of who Sayid is and has been ordered to kill him. Sayid manages to get away and kills Elsa. He returns to his boss: Ben. On the island, Sayid decides to go bring Charlotte back from Locke's camp in exchange for Frank taking him to the freighter on the chopper. Sayid, Kate and Miles head towards the barracks but they find it deserted. Hurley has been tied up and left behind by Locke. However, it's a trap and Locke's group make themselves known and capture Sayid, Kate and Miles. Kate decides to stay after hearing how Sawyer doesn't care to leave the island. Sayid makes a deal with Locke to take Charlotte back in exchange for Miles. Sayid returns with Miles and Frank takes him back on the helicopter. Desmond and Juliet also return, and Desmond joins Sayid on the chopper.
The Good: The flashforward storyline is terrific entertainment. It's a perfect blend, of mystery, drama and character and it's a joy to figure out what exactly we are watching. Sayid is really engaging as a hired assassin and it's enjoyable to see him at work. The opening scene at the golf course was very well done, and a welcome surprise. The Elsa story is also really well done. We get to see a combination of the ruthless Sayid and the romantic Sayid which makes for a very interesting dynamic. The story remains interesting all the way through due to the fact that we never fully understand what Sayid is doing and why. By the end of the episode we still don't entirely have our answers (see: The Unknown), but we do get an outstanding twist that raises the stakes of Sayid's story immensely (see: Best Moment).
On the island, I thought the drama was just as compelling. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sayid's logical approach to solving problems is tremendously fun, especially in a show where characters have become increasingly questionable with their decision-making and secrets. Sayid is a breath of fresh air as he simply does his best to solve the problem that's in front of him, and works hard to get everyone off the island. The island drama here is established wonderfully as Sayid pressures Frank to take him off the island, and immediately goes to work to bring Charlotte back in a reasonable and bloodless manner. Sayid's plan is very good and it's great to watch him come to a peaceful agreement with Locke, leaving Miles behind as a hostage since he isn't willing to put all of his faith in the freighter people yet.
There are some nice moments in this story. I was genuinely surprise by Hurley's betrayal since he's the last person anyone would have expected to lead Sayid, Kate and Miles into a trap. Ben continues to be given a lot of good lines and is tremendous fun to watch in captivity. I thought that the brief Sawyer/Kate story was wonderfully executed. I was incredibly pleased to see the change in Sawyer following his killing of Anthony Cooper. Now that he's taken care of his baggage, he seems more at peace than ever before, and he, like Locke, seems to have accepted his new life on the island as an improvement over what he had before. Sawyer's given a great scene to express this change in his character and I thought that Josh Holloway played the character superbly well, as always. I also really enjoyed Miles, who is still quite funny and manages to be wonderfully sarcastic with everyone he speaks with. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of dynamic he forms with Locke and everyone else in that camp. Finally, I enjoyed the little bits of mystery developing surrounding the freighter, like with Minkowski's condition and Daniel's strange experiment (see: The Unknown).
As a final point, I've been really impressed with the pacing of this season so far. The past 2 seasons were woefully inconsistent, but this season hasn't had very much that I didn't like so far. Furthermore, there haven't been any slow episodes, and every scene feels like it's vital for the story. This change in pacing and structure has been wonderful for the series, and I'll have to wait and see if the show can keep it up.
The Bad: Just a few nitpicks. Surely Jack would be much more upset with Kate choosing to stay with Locke, who he views as a lunatic. Surely Sayid and Elsa's gunfight would have been heard by other people. They weren't using silencers and they were inside of what looked like a pretty public hotel.
The Unknown: Why isn't Sayid with Nadia off the island? Did something happen to her?
Who is the economist? Why does Ben need Sayid to kill all these people? How is Ben off the island anyways? Why is Sayid working for him? Is he one of the others now? What does he have to gain from this work? How did Ben recruit Sayid? Ben vaguely refers to a major event that happened before involving Sayid. What was it? What happened?
How did the cabin move? Is Jacob somehow doing this? How can you find the cabin if it moves at will?
Why was the payload delayed so much? Does the island exist in some kind of separate dimension? Does time function differently on the island? Or can this time anomaly be explained by some kind of dimensional rift?
What's going on with Minkowski? Why was Daniel ordered not to speak with him? Where did he go anyways?
Best Moment: The Ben twist at the end of the episode was superb. I didn't predict it, so I was quite shocked to discover that Sayid has become one of his men. This raises a truckload of questions, but also raises the stakes for whatever happens to Sayid before these flashforwards. On the island, Sayid says that the day he trusts Ben is the day he would have sold his soul. This ominously suggests that something bad is coming to Sayid in the near future. The twist is so wonderful not only because of the surprise, but because of the significance that working for Ben has on Sayid's character.
Character of the Episode: Sayid.
Conclusion: Another superb episode, and one that I think is even better than the last. The drama remains extremely joyful to watch and the character dynamics are as fun as ever. Add on a shocking twist, and we have another great episode. Season 4 is off to an excellent start.
Summary: Flashbacks show Dan crying as he sees news about Flight 815 being found. Miles is revealed to be somebody who can communicate with ghosts, which he has adopted for his own business. Charlotte is an anthropologist and she finds a Dharma Initiative polar bear in the Tunisian desert. Frank watches the news of the Flight 815 wreckage being found and realizes that it is fake. Naomi is assigned her mission by the mysterious man from "The Beginning of the End". On the island, Jack and Kate quiz Dan about his intentions. Dan leads them to Miles who threatens Jack and Kate at gunpoint, demanding to be taken to Naomi. After talking with Naomi's spirit, Miles deduces that Jack and Kate are telling the truth about Locke. Juliet and Sayid arrive and turn the tables on Miles and Dan. The group keep walking and they find Frank, who landed the helicopter safely. Upon learning that Juliet is an other, Miles questions her on the location of Ben, who is the group's primary target. Meanwhile, Charlotte is picked up by Locke's group. Locke doesn't want to send her away and starts quizzing her, but Ben steals Karl's gun and shoots her. Charlotte is wearing a vest and is fine. Locke prepares to kill Ben, but Ben reveals that he knows everything about the 4 people who came in because he has a spy on their boat.
The Good: This episode's format is stellar. After the formula break established two episodes earlier, "Lost" grows bold once again and has another sharp change. This time we return to flashbacks, but we divide them between the 5 characters who came from the freighter, giving us an episode that introduces a truckload of characters in an organic and unique way. Right before we get introduced to each new character on the island, we see a brief flashback of their lives before which gives us a rough idea of what to expect while leaving out just enough information to ensure that our interests are piqued. Going around at such a fast pace learning about new characters is a tremendous amount of fun, and the episode adds on to this exciting thrill ride of an episode by throwing in tons of plot developments, dramatic twists, funny moments and even some pieces of mystery that will be essential for figuring out what's really going on with these freighter people.
The characters that are introduced are quite fun to watch. This episode's pacing makes it feel like it flies by which is impressive for an episode that does so much exposition and introduction. This is helped by the personalities that these characters possess. Dan's awkwardness is contrasted nicely by Miles' hotheadedness, and they have a really fun dramatic throughout the episode as they interact with Jack and Kate in completely different ways, revealing interesting little tidbits of information as the episode goes on. The characters are also quite fun to watch and the actors do a good job of bringing them to life. While Charlotte and Frank are introduced later in the episode, they still manage to get several scenes to stand out and show us who they are and what to expect from them, while still being shrouded in mystery. That's just the island stories though. Each character gets a gripping flashback scene which introduces some key mysteries that I'm very excited to uncover (see: The Unknown).
The Locke half of the episode covers the brunt of the survivors' storyline and it is a joy to watch. Locke's leadership style has always been a joy to watch, and it remains that way here as he communicates openly with everyone and brings up very fair points when discussing plans and making crucial decisions. The writing of his character is superb and it adds a lot more realism to the episode. Ben also has a very entertaining role as the prisoner as he remains unpredictable and extremely effective at manipulation. He has a number of well-written funny lines that allow him to get under the skin of those around him. It makes for an interesting dynamic and it ensures that Ben still remains threatening as a villain, even in captivity.
The Bad: I do question why Juliet still hasn't been asked more information about the others. In this episode, Sayid talks to her as if she were one of them and doesn't even so much as hint at how she still has secrets to tell them. Hopefully this can be corrected in future episodes, because the survivors should be much more curious about the others than they currently are.
The Unknown: Why was Dan crying when he saw the plane wreckage? Naomi referred to him as a head case. Why? What was wrong with him? He seems to be fine in the present storyline. A little awkward and nervous sure, but he seems normal. What changed?
What is Miles' ability? Has the show confirmed the existence of ghosts or spirits? Could this have something to do with the whispers? Is Miles' power even real? He seems to contact Naomi effectively so I'm willing to bet that it is.
How did a Dharma Initiative polar bear appear in the Tunisian desert? Where did it come from? How did it get there? Charlotte seemed excited to discover that it tied to the Dharma Initiative. How is she connected to them? Was she looking for this bear specifically? Why?
The mysterious man who visited Hurley in the last episode appears again. It seems that he is the one in charge of everything on the boat. Who is he? Why did he hire this specific crew? What's so special about everyone he selected? What are his goals? He also seemed to be fully aware that the Flight 815 wreckage isn't real. How does he know that? Does he have something to do with why this fake wreckage exists to begin with?
Why are the freighter people looking for Ben? Who are they? What has he done to them to make them target him? Why did these people bring gas masks?
Best Moment: The end of the episode is a wonderful piece of drama. After Ben proves to be more dangerous than expected, Locke gives in to logic and the demand of his people and chooses to kill Ben. But when Ben offers to give him knowledge, he asks him "what is the monster". It's a brilliant moment that shows a character asking a very sensible question (something this show doesn't always do) while also providing us some interesting information as even Ben doesn't seem to know what it is. And to cap things off, the episode ends with a tremendous twist as Ben reveals that he knows everything about the people from the freighter because he has planted a man on their boat somehow. It's a terrific reveal that provides a perfect dramatic climax to the episode that leaves you eagerly awaiting to watch more. Brilliant television.
Character of the Episode: It's tough to choose since so many characters are excellent here. I'll go with Ben for that final moment.
Conclusion: This is excellent stuff. While there isn't much of an emotional edge to this episode, it does do a remarkably good job of setting the stage for season 4, working at a brisk pace and giving us several memorable moments to leave us desperate for more. This is a near perfect way to get the story moving for the much shorter season 4, and the episode certainly did its job of getting me excited for what's to come.
Summary: In flashforwards, Hurley is arrested after taking off in a high speed car chase. He gets placed in a mental institution where he is confronted by a mysterious man asking if "they" are still alive. He is also visited by the dead Charlie who demands that he do things for those that were left behind. Lastly, Jack checks in with Hurley who tells him that they have to go back. On the island, Hurley is devastated when Desmond returns with news of Charlie. The group sets off to the radio tower to warn Jack that the people on the boat aren't who they say they are. Meanwhile, Naomi runs into the jungle and Kate tracks her down. Naomi covers for them and tells the people on the boat that there was an accident when she parachuted in. Naomi dies. Hurley gets separated from the group and encounters Jacob's cabin. He runs away and finds Locke who helps him rejoin the group. The groups meet up and Jack attempts to kill Locke but Sayid pulls him away. The group splits into two camps. Locke's camp, including Claire, Hurley and Sawyer head to the barracks to hide while the others go to the beach with Jack to await rescue. Jack and Kate go off into the jungle and find a man who has arrived from the boat.
The Good: As always, "Lost" subverts expectations with the opening scene of a new season and it does it again this time. While it's probably the weakest season opening scene so far, it's still quite good stuff as we see Hurley in a very unexpected situation and learn a very important piece of information about the future with the introduction of the "Oceanic Six" (see: The Unknown). It's a very interesting way to start the season, and I'm excited to see more from it.
The rest of the flashforward storyline was extremely well done. The flashforwards feel very different from the flashbacks and they make this episode feel different from the staler flashback episodes last season, giving the story a lot more momentum than it had in season 3. I really like the new formula that's being developed here. Judging from this episode and "Through the Looking Glass", it seems like the flashforwards will use a new style of storytelling where we see a character make a key decision on the island, and we will see the consequences of that decision in the future. In the season 3 finale, it was Jack's choice to call the boat, and here it's Hurley's choice to go with Locke.
The other flashforward scenes were quite good at building mystery. We see a mysterious new character confronting Hurley, hints of the island's powers extending to the real world, and a surprising arc for Hurley who seems to be haunted by his past in a very literal way. I'm really enjoying these flashforwards so far and it seems like they might be just the thing to make the series feel new and exciting again.
The island storyline in this episode is also quite good. Early on we get to see Desmond return and set up the story beats that carry this episode. He reveals that the people on the boat cannot be trusted, and also drops the bombshell that Charlie died. The group's grief for Charlie is pretty sad and I really like how the episode furthered its stories with Charlie's death. Hurley's decision to join Locke makes sense because of what happened to Charlie, so establishing the importance of Charlie's death was essential for this episode. Thankfully, the writers nailed it. The other thing the writers did really well was making it clear that the group is too disorganized to actually do something about the people on the boat. With hanging threads like not knowing who the people are, and also Naomi's impending demise, the episode created a surprising amount of suspense as everyone prepares for the arrival of these people.
The island story all builds up to a really strong climax where the group separates into two opposing camps. This split is illustrated as quite a big deal and it does feel like a major event that will have consequences (as Hurley's flashforward also establishes). What I enjoyed most about this was how every character had logical reasons for choosing the side that they did. It makes sense that Hurley and Claire would listen to what Charlie said. It makes sense that Rose wouldn't want to side with the murderous Locke. It makes sense that Sawyer would join Locke after what he learned about him in "The Brig". There are lots of nice character details here, and that added a lot to this scene.
It was nice to see Ana Lucia's partner return for a brief cameo. It's a fun return and it also serves to further cement how Hurley can't seem to escape the past in his flashforward storyline.
The Bad: The writing is quite sloppy at times though. The Naomi plot in particular is really poorly thought out. Why didn't anybody even check to see if Naomi was still alive? They all just assumed she was dead which is absolutely ridiculous, especially considering that Jack was there and we know that Jack would always do everything he possibly can to save lives. Furthermore, why would Naomi just sneak away into the jungle when she's half dead, and how did she do it so quietly? It makes absolutely no sense. What's even stupider is that she would still somehow have the physical ability and thought process to make a dummy trail in case anyone was following her. It seems to pointless to do all of this, especially since Naomi just dies anyways. Furthermore, it's ridiculous that Jack wouldn't send a second party down the trail Kate found just in case Naomi did go down that way. This entire storyline is pretty contrived and doesn't make any logical sense.
I wasn't very happy with the lack of reaction to Jack attempting to kill Locke. We saw that Locke wasn't willing to kill Jack, so surely seeing Jack pull the trigger expecting to kill him would be pretty shocking for everyone. Furthermore, this scene wasn't a private occurrence. Everyone saw what happened, and they should be legitimately horrified by it. One particularly sloppy piece of dialogue is Rose not wanting to go with Locke because he's a murderer, yet she completely ignores how Jack was about to kill Locke right then and there. There are unfortunately several pieces of lazy writing like this scattered throughout the episode which brings down its quality.
As a final note, I was confused to see that Alex and Rousseau aren't spending any time together. Surely they would want to know more about each other. It's strange to have Rousseau standing quietly with Ben while Alex chats with Karl like nothing has changed.
The Unknown: Plenty of questions. To start, who are the Oceanic Six? Which six survivors made it off the island? We know of Jack, Hurley and Kate. Which other 3 left the island?
Who is the mysterious man that visited Hurley? Was he another vision or did he actually exist? Who is he? What does he want? How does he know that the others are still alive?
Hurley's encounter with the cabin was a frightening scene (see: Best Moment). How did the cabin seemingly teleport like that? Hurley seemed to almost enter another dimension when he found it. How does that work? Who was in there? There were at least 2 people. One would be Jacob. Who was the other?
How can Charlie appear off the island? I thought this kind of stuff is restricted to the island. Or is Charlie just part of Hurley's imagination, similar to Dave?
Why does Hurley regret siding with Locke? What happens to Locke's camp?
Who is the man at the end of the episode? It's an exciting cliffhanger to end the episode one.
Best Moment: Hurley's encounter with the cabin is chilling drama. It's haunting, mysterious and surprising all at once and it left me in high suspense. It's tense to see Hurley looking inside, and every moment following this can be analyzed closely because I'm very interested to learn more about Jacob and this cabin.
Character of the Episode: Hurley.
Conclusion: This was a really strong season premier. While there was unfortunately a lot of silly writing choices, the overall episode is quite good and starts off season 4 in a good way. I'm excited for this season because it already feels far different from seasons 1-3 due to the new formula. However, the writers need to be much more cautious because more thoughtless writing in important episodes can easily ruin this season.
Summary: Flashforwards show that Jack is a mess after leaving the island. He is about to kill himself after reading about the death of somebody but he stops himself to save a family from a fatal car crash. Jack is still in really bad shape and has numerous outbursts. He calls Kate and they meet up. He tells her that they weren't supposed to leave and that they have to go back to the island. On the island, Jack leads his people to the radio tower. Ben gets radioed from the Looking Glass about Charlie and learns of Juliet's betrayal but it's too late to stop the attack. Mikhail is sent to the Looking Glass. The others attack and 2 of the 3 dynamite stacks are set off, killing several of them. Sayid, Jin and Bernard get captured. Jack continues on to the radio tower despite seeing only 2 blasts. Sawyer and Juliet go back to the beach. Ben and Alex go to confront Jack's group and Ben plans to talk Jack out of contacting Naomi's boat. Desmond is shot at by Mikhail and goes to the Looking Glass where Charlie is captured. Mikhail follows suit and receives orders from Ben to kill Bonnie and Greta, the two women in the Looking Glass. He does so but Desmond kills Mikhail with a harpoon. Charlie is freed and stops the jamming and detects a signal from Penny. He learns the boat isn't hers but before he can talk to Desmond, Mikhail, having survived, blows up a grenade and the room floods. Charlie dies but he writes on his hand, telling Desmond "not Penny's boat". Ben confronts Jack and tries to talk him out of calling the boat, threatening Bernard, Jin and Sayid. Ben has them killed and Jack, fixated on getting rescue lets it happen. In anger, Jack beats Ben bloody. The group continues to the radio tower. Sawyer and Juliet arrive at camp and Hurley follows them. The others are all killed, including Tom. Bernard, Jin and Sayid are found alive. At the radio tower, Naomi calls her boat but Locke kills her with a knife, telling Jack not to make the call. Jack makes the call anyways, and Locke, unwilling to kill Jack, lets it happen.
The Good: The flashforwards twist will go down as one of the best TV twists ever made, and I certainly think it's the most shocking moment of "Lost" so far. The execution of this twist is perfect. From the beginning I thought for sure that we were watching flashbacks and I didn't entertain even for a second that the show may have changed formats so suddenly. It was fairly confusing to try to place when in Jack's life he was such a mess, and I was continuously intrigued by what could have made him like this. But then the ending scene rolled around and suddenly everything became clear and I was left speechless. The show genuinely surprised me by flipping the script and completely breaking its own rules to remain fresh. How many other shows can boast doing something as daring as this? The best part is that on rewatch it seems completely obvious that we are touching in with Jack in the future as there are tons and tons of clues. But there are just enough deceptions (the show's previously established format, Jack constantly mentioning his father) to fool you into not figuring it out. The scenes are so well written and it builds up to a perfect final reveal.
The flashforwards told a damn good story too, so it isn't all about the twist at the end. Matthew Fox's acting is great and his scenes paint a convincing picture of Jack's horrible life after leaving the island. Seeing Jack in such a bad way brings new context to the events we see in this episode. Bringing about rescue seems like a good thing worth cheering for on the island. But knowing where Jack ends up in the future allows you to look at his decisions in this episode in a completely different context. How does it all go so wrong for Jack? What happens to get him to where he is in the flashforwards? I'm very excited to get these answers.
Every story on the island is equally excellent. The others' raid is a dramatic and exciting moment early in the episode. There is some great action here and it leads to a pivotal moment that raises the stakes higher as the plan fails and Sayid, Jin and Bernard are held hostage. The escalating sense of danger ensures that we are left in suspense throughout the episode, and there is always drama to enjoy as the episode goes on. The ensuing fight at the beach was an excellent piece of action, but better yet was Jack's confrontation with Ben on the way to the radio tower. Jack is put in a really uncomfortable place here as he has to choose between saving everyone and giving up rescue or ensuring rescue and letting his friends die. The scene is a brilliant way to put Jack and Ben at odds and it leads to a fantastic release for Jack as he beats Ben to a pulp in his rage and expresses desire for vengeance to Kate afterwards.
The climax that follows this scene is superbly done. With the phone call connecting, the suspense is ratcheted up to the maximum. Ben is all but begging Jack not to place the call, and there is a real sense of dread now with Ben's insistence that there are bad people that are going to kill everyone. Charlie's final message also adds to this dread and it ends up creating a genuinely tense moment. And then with perfect timing, Locke shows up and kills Naomi, adding yet another surprising development to the episode. And after spending almost the entire season apart, Jack and Locke are once more at odds and it boils down to science vs faith once more. And Jack, still as resilient as ever, chooses science, a decision which we now know that he will likely come to regret.
The Charlie storyline was another fantastic addition to the episode. To start, Charlie is so likable the entire time. He feels really heroic the whole time as he taunts Bonnie and Greta, fully expecting to die and understanding that no matter what he does, he's going to end up flipping that switch because it's destined to happen. The character of Charlie has come off really well this season, and it has been wonderful to see him redeem himself after such a poorly written arc in season 2. In the end, Charlie was a character I was quite invested in, and his death gives this episode the weight it needed, leaving us with the feeling that there was a major loss in this mission to get off the island. Charlie's death is perfectly executed and is quite devastating despite the fact that we knew it was coming. What makes it even more painful is how heroic Charlie is in his death. He spends his final moments writing a message to Desmond, refusing to waste what little time he has left. I also really appreciated the nod to Charlie's past as a religious man as he symbolizes the cross before he dies. A final detail that I thought really made this death more meaningful is that Charlie didn't have to die. He could have left the room and told Desmond everything. But to secure Claire's rescue and to save Desmond's life, he locks himself in the jamming room and accepts his death like a real hero.
The scenes leading up to Charlie's death have some very strong drama. The suspense with Mikhail's arrival, Charlie's capture and Desmond hiding in the supply closet add a lot of drama and make it difficult to predict what happens next. The resolution is built up to perfectly as ironically it's Ben's order to kill Bonnie and Greta as a precaution that costs him as they betray him by giving Charlie the code to disable the jammers. Everything that happens in this storyline makes perfect sense, and it's a pleasure to watch the entire time.
There are a few other little things this episode also does very well. I really enjoyed the exploration of Ben's poor leadership in this episode. His people seem like they are on the verge of turning against him and I have to wonder what's going to happen at the temple if Richard decides that enough is enough. This story has been set up pretty well and I'm interested to see what happens next. I was also really happy with Alex and Rousseau's reunion. It was a moment that had been built up for a while and it was fittingly emotional, but also a little awkward which is a realistic touch as Rousseau is more than likely not a capable mother after 16 years alone. Lastly, I enjoyed Sawyer' arc in this episode. Evidently, killing Anthony has had a profound effect on him and has left him questioning his purpose. I really appreciate that this show isn't afraid to change how its characters behave in response to their experiences. Sawyer's confusion here was pretty good to watch, and we even get a final touch of vengeance for him as he even gets to kill Tom after he took Walt off the raft. We'll have to wait until next season to see how Sawyer will move on after killing pretty much everybody he ever wanted to kill.
The Bad: There are a few small things, but nothing too major. I don't buy into the idea of Bernard and Jin being selected as gunners. It seems clear that they were only chosen because they had wives who could be concerned for them when they were inevitably captured. The writers left their fingerprints all over this. It's inexplicable to me that somebody like Bernard would stay behind while Sawyer (who has nothing at this point) goes with everyone else.
Hurley's brief arc felt a little too much like fanservice. People called him fat and useless so he shows everyone how it's done by saving Sawyer and Juliet. It's a pretty generic story and it seems like it was only included to give the viewers something to cheer.
Mikhail got to Desmond's location extraordinarily fast. It took the others several days to reach the survivors' camp, so how did Mikhail get to Desmond before he even woke up after Charlie knocked him out?
The Unknown: Who was in the coffin? Why did their death cause Jack to almost kill himself? Is this a character we know?
How many others got off the island? We see Jack and Kate off the island, but who else is there? Also, who is the "he" that is waiting for Kate? Is it Sawyer? Did Kate and Jack not end up together after all?
What is the temple that the others are going to? Where is it?
What were the others building a runway for? Were they preparing for some sort of plane transport to and from the island?
Who is the person trying to find the island that Ben describes? Do they even exist? Why are they searching for the island? How do they know its existence? Is this person on Naomi's boat? Who is Naomi anyways? Apparently she wasn't sent by Penny. So who did send her? Why did she lie? How does she know Penny anyways? What's going to happen now that the survivors have contacted the boat?
How did Locke have a vision of Walt? What did Walt tell him to do?
Best Moment: There are so many fantastic moments to choose from, but the iconic airport scene at the end of the episode takes it for me. A tremendous twist for sure.
Character of the Episode: Charlie.
Conclusion: What a fantastic season finale. This was the perfect blend of climactic, shocking, intense and emotional and it provided an absolutely thrilling end to season 3, giving me full confidence that despite a slightly weaker season, this show can still pack one hell of a punch.
This season was a little rocky, especially at the beginning where the story progressed slowly and there were several filler episodes that disappointed me heavily. But I can definitely say that the end of the season was some of the best content the show has ever given us. It was dramatic, exciting and powerful which is all I can ask for from a TV show. If there was one major flaw with the show, it's that the flashbacks were quite dull this season outside of a couple of exceptions. The format seemed to be faltering and it was no longer interesting. But with this season finale, it seems like the show is correcting this with the addition of flashforwards, which I'm very glad to see. The recovery of this season has been a pleasant surprise. Earlier this season, I was thinking that the show had lost what made it special and that it may be starting to sharply decline in quality. But these past few episodes have restored my faith, and it feels like the show is once more heading somewhere that has me extremely excited. Sure this season wasn't the most consistent, but I finished it feeling more excited for the future than when I started the season. Because of that, I can say that this was great television overall despite some pretty big flaws. Is it perfect? Definitely not. But I'm left feeling satisfied overall.
Summary: Flashbacks show Charlie's 5 best moments of his life: hearing his band on the radio, learning to swim with his dad, getting his family's ring from Liam, being called a hero by Nadia and meeting Claire on the island. In the present, Ben returns to the others camp and declares that they are immediately going to attack the survivors. Alex tells Karl who then goes to warn the survivors. Meanwhile, Jack tells everyone his plan: the others will come to kidnap the women but when they go into the marked tents, the survivors will detonate dynamite to kill them. The camp prepares for this, but when Karl tells them that the others are coming sooner than expected, plans change. Jack decides that 3 people (Sayid, Jin and Bernard) will shoot the dynamite to trigger it while everyone else will go to the radio tower where Sayid hopes to stop Rousseau's signal so that they can use Naomi's phone. Juliet reveals that the others have been jamming signals and that a flooded underwater station called the Looking Glass must be accessed to turn off the jamming. Desmond sees a vision of Claire getting into a helicopter but Charlie dies in the Looking Glass for this to come true. Accepting his fate, Charlie decides to go to the Looking Glass and stop the jammer. However, when he swims there he finds that the station isn't flooded and he is held at gunpoint by 2 people.
The Good: This whole episode felt like a fond farewell to Charlie, who has always been one of the more well-liked characters on the show. Centering the flashbacks around the best moments of his life was a fantastic choice, one that added a lot more emotion to the episode. Because of this, the episode had a fairly somber and bittersweet vibe as Charlie looks death in the face, accepts it, and decides to relive the best parts of his life before the end. It's very sad stuff, and the flashbacks translate Charlie's best memories wonderfully. On the island, Charlie really has his best episode as a character since "The Moth". We see him saying goodbye to everyone, with particularly touching scenes with Claire and Hurley. Then once he's on the boat with Desmond and ready to die, he finally lets out some emotion in a magnificent scene. Desmond comes off as wonderfully sympathetic when he offers to take Charlie's place, and Charlie feels truly heroic when he refuses that option, resolved to give his life for a greater cause. The storytelling here is superb and it's hard not to feel anything watching Charlie prepare to die. But then in a wonderful twist, Charlie makes it to the Looking Glass and finds it isn't flooded. His glee at realizing he is still alive is a fantastic moment of relief for the character, and is neatly interrupted by him being held at gunpoint, leaving him with a pretty big problem he'll have to deal with in the season finale. The moment is an excellent cliffhanger, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
The rest of the episode is mostly solid stuff that lays the foundation for the season finale. We learn Jack's plan, and it's a very dramatic one. There's set-up for a major confrontation between the survivors and the others, and it should be very exciting to see what happens there. The plan seems safe and ingenious at first, but when Karl arrives to say that the others are coming earlier than expected, there's suddenly a sense of danger, one that will surely be explored well in the season finale. This episode does its set-up pretty well, and it's enjoyable to watch.
Additionally, there's Sayid being wonderfully logical in this episode which I was a big fan of. First he ensures that something is being done to get off the island by discussing the satellite phone, which is a wonderful piece of writing. Then he later convinces Jack to be the leader by taking everyone to the radio tower. He has a really good episode, and it's nice to see the character being used to drive the story forwards by setting up the dramatic hook of a potential rescue being set up in the next episode. With every storyline picking up steam in a big way, the show seems set to deliver a huge climax to finish off this season.
As a final detail, I liked the Easter Egg of Charlie meeting Nadia in the alleys. That was a nice little touch.
The Bad: The dynamite demonstration at the beginning of the episode was absolutely stupid. I understand that it was done to provide a more dramatic moment for the audience. But when a show does something baffling for the sake of the audience, that completely destroys my immersion and takes away from the credibility of the show. There are so many flaws with this. For one, why does Jack need to do a demonstration anyways? He could just tell them that they will use dynamite! Going out of his way to do a demonstration has so many drawbacks. For one, that explosion was pretty big, so what if somebody nearby heard that and figured out the plan? That's an unnecessary risk to take. Furthermore, it's such a waste of time and resources (dynamite, wire) to do this random explosion in the jungle instead of working to set up the trap they are actually planning to use. Hell, had Jack not wasted time on this demonstration, they might have been able to set up the dynamite trap on time!
I'm not happy with how this show treats murder. We have seen it treated seriously in a few specific cases (Michael, Charlie), but for the most part the concept of death and murder is treated so flippantly. Here Jack suggests that they are going to outright murder so many people, and nobody even brings up morality as an issue. It's so odd because surely somebody here would be against the idea of taking lives, even if it is in self defense. After all, as far as everyone knows, the others aren't even planning on killing anybody! It's inexplicable to me that people like Hurley, Claire and Juliet (she lived with these people for years!) see no problem with this.
Charlie being a great swimmer is a very poor piece of continuity as he stated back in "White Rabbit" that he doesn't swim. It's a minor gripe, but I still do wish that they found a different story for Charlie that doesn't hurt the continuity of the show.
The Unknown: Will the plan work? Or will it somehow go wrong? I imagine all of the others won't be killed in the explosions. Will they go after the 3 shooters?
Will the survivors actually be able to get in contact with Naomi's boat?
Who is in the Looking Glass? Why isn't the station flooded? What's going on down there? How is Charlie going to get away from these people? Is he still going to die or has he somehow escaped Desmond's vision? What would this mean for Claire and Aaron? Will they still escape on a helicopter?
Best Moment: Charlie and Desmond on the boat. Certainly the most powerful moment of the episode.
Character of the Episode: Charlie of course.
Conclusion: This was a strong episode of set-up elevated by the emotion from Charlie's story. There were some small flaws in the storytelling, but as a whole this served its purpose and left me satisfied and excited for the season finale.
Summary: Flashbacks show that Ben's mother died giving birth to him. When Ben is older, his father Roger joins the Dharma Initiative and they arrive on the island. Roger is a drunk and blames Ben for his mother's death. Ben is miserable in Dharma and leaves to try to join the others. He meets Richard who tells him to be patient to make it happen. Many years later, the others purge the Dharma Initiative, killing everyone. Ben kills his father and officially joins the others. On the island, Locke returns to the others' camp and demands to be taken to see Jacob, the mysterious man Ben answers to. Ben declines. Mikhail arrives and tells Ben about Naomi but Locke knocks him out and pressures Ben to take him to Jacob. Ben takes Locke to a cabin where he starts speaking with an empty chair. Assuming it's all a show, Locke tries to leave but suddenly things start flying everywhere and breaking apart. Locke still doesn't believe it though and thinks Jacob doesn't exist. Ben takes Locke to the pit where all the Dharma Initiative bodies were disposed. Ben shoots Locke and leaves him in the pit. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Sayid tell the camp about Naomi and about Juliet's nature as a spy. Jack and Juliet arrive and notify everyone that the others will be attacking in a few days time and that they have a plan.
The Good: This episode makes an attempt to humanize Ben and make us sympathize and relate to him. Not every show puts in the effort to fully humanize its villains, so this is a very respectable effort. And thankfully, it is done magnificently well. There's no denying that Ben is a bad person. His flashback arc concludes with him murdering his father in cold blood and standing by while the others wipe out the entire Dharma Initiative. He does so for his own personal gain. It's a villainous act through and through. And yet I was still able to sympathize with Ben and understand why he did it. He still feels human in spite of what he just did and that's brilliant. The episode does a great job of showcasing the misery Ben feels in the Dharma Initiative as he is trapped with his drunk, uncaring father with very little to actually look forward to. His life feels very sad and it's easy to understand why he would take control of his life and join up with the others.
I'm very pleased by the decision to give Ben a centric episode. This show has always used the first flashback episode of a character to surprise us and completely subvert what we already know about the character. This episode does that incredibly well by showing us a surprisingly relatable backstory for the main villain of the series. It changes the way we look at Ben and even gives us reason to believe that his assertion that the others are the "good guys" is genuine. He believes that what he is doing is actually justified. It's wonderful to see the show creating such a deep character as the main villain and I can certainly say that Ben is one of the stronger characters on the show at the moment.
The island story in this episode is very well done. The core of this episode focuses on the conflict between Ben and Locke which is as riveting as ever. Locke's return is a big shocker for Ben and immediately puts him in a place of discomfort as Locke has returned with a newfound confidence, demanding to be taken to Jacob and directly threatening Ben's credibility as a leader. Ben's discomfort is evident and so he agrees to take Locke to the cabin in a wonderful storyline. What makes this so good is that we can never be sure if we can actually trust Ben. Is Locke's interpretation of Ben accurate? Does he really not know anything? Is there even a Jacob? If there isn't a Jacob, then why is Ben taking out into the jungle? These questions drive the story forwards and ensure that there is always a hook during Locke and Ben's scenes together.
The actual relationship between Locke and Ben is explored very nicely in this episode. We know going into this episode that Ben feels threatened by Locke. He's jealous that Locke has what he does not, and he has already gone out of his way to humiliate him by asking Locke to murder his own father, something we now understand is exactly what Ben did to join the others all those years ago. Ben feels threatened by Locke's presence and does his best to keep Locke beneath him, trying to convince Locke that he has power, when in reality it seems like he doesn't. When Locke asks him about the island, he stalls, and when he does talk, he never reveals much of anything. It's very likely that Ben doesn't even know much about the island himself and that his actions in this episode are simply to manipulate Locke. But Locke sees through this and is hesitant to trust Ben the entire episode. They have a lovely dynamic and every conversation between them is electric. Then it all culminates in the brilliant final scene when Ben disposes of Locke the moment he gets a good chance to.
The episode also does a terrific job on the plot side of things. There are tons of great reveals here and a lot of questions are answered, and even more are brought up. We finally get to see the mysterious Jacob who has been mentioned many times in that cabin scene, and it was awesome, a brilliant blend of mystery, horror and suspense (see: Best Moment). There's also plenty revealed in Ben's flashbacks. We get to see the Dharma Initiative firsthand, and while we don't get to see much of their work, it's still fantastic to see them and get some background on their conflict with the others. We also finally learned what happened to the Dharma Initiative and how they were purged. This is all really significant plot development, and it's a joy to uncover this information.
The B story in this episode covers all the happenings back at the camp. There is more solid stuff here as the survivors act reasonably and actually communicate with each other. There's also some strong development on the Juliet storyline as Sayid and Sawyer inform everyone that she's a mole. Thankfully, the show avoids all the melodrama that could accompany this and judging by Jack's reveal that he has a plan, there is a much more interesting story that is about to be told.
The Bad: How did Roger's van move from where Ben left it? Hurley finds it in the middle of the jungle. Also, why didn't Roger simply get out of the car before Ben gassed him? He had plenty of time to save his own life.
The Unknown: Why did Ben have visions of his mom? How did she appear on the island? What are these visions? Do they have something to do with the visions of Christian and Yemi?
How did Ben become leader after he was taken in to the others? Also what's with Richard? He looks the same in the flashbacks. This could be chalked up to poor makeup, but Ben has an intriguing line about Richard not knowing birthdays which suggests that there may be more to this.
What happened to Annie? Did she die in the purge?
What's with the line of ash on the way to Jacob's cabin? What is this cabin anyways? Is Jacob actually real? Or was this all orchestrated by Ben somehow? Why couldn't Locke see Jacob? Why doesn't Jacob like technology? Why does he need Locke's help?
How does Locke survive getting shot? It seems unlikely that he'll die here.
What is Jack and Juliet's plan? What did they do while they were missing?
Are the whispers separate from the others? We see them signalling Emily's arrival in this episode and she evidently isn't involved with the others judging by Richard's reaction to Ben claiming he saw her. What is causing these whispers?
Best Moment: The scene in the cabin is outstanding drama. Once the cabin appears, we immediately begin to think that Ben may be telling the truth and that there is a Jacob. The scene is dramatic and suspenseful as we enter this creepy cabin. And then Ben starts talking to a chair, and it seems far more likely that he is manipulating Locke. And right when we doubt Jacob's existence, there's an immensely creepy "help me" line that completely shifts the tone of the scene. Then everything goes crazy for a moment in a wonderfully executed sequence, making for a surprisingly scary and dramatic scene.
Character of the Episode: Ben.
Conclusion: Another terrific episode. While it doesn't quite hit the highs of "The Brig", this one is arguably even more important because of its major reveals and the way it pulls back the curtain on Ben, making him one of the show's richer characters. This was an absolute blast and I'm very excited to see what's to come in the final 2 episodes of the season. I'm very impressed by the turnaround in quality after the season started so aimlessly.
Summary: Flashbacks show Ben telling Locke that he must kill his father to join the others. Locke is unable to do it and so Ben decides to leave him behind. Richard goes to Locke and tells him that he could go to Sawyer to get him to kill his father. In the present, Locke finds Sawyer and takes him into the jungle, telling him that he kidnapped Ben and needs Sawyer to kill him. Sawyer reluctantly goes with Locke and finds himself in the Black Rock. Locke locks him in with Anthony and Sawyer realizes that Anthony is the Mr. Sawyer he has been hunting all along. After Anthony tears Sawyer's letter, Sawyer strangles him to death with a chain. Locke goes to return to the others but leaves Sawyer proof that Juliet is a mole. Meanwhile, Hurley, Charloe, Jin and Desmond decide to bring Sayid into the loop regarding Naomi but don't want to let Jack in. Sayid fixes the satellite phone but can't find any available channels. Kate sees Sayid at work and Sayid tells her the truth, asking her to keep it secret. Kate ends up telling Jack and Juliet anyways out of frustration.
The Good: Locke and Sawyer's storyline in this episode is fantastic. It's a perfect blend of mystery, drama and character work that builds up patiently and intriguingly before delivering one of the most memorable sequences of the show so far towards the end of the episode. The way the mystery is developed early in the episode is perfect. Locke's arrival raises plenty of questions, and his claim that he kidnapped Ben with plans to kill him immediately sounds suspicious. It's difficult to uncover what exactly is going on, but the intrigue makes it exciting to figure out. In the present, we're with Sawyer as he tries to figure out what is really going on, while in the past we get to see the timeline get closer to the present, making the mystery steadily grow clearer and clearer. It's a wonderfully slow paced delivery of information that is executed perfectly to get maximal drama.
Now most astute viewers will figure out the Mr. Sawyer twist well before the climax of the episode. But somehow taking away the shock element actually benefits the episode hugely. With the amount of clues this episode subtly gives us towards figuring out why Locke is taking Sawyer out into the jungle, it's very easy to figure out the twist, which leads me to believe that the moment was not written to be a surprise. We are meant to discover the reality of the situation before Sawyer, and the drama from the episode comes from the anticipation of Sawyer confronting the man he's been hunting all this time rather than wondering what happens next. Removing the surprise from the moment of the Mr. Sawyer reveal actually benefits the scene as well. Instead of feeling meaningless shock, we are allowed to spend the entire scene in Sawyer's shoes, getting to appreciate the emotional reaction he has to finally meeting the man responsible for the deaths of his parents. And Josh Holloway does a superb job of making the most out of the moment.
The entire sequence in the Black Rock is some of the best television that this show has produced. The focus is almost solely on the three characters of Sawyer, Locke and Anthony and they completely steal the show. Everything Anthony says in the scene is excellent, adding more and more intrigue to the scene. He reveals Locke's paralysis to Sawyer, confirms that Flight 815 crashed, fuels the possibility of the island being a sort of hell, and finally reveals to Sawyer who he really is. It's tremendously entertaining stuff that escalates in tension the further it goes on. Everything after Sawyer learns Anthony's identity is somehow even better, being a masterclass of tension and drama leading up to Sawyer murdering Anthony in cold blood (see: Best Moment).
The fallout from this scene is also excellent. It's great to see Sawyer and Locke bond a little more with this experience and they share a brilliantly written scene following Sawyer murdering Anthony. I really appreciate the detail of Sawyer vomiting after his exhaustively emotional ordeal, and Locke thanking him was really good. I liked that they addressed Locke's paralysis and Juliet's status as a mole, ensuring that the entertainment did not come to a halt following Anthony's death. The episode went to its logical conclusion, and went the extra mile to make it more meaningful.
The side story involving Naomi was also very well done. I really like the decision not to tell Jack about her due to his affiliation with Juliet, and the possibility of rescue is far too important to risk. The decision to rope Sayid in was pleasingly logical, and I love that he immediately interrogated Naomi with suspicion of her being an other. I thought the interrogation scenes were very good as they gave us the necessary exposition in an interesting way.
I enjoyed getting a better look at the others through Locke's flashbacks. There are still plenty of details the show seems to be avoiding but it was nice to get some more hints at who they are and what they do.
The Bad: The one big problem in this episode is Kate. Kate stumbles upon the fact that Sayid and co. have found a potential rescue and so she knows to keep it quiet from Juliet. But then she inexplicably marches straight to Jack and Juliet and openly tells them both about Naomi, a move that makes no sense whatsoever and seems so incredibly stupid. Surely rescue is more important to Kate than expressing frustration towards Jack.
I wasn't happy about Ben telling Locke about how Juliet is his mole. Why would he divulge such important information to the man who was working against his interests mere days ago?
The Unknown: Is Jack trustworthy? What did Juliet want him to tell Kate about? Does he have some kind of plan in place?
How did Anthony end up on the island? Did the others somehow bring him? Is there any weight to Anthony's theory of everyone being in hell?
Anthony confirms that Flight 815 was actually discovered, so Naomi isn't lying about that. How is that possible?
How do you get initiated as an other? Did everyone else go through a similar process of proving themselves like Locke did? Also what is the purpose of the others? Richard seems discontent to be working on fertility. What other things do the others want to be working on instead?
What was Rousseau doing at the Black Rock? What was the dynamite for?
Best Moment: Upon learning who Anthony Cooper is, Sawyer carefully probes him to ensure that this is the same man who killed his parents. Anthony remains cocky and confident despite Sawyer's obvious change, creating a very unique and intense dynamic. Slowly, Sawyer gives Anthony the letter and gets him to read it. Anthony discredits everything and refuses to take responsibility, getting under Sawyer's skin more and more. The tension boils and boils throughout this scene until everything explodes when Anthony callously tears Sawyer's letter. The music halts, and we get an outstanding moment as Sawyer angrily and aggressively chokes out Anthony, unleashing all of those years of pent up rage. It's a thoroughly satisfying moment and one that hits all of the emotional beats it tries to. Near flawless television.
Character of the Episode: Sawyer.
Conclusion: This was a brilliant episode that gives us emotional closure to one of both Locke and Sawyer's defining storylines of the series. Not only does that make this episode significant and suspenseful, but it also makes it emotional and unforgettable. This is "Lost" doing what it does best. Despite the slow start, the back half of this season looks to be picking up a lot. I'm very excited for what comes next.
Summary: In flashbacks, Sun is confronted by a woman who demands $100,000 or she will reveal that Jin's mother is a prostitute. Using her resources, Sun meets with Jin's dad to confirm this. She pays off the woman using money from Mr. Paik, indebting Jin to him forever. She also reveals that she knows the woman is Jin's mother and that she will kill her if she sees her again. On the island, Sun is concerned when Jack asks her questions about her pregnancy. Sun goes to Juliet and learns that pregnant women die on the island. Juliet takes Sun to The Staff to confirm is the baby is Jin's or Jae's. If it's Jin's, Sun will die, but if it's Jae's, she will live. The baby is Jin's. Juliet leaves behind a report for Ben. Meanwhile, Mikhail stumbles upon Desmond, Jin, Charlie and Hurley as they try to save the parachute woman who is dying from a wound. Mikhail saves her life and in exchange Desmond lets him go. Mikhail tries to steal the satellite phone but Jin stops him. The woman wakes up and reveals that Flight 815 was found and all of its passengers are dead.
The Good: This was an excellent episode for Sun. She has always been the most interesting of the female characters on this show, and she proved that again in this episode. We get to see the strong-willed, determined Sun dealing with engaging conflicts in both the past and the present, and Yunjin Kim delivers a strong performance, ensuring that it's a blast to follow Sun's struggles throughout. The flashbacks tell a very good story that fills in some of the gaps in Jin and Sun's history. These flashbacks were excellent, and featured some of the show's best side characters in Sun and Jin's fathers, two very different men. I was glad to see Sun using her family's power to her advantage in this episode as she tracked down Jin's father and also identified the woman blackmailing her as Jin's mother. It showed us a new side of Sun, who had commonly played second fiddle to her husband and father. Here we see a confident, ruthless Sun who stops at nothing to get what she wants, going as far as even intimidating her father (see: Best Moment).
On the island, Sun shows the same grit and determination as she sees through Jack's suspicious behaviour and immediately goes to Juliet for answers. The dynamic between Sun and Juliet is unique and I really enjoyed seeing Sun slowly come around to trust her as she learns more about who Juliet is. Their relationship develops nicely to the point where I can buy into the idea of Sun letting Juliet go back into The Staff alone at the end of the episode. Both characters were given very good stories in this episode to emotionally engage us. Sun is put in one hell of a predicament as no matter what the case is, she loses. Learning that she is going to die is a hard reveal for Sun who breaks down, but she shows her grit once more by looking on the positive side, expressing joy that the baby is Jin's. It's a wonderful little moment for her. Juliet also benefits from that moment as the news is bittersweet for Sun, but at least she got a smile from her patient rather than a grim realization. Juliet's arc in this episode is how she has lost the joy of being a fertility doctor due to the harsh realities of her research. But here she is rewarded for helping Sun, which is nice to see.
The other half of the island storyline is also very effective. Most of the episode's drama comes from this storyline as Desmond, Charlie, Hurley and Jin scramble to figure out who this mysterious woman is and how to help her. It's fast-paced and exciting stuff made all the better by the inclusion of Mikhail who unexpectedly survived being thrown into the fence. It was wonderful seeing Mikhail again, and his presence lead to increased tension and a very good action sequence between him and Jin. However the real highlight of this storyline is the conclusion where the woman finally wakes up and drops a major bombshell that will presumably have huge ramifications (see: The Unknown).
The Bad: Mostly just small things in this episode. The way Juliet wakes Sun up is needlessly dramatic and only happens to give the audience a small burst of tension. The same goes for Jack showing up in Sun's garden at the start of the episode. It's getting a bit tired since we have seen Sun hearing rustling in the jungle countless times by now. Also, I was annoyed to see that Kate has resumed her random bodyguard role from "Maternity Leave" as she tries talking for Sun and getting her away from Juliet.
The Unknown: How was Flight 815 found with all of its passengers dead? Is the island some kind of a connection between parallel universes? Could this somehow tie in with the theory that they were dead all along? How would that work, especially since we have seen people like Richard and Ethan travelling to and from the island at will? How will this impact the story going forwards?
Is Sun destined to die now? What if she is taken off the island before birth? Can that save her? I don't think it's a coincidence that Juliet was unable to try this, perhaps her new goal will be to save Sun's life by getting her off the island. Also, that's 2 characters now who are destined to die, with Charlie being the other one. Is there any significance to this?
Where do Juliet's loyalties lie? Is she still firmly loyal to the others, or is she planning to switch allegiances to the survivors? The "I hate you" at the end of the episode is a really important moment because of how nicely it suggests the possibility of Juliet betraying the others without actually confirming it.
Best Moment: The scene between Sun and Mr. Paik was superb television. Desperate to do anything to get what she wants, Sun goes in hard against her own father, threatening him and trying to stay in control of their negotiation. It's a wonderfully executed scene that once more serves to humanize Mr. Paik. He doesn't relent to Sun's aggressive claims, but once he learns that she is doing it for Jin, he is quick to give her the money that she needs. But it comes at a cost. We learn that this whole thing is why Jin was promoted and why he wasn't allowed to leave after working for a short while like it was promised. It's a sad reveal since in protecting Jin's honour, Sun ended up transforming him into the monstrous man he was back in season 1. Excellent storytelling.
Character of the Episode: Sun.
Conclusion: This is another really strong episode. While not the show at its absolute best, this is very entertaining television with solid character work and some dramatic reveals to set up the final stretch of the season.
Summary: In flashbacks, Desmond runs away from a marriage with his girlfriend Ruth to join a monastery. He doesn't fit in however and is soon fired. Once he's fired, he meets Penny at the monastery and they leave together. On the island, Desmond has a vision of Charlie dying to one of Rousseau's traps and somebody arriving on the island, someone he hopes is Penny. Desmond gather Hurley, Jin and Charlie to go "camping" in hopes of seeing Penny. Shortly into their trip a helicopter crashes into the sea and somebody parachutes out into the jungle. The group head inwards to find her. Desmond almost lets Charlie die to ensure Penny does arrive but he changes his mind at the last moment. They find the person unconscious in the jungle. She isn't Penny, rather another woman who knows Desmond's name. Meanwhile, Kate tries to get back on track with Jack but he ignores her so she ends up going back to Sawyer and they have sex. However, Sawyer realizes why Kate went to him and lets her know about it.
The Good: This is a very fun episode to watch. The very first scene of the episode provides a hook as we get a glimpse into one of Desmond's visions, which sets the stage for the rest of the episode: somebody is coming to the island and Charlie has to die for it to happen exactly as Desmond saw. The plot is laid bare in these opening moments and the rest of the episode is just as thrilling and dramatic as you expect it to be. On top of being a fun watch, this also ends up being a hugely important episode. The arrival of somebody else to the island is a massive development, likely one that will shape how the rest of this season plays out. The presence of this mysterious woman is immediately intriguing and it's the kind of forward movement the plot needed.
Desmond's story is very well done too. His key conflict comes from the idea of if he's going to sacrifice Charlie in order to ensure that Penny arrives on the island safely. This is a wonderful use of Desmond's abilities since knowing what is about to happen gives him an engaging moral dilemma. The moment where Charlie's death is impending is very dramatic and you do get worried for a moment that Desmond may actually let Charlie die to further his own goals. It's very interesting drama which does actually pose some more interesting questions about how this world works (see: The Unknown).
The flashbacks have some good moments in them too. I like that Desmond's cowardice is shown to extend further than Penny since she isn't the first woman he has left out of fear. I thought that Desmond's speech about how he knew he was supposed to go to the monastery was extremely well done, and it sounds like just the kind of ridiculous crap that Desmond may be telling himself to deal with the fact that he's a coward. The meeting with Penny at the end was another terrific moment since these two have excellent chemistry together. Lastly, I thought that Desmond's past in the monastery was a neat explanation for why he calls everyone "brother".
The Kate/Sawyer/Jack subplot was pretty well done for what it was. This love triangle storyline certainly isn't top tier television, but I am impressed at how well the show is handling the characters involved. Kate's desire to be with Jack is easy enough to understand, and we can see why she would go to Sawyer to get comfort once Jack has become too distant. Kate has always been selfish, so she is certainly not above using men for her own needs. I really appreciated that Sawyer discovered what she did and was completely fine with it. This story could have easily become unnecessarily melodramatic, but the writers showed restraint.
The Bad: When you look into the logic behind this episode, things quickly fall apart. The only reason that Desmond, Hurley, Charlie and Jin go on their journey is because Desmond had his vision. Otherwise it would never have happened. This is a common problem with all time-jumping stories. There's always the risk of writing a time paradox, which allows the entire episode to fall apart when the details are scrutinized. If the writers want to delve further into the complexities of Desmond's powers they need to be more careful than this.
I was also bothered by some of the editing in this episode. I thought it was really excessive how often the writers spliced parts of Desmond's visions into the episode. That was very unnecessary and I think it took away from my immersion in the episode when there are random flashes being thrown in where they don't belong.
I thought the flashbacks could have been stronger. Sure there are some good scenes and the story is well written, but there isn't enough to make the story really stand out or change how we view Desmond as a character.
I was bothered by Sawyer outright asking Kate to have sex randomly. They only ever did it once, and that was when Kate thought Sawyer was going to die. Furthermore, there was an intense break-up scene shortly after that, so why would Sawyer ever think that he would just be able to have sex with her whenever he wanted? It's such a strange request, especially seeing how long they had been apart prior to the previous episode.
The Unknown: Who is the woman at the end of the episode? How did she know Desmond? Was she sent by Penny to find him?
Is the universe recognizing that Desmond is saving Charlie's life? I wonder if the universe somehow targeted Desmond specifically with this vision to tempt him into letting Charlie die. It would be very interesting if the universe operated like that. Furthermore, it could also explain the time paradox problem if the universe was somehow breaking its own rules in response to Desmond breaking the rules by seeing the future.
Best Moment: Desmond meeting Penny for the first time was a really sweet moment. Intercutting that with Desmond saving the woman from the parachute ended up being a genius choice since it combined the feelings of love and happiness with feelings of hope, turning the whole sequence into something really sweet and powerful.
Character of the Episode: Desmond.
Conclusion: This episode was a lot of fun to watch and Desmond got some more strong development as he remains one of the show's better characters. However, there are some flaws underneath the surface, blocking the episode from scoring too high.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.