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.
Summary: In flashbacks, Juliet meets with Richard and Ethan who take her to the island in the sub. Once on the island she meets Ben and is tasked with solving the problem of women dying in labour on the island, but she is unsuccessful. Juliet wants to leave, but Ben forces her on the island by promising to heal her sister whose cancer has returned. Juliet agrees to the deal. Later when Ben finds out he has cancer, Juliet angrily accuses him of lying. Ben shows her a video of Rachel and her new son to calm her down. In the present, Jack protects Juliet from any interrogation. When the group returns to camp, everyone is less than pleased about Juliet. However, Claire suddenly gets sick and Juliet reveals that it has to do with the medications Ethan was giving her. She retrieves some of Ethan's supplies and saves Claire, earning some trust. However, it's revealed that the whole thing was planned by Ben because he wants to have somebody in the survivors' camp.
The Good: Juliet's story is really well done. We get to see her transformation in full by comparing the early flashback Juliet to the current Juliet on the island. The difference is huge, and it's great to finally see what it was that led to her becoming so cold. We learn that Ben essentially held her hostage on the island for 3 years, simply not allowing her to leave and seemingly emotionally manipulating her the entire time (see: The Unknown). And in all that time, she was operating on patients who were continuously dying, and with nobody close to talk to about her feelings, it led to her becoming closed off emotionally. What helps the story even more is how easy it is to sympathize with Juliet. We know that her heart isn't into staying on the island and there is never a moment in the flashbacks where we don't know what she wants. It's clear that she just wants to leave the island, and that makes her no different from any of the survivors on the beach in that her main goal is to return to the life she had before coming to the island.
From a plot perspective, this was really well done as well. We get to see that Juliet was always tightly involved in the others society, and there will presumably be answers on the way now that she's infiltrated the camp. We already get some good answers about why Ethan kidnapped Claire, why she was important and why the others did experiments on pregnancy. We're slowly getting a more fully formed view of how this society works and I'm excited to see more of it. One of the most interesting aspects was Richard, who seemed to have spent a lot of time off the island, possibly as some sort of recruiter. I'm very interested to learn more about him.
The island storyline is very well done. Juliet's arrival in the camp shakes things up as expected, and for once I think that everyone's reactions are explored fittingly, since it's obvious that the survivors would not be at all comfortable with one of the others joining their camp. Moments like Hurley being sent against his will to keep an eye on her and Sayid immediately trying to interrogate her make perfect sense. I was also very pleased with Sayid and Sawyer choosing to follow her since they naturally did not trust her at all. That allowed for a great confrontation which pleasingly allowed Juliet's character to shine as we got to see how she approached the problem of Sawyer and Sayid not wanting to trust her with anything.
The twist at the end of the episode was very effective. Juliet is there as a spy, and it's her job to get people to trust her. She already succeeded with Jack and so she has infiltrated the camp and will likely be feeding information to Ben. But the intrigue comes in when you consider that Juliet wouldn't have any reason to stay loyal to Ben and it's possible that she changes sides to the survivors. I'm really excited by this storyline and I can't wait to see where it goes.
The Bad: Nothing I'll call bad. This was a very consistent episode.
The Unknown: Apparently Jacob himself was going to cure Rachel. Who is Jacob? Can he leave the island? Is he on the island? The others seem to worship him. Is he some kind of deity or a grand leader of some sort? It seems like Juliet was converted to whatever belief system the others have which is very interesting.
Did Rachel actually have cancer or did Ben just make that up? I wouldn't put it past him to manipulate Juliet like that to get her to stay. But if he did actually cure her cancer, it raises some important questions. How did he do that? Can Jacob cure cancer? Why did Ben get cancer then if he can cure it?
Why can't women give birth on the island? Is it something to do with conception that's the problem? If so, why was Claire successful? What does it mean for Sun since she got pregnant on the island? Is she going to die or can Juliet somehow save her? Why are the others so concerned with solving this issue? Are they scientists? What's the point of all these experiments?
Why did Ben send Juliet as a spy? What are his plans for the survivors camp?
Best Moment: Ben showing the video of Rachel to Juliet was heartbreaking stuff. Juliet has been isolated for so long that she is hardly even herself anymore. But with the slightest glimpse of home, she immediately falls back into the timid, emotional woman she was before, a desperate plea to anyone that is around that she wants to go home. But nobody listens, and when Ben shuts the TV off, Juliet is thrown back into her unfortunate reality. It's a fantastic moment that perfectly captures the emotion of Juliet's storyline.
Character of the Episode: Juliet.
Conclusion: This was an immensely satisfying episode to watch, one that gave us lots of answers about the others through Juliet's flashbacks while still managing a spectacular character journey showing us how Juliet went from the timid and nervous woman to an emotionally detached and ruthless woman. It's a welcome episode to get after the story was essentially put on hold for 2 whole episodes.
Summary: In flashbacks, Kate meets Cassidy in Iowa and Cassidy helps her arrange a meeting with her mom. Kate asks why she turned her in and her mom tells her that she loved Wayne and warns her that she will scream for help if she ever sees Kate again. Kate parts ways with Cassidy. On the island, Locke visits Kate and reveals he is leaving with the others. Kate is gassed and she wakes up handcuffed to Juliet in the jungle. They head back to the barracks and have a close call with the smoke monster. Juliet reveals she had a key to the handcuffs and handcuffed herself to try to endear herself to Kate since she was also abandoned by the others. Juliet and Kate meet up with Sayid and Jack and they head back to camp. At camp, Hurley convinces Sawyer that he's going to be banished so Sawyer starts trying to get on everyone's good side.
The Good: Kate's flashbacks were fine. It was nice to get an explanation as to why her mom screamed for help back in "Born to Run". The conversation between Kate and Diane is well done, and I appreciate how the episode frames Kate's view of her actions (noble and justified) against Diane's (selfish and criminal). It's also good to see Cassidy again in the flashbacks, and having her meet Kate is very unexpected and leads to them developing an interesting connection which we may see come up again (see: The Unknown).
The island storyline had some moments too. The Juliet/Kate dynamic is unique and there are some good moments from their time in the jungle, particularly everything involving the smoke monster which remains one of the show's most engaging mysteries (see: The Unknown). The B-story is a ton of fun as Hurley cons Sawyer and gets him to be nice. It's funny and entertaining, especially considering how invested we are in both Hurley and Sawyer. Buried beneath all the fun is a good story of Sawyer learning to be a leader which does feel worthwhile.
The Bad: Unfortunately much of this episode feels completely pointless. I don't know why so many episodes this season have been filler but it has made many episodes feel completely inconsequential. This is one of those episodes. The only important event that happens is that the others leave the barracks. Then Kate and Juliet end up in the jungle and the plot of the episode is just them walking back to the barracks so everyone can leave together. It's all so skippable and I feel like if we skip from Kate being gassed to everyone else waking up, we miss nothing from the story outside of minor mystery building with the smoke monster. Additionally, Sawyer's story ends up being pointless too. He seems to be set up as a leader, but with Jack, Kate and Sayid on their way back to the beach, he won't be a leader anyways.
The Juliet and Kate drama was flat and completely uninteresting. Instead of developing the characters at all, the show inexplicably decides to spend their time talking about Kate's non-romance with Jack which is really dull and I found myself completely bored by all of it. The love triangle stuff has always been one of the show's weakest points. Even the Kate/Jack scene wasn't good in this episode. Typically Jack and Kate's scenes have bordered on having too much melodrama but have had enough depth to remain compelling. But here it goes way too far and their scene just doesn't work because it feels like it's trying to hard to make us feel Kate's guilt for messing things up with Jack. Unfortunately the episode doesn't succeed at connecting my emotions to Kate's.
The Unknown: Where are the others going? Why is Locke going with them? What are they going to do with him? Why did they leave everyone else behind?
Why was Juliet left behind? Are they actually abandoning her like that? Or is this some kind of a trap engineered by Ben? Why was Juliet antagonizing Kate so much if she wanted to be accepted into the survivors' camp? It feels like something is going on.
Did Dharma build the sonic fence to keep the smoke monster out? Why can't it go through the fence, or even over it? It seems that even the monster has some limitations. Also, the monster seemed to "scan" Juliet like it did with Eko back in "The 23rd Psalm". This is interesting. Does this mean that the monster is going to end up judging Juliet like it did with Eko?
Best Moment: I'll go with Kate speaking to her mother, it was one of the only scenes that I was invested in.
Character of the Episode: Sawyer.
Conclusion: This wasn't a good episode. There wasn't a lot to connect with, and the storylines felt both pointless and melodramatic. We've had 2 filler episodes in a row, this season needs to start picking up soon.
Summary: In flashbacks, Nikki and Paulo steal diamonds from a rich TV show producer but the diamonds make them grow apart. While on the island, Nikki is increasingly invested in finding the diamonds which makes Paulo paranoid that she doesn't care about him. Paulo finds them diamonds and hides them from her. Nikki finds out and paralyzes him with a spider but she gets paralyzed too. In the present, Hurley and Sawyer find Nikki and Paulo paralyzed but think that they are dead. They investigate to find out what happened but don't end up getting an answer. They end up burying Nikki and Paulo alive along with their diamonds.
The Good: This was a fun episode that tried something new. The characters of Nikki and Paulo hadn't done much before and weren't very well received so the writers chose to kill them off in what ended up being a pretty fun and creative way. This episode feels less like "Lost" and more like a murder mystery, which is a neat format break that allows the show to do something different in taking care of these two characters. Admittedly, the story for Nikki and Paulo is very well done. They're despicable people but are still human enough to understand and that makes this story resonate more than it should. By the end of the episode I understood their conflict very well and it was a little tragic to see their relationship fall apart the way it did. The final visuals of Nikki and Paulo being buried alive was pretty horrific and it felt like a suitably grim fate for the two of them, giving the episode a memorable conclusion.
What made this really stand out was the details. This episode was impressively well written and packed with foreshadowing, Easter Eggs and group interactions that impressed me. The foreshadowing in this episode was lovely. Nikki's comment about how guest stars always die at the start of the episode was fitting considering that she and Paulo were essentially just glorified guest stars themselves. I also appreciated the nod to them not wanting to end up like Boone and Shannon with the irony being that they ended up being buried on the island just like Boone and Shannon.
I was pleased with all of the callbacks. We got to see more footage from the crash that neatly integrated things like Boone searching for a pen, Ethan making an appearance and Dr. Arzt returning. The story allowed for these cameos to fit in organically so it isn't just meaningless fanservice. The episode also gave us some answers about the others when Ben and Juliet visited the Pearl (see: The Unknown). I appreciated that the survivors discussed some of the mysterious things that are going on, like the monster and Mr. Eko saying "you're next" when he died and what that meant. Furthermore, there was also some speculation on if Nikki and Paulo were in touch with the others which was another fun detail. Lastly, I was really happy to see Charlie making amends for attacking Sun back in "The Long Con". I'm glad that this storyline wasn't forgotten and it gave both Charlie and Sun some good moments in the episode.
The Bad: This episode was filler though and that does hurt its quality. It's fun to watch but the episode doesn't fit in at all with the overarching story and could easily be skipped without missing anything. If this was the pay-off for Nikki and Paulo, I think the show would have been better off if they just hadn't bothered introducing these characters at all. They just feel like a waste of time now. Even if the episode wasn't bad, Nikki and Paulo didn't end up adding anything to the story.
It seems farfetched that Nikki and Paulo would discover things like the Beechcraft and the Pearl and hear plans from Ben. What makes things especially bad is that the two of them told nobody about any of this which makes no sense. Surely they should mention these things right away! Instead it seems like they simply didn't care.
Nikki and Paulo's death has little impact because nobody else really seems to care that they died, especially Sawyer who continually messes up their names.
The Unknown: So the others knew about both the Pearl and the Swan. Why didn't they man these stations? Surely they could have taken both of them if they wanted, like they did with the Flame. Why leave these two? Did Ben simply not want to do experiments here? That makes no sense, especially considering that Ben hadn't even seen the Swan when he was first captured. Also, we learn that Ben was likely captured on purpose with the idea of manipulating Jack. Why did he make such a risky move? Who did he place in charge while he was captured?
Why was the smoke monster involved in Nikki being paralyzed? Did it condemn Nikki and Paulo to death the same way it condemned Eko?
Best Moment: Charlie confessing what he did to Sun was a powerful moment. It's nice to see Charlie making a conscious effort to redeem himself, knowing that his days are numbered. Even knowing that Sun would be angry at him, he doesn't make excuses but simply resigns himself to her judgement of him. It's a lovely piece of character growth.
Character of the Episode: I'll give it to both Nikki and Paulo, why not.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode overall. It was a lot of fun and was written very well, though it couldn't overcome the fact that this episode didn't need to exist and was the most filler episode of the show so far. Still, I had a fun time watching this and the score should reflect that.
Summary: In flashbacks, a depressed Locke is approached by Peter Talbot who suspects that his mother is marrying a con man, the same man who Locke donated his kidney to. Locke doesn't tell anything to Peter but goes straight to his father and tells him to stop ruining people's lives, ordering him to leave or he'll tell Peter's mother the truth. Peter turns up dead and Locke confronts his father who pushes him out of an eight story building, ending in Locke's paralysis. On the island, Kate, Locke and Sayid try to free Jack. Kate and Sayid are quickly apprehended, though Locke sneaks into Ben's room and inquires on the whereabouts of the submarine. After talking with Ben, Alex takes Locke to the submarine, where he promptly blows it up. However, this works in Ben's favour as both Jack and Juliet were going to leave shortly on the submarine. Locke is captured and Ben shows him that the island somehow brought Locke's father to the island, and he has been imprisoned by the others.
The Good: This is a terrific episode of drama. This episode continues the trend of "Lost" departing from its slower paced, character-driven format in favour of more exciting and dramatic scenes with a sense of suspense always lingering behind every scene. Quite literally every moment in this episode is superb and adds to the story being told, providing us a masterclass of an episode that absolutely nails the storytelling, the twists and the character development.
I'll start with the wonderful story we got in the flashbacks. For once, the flashbacks told a story worth telling as we discovered what put Locke in the wheelchair. We get to see once again that Anthony Cooper took everything from Locke. He took his kidney, he took his father figure, he took his relationship with Helen and now he's taken his ability to walk. It's so heartbreaking for Locke because this really feels like the last nail in the coffin. When we catch up with Locke, he's horribly depressed with very little going well in his life. All he had left was a final chance to go back to his father and get back at him for what he did. Locke had learned from before and wasn't about to let his desire for a father figure consume him. Instead, he just didn't want other people to suffer the way he has. But even then, he's still a complete sucker and totally falls for Anthony's manipulations yet again, leaving him a broken shell of a man by the end of the flashbacks. The final sequence with a dejected Locke being put into a wheelchair by the chipper physiotherapist is heartbreaking television, and is easily the most powerful moment we have seen in flashbacks since Desmond's meltdown in season 2.
The flashbacks even tie into Locke's island story, which is something that hasn't been very common this season. Just like in the flashbacks, Locke tries to take control of his life on the island, and all of his efforts all end with the same result: yet another manipulation. But island Locke is a changed man, and the episode takes the time to explore him and his mysterious motives in depth. We learn that his plan is to destroy the submarine because he believes that it's cheating for the others to be able to leave the island and come back at will. At least that's what he tells Ben, but we learn by the end of the episode that this isn't the whole truth. Learning about the extent that Anthony has ruined Locke's life gives us a perfect reason why Locke doesn't want to leave the island outside of being put back in the wheelchair. He's afraid of his father. He doesn't have much left, and nothing scares him more than the idea that what little he has can be taken away. So he enjoys his time on the island precisely because of the isolation. He's happy to have broken free from the rest of the world because now he can actually do whatever he wants without the fear of being stepped on. The submarine represents a chance for Locke to return to the world, and not wanting to do that, Locke is more than happy to blow it up and ensure that there's no way off this island. It's a lovely bit of character writing that serves as the icing on the cake for what was a tense and exciting episode.
The drama on the island built up so well. The highlights of the episode were certainly the scenes between Locke and Ben. The two had such a wonderful dynamic together and their scenes came together perfectly. The acting from Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn was simply stellar, and the dialogue written for the characters was somehow even better. The atmosphere was electric whenever they were talking, and the connection that their conversation had to the deeper themes and plot of the show made everything feel must-watch. The rest of the episode holds up well too. The entire episode is dedicated to the attempt to save Jack and blow up the submarine, allowing the episode to naturally build tension. As the episode progresses, there are plenty of tense moments, like Locke hiding in the closet or the others capturing both Kate and Sayid. It's very exciting television that's easy to enjoy, and the added layers of storytelling make it even better.
There are a lot of other really strong moments. I enjoyed the Kate and Jack conversation, and I especially liked how they paralleled the conversation they had back in "I Do". Rousseau got a very nice little moment as she got to look at her daughter's face for the first time in years. Ben had an outstanding episode all around as he manipulated Locke before lying through his teeth to Jack and Juliet, knowing full well that they wouldn't be going anywhere. Lastly, the ending of the episode is spectacular. Anthony appearing on the island is a wonderful twist that completely caught me off guard (I thought the episode would go the generic route and end without showing us what Locke saw in the room - I'm very pleased the writers resisted the temptation to do this). Not only does this propel the magical forces of the island forwards in a significant way, but this also sets Locke up with a terrific conflict as he's not going to be able to escape the threat of his father anymore. He'll have no choice but to face his past and get over it if he wishes to continue living his new life.
The Bad: Nothing I'll call bad. This was one of the show's most consistent episodes yet.
The Unknown: How did Ben end up getting sick? Did he do something that angered the island? Is there some meaning to this?
How do the others get electricity and plumbing? Ben's line about the hamsters was hilarious, but I'm curious if this will actually be answered.
Where is this magic box? How did it bring Anthony to the island? When did he get there? What have the others done with him? Did they know who he was? I have so many questions about that ending.
Who is Richard? He seems to be a higher ranking other, so does he have a particular role?
Best Moment: So many of the Ben/Locke conversation snippets could have been the best moment of the episode. My favourite has to be when Locke accuses Ben of cheating and not listening to the island's demands. A frustrated Ben is evidently hit hard by this accusation, and wonders how Locke could possibly think that know the island better than him after such a short amount of time. Locke then replies with the best line of the episode: "because you're in the wheelchair, and I'm not". A spectacular moment.
Character of the Episode: Locke.
Conclusion: This is "Lost" back at its absolute best. The drama, storytelling, acting and writing all came together perfectly to make the best episode of the season so far, an episode that completely reshapes the story with some excellent twists and also does some very worthwhile exploration of Locke, the show's best character. This was an absolute win, and a sign that despite some inconsistency, there is still much that this show can do to wow us.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.