Well, we’ve reached Season Six’s most explosive episode to date. I’m talking Black-Rock-detonating, pieces-of-Ilana-on-your-shirt-dude explosive. Let’s get right to it:
The Sideways story of the episode is, of course, Hurley-centric. Nice cameo by Dr. Chang in the opening shot. Other than that, I wasn’t too enthralled by the Sideways story. I’ve never really cared for Libby, at least not as much as the general LOST populace seems to care about her. So her appearance in Hurley’s Sideways was big woop in my opinion. But it was cool to see Hurley’s “aha” moment when they kissed and he instantly downloaded the memories of their Island experience. I have to wonder: did he download their Island experience in its entirety, or just the short time he shared with Libby? If he downloaded the whole thing, that means he would have an awareness of what is happening in the Island present…at least you’d think he would. Now we have to wonder what Sideways Hurley is supposed to do with his life now that he has this information. But maybe he doesn’t do anything. Maybe this is Hurley’s “Happily Ever After”, to borrow the title of last week’s episode. And maybe that’s Desmond’s ultimate role in the Sideways world: he gets to play cosmic Santa Claus, gently nudging others to fulfill their destiny and achieve their own version of “happily ever after”. If that’s true, does that make Desmond the Sideways reality’s version of Jacob? Instead of bringing people to the Island in order for them to fulfill their destiny, is Desmond the universe’s “course correction”, a cosmic way of ensuring that people fulfill their destiny, even in a world where the previous locus of destiny fulfillment lies at the bottom of the ocean?
On the Island, Hurley continues to converse with dead people, ghosts who are “more reliable than living people” in Hugo’s mind. This time, Michael’s specter visits Hurley and cautions him against the plan to blow up the airplane. Michael’s argument has one primary appeal: people are listening to you now, Hugo. You need to think like a leader. It sure feels like Hurley is being groomed to take on a huge leadership role here in the end game. Which is really surprising, really weird, but I like it nonetheless.
Ilana. Didn’t see that one coming. Her Artz-like death bothers me; Ben articulates well the reason why: Jacob said he needed her to come back, to provide protection for our castaways. She supposedly trained for years for this moment. And then, in the blink of an eye, she was gone. It all seems so haphazard and random. It makes me wonder if Jacob knows what he’s doing or not. And whether he’s actually benevolent. Ilana’s dying words: “That thing is evil. And God help us if it ever gets off this Island.” Following Ilana’s death, Hurley goes through her things, finding the bag where she kept some of Jacob’s ashes. Not sure how that’ll factor in, but I expect it’ll be important. But how did Hurley know those ashes were Jacob’s?
In the aftermath of the Black Rock explosion, I realized just how much Nestor Carbonell (Richard) looks like Chris Siedman. Non Church of Christ readers, that reference will mean nothing to you.
We had the appearance of another little boy while someone was trekking with Locke through the forest; first it was Sawyer, now Desmond. Different boys in each, though; Sawyer’s was blond, Desmond’s had much darker hair. Are these manifestations of Sawyer and Desmond as young boys? I’m guessing not, because (obviously) they would recognize themselves if they were. But what else could it be? Is this kid just another “lost soul” or whatever?
The WHISPERS! One of the show’s longest standing mysteries was explained tonight. In his conversation with Michael, Hurley unpacks a mythological mystery that dates back to the earliest part of Season 1. Here’s their exchange:
Hurley: “You’re stuck on the Island, aren’t you?”
Michael: “Because of what I did.”
Hurley: “And there are others out here like you, aren’t there? That’s what the whispers are?”
Michael: “Yeah? We’re the ones that can’t move on.”
Personally, I’m satisfied. Some will clamor for more information: Is the whispering community made up of ghosts? Lost souls? People in purgatory? Who knows. I’m cool with a little mystique because the mystery has been clarified to an acceptable degree.
Jack’s moment of surrender. My favorite moment in the whole episode. By his own admission, Jack has a hard time “learning to let go.” From the moment we first saw him burning bodies out of the wreckage of 815, Jack has been a chronic Mr. Fix It. But not anymore. We first see this as the group is deliberating to whether or not to go pursue more dynamite. jack doesn’t think it’s a good idea, until Hugo steps up and says, “Trust me, Jack.” But more importantly, Jack chooses to follow Hurley on their journey to go talk to Locke. It seems that Jack was constantly “trusting” Hurley in the Island world. I hate to admit it, but I’m feeling more and more that Jack’s “let go / go with the flow” personality shift may ultimately lead to his demise. I’m wondering if he’ll end up being “a sacrifice the Island demanded”.
Interesting contrast between Sideways Hurley and Island Desmond. When prodded by his mother as to why he doesn’t date, Hurley says, “I’m not scared.” In reality, he is scared of dating because he doesn’t consider himself worthy of someone’s affection because of his appearance. Back in the Island world, Locke detects a lack of fear in Desmond just before he tosses him down the well shaft. Clearly a healthy sense of fear would’ve served Des well, but then again, when did Desmond ever have reason to be afraid of John Locke? Can Smokey detect fear? He seemed perplexed that Desmond wasn’t afraid. Not sure what to make of all of that. And in their initial conversation after Locke had cut Desmond’s ropes, Locke extends his hand out to Desmond to help him up. As best I can recall, Locke has been extending his hand to a lot of people lately, but Desmond is the only one I can remember who actually took it. Of course, we know this turned out to be a bad move. But now I wonder: will Desmond have the chance to “turn the donkey wheel” down there? I sure hope not.
Is the fact that Sayid didn’t kill Zoe last week proof that he hasn’t completely “turned”? I know he told Locke he couldn’t “feel” anything recently, but maybe all is not lost for our tortured torturer.
I am REAAALLLLYYYYYY worried about the look on Locke’s face when he noticed Jack striding into camp. It was a look of surprised satisfaction, like when the mouse you’ve been wanting to catch for so long finally decided to start sniffin’ the cheese. (That’s the most ridiculous sentence I’ve written in a long time, but you get the point.)
The episode concluded with what I think may be the most significant development of the episode: Desmond’s hit-and-run attempt to murder Sideways Locke. Is this proof that Sideways Desmond still doesn’t understand who MIB is and that he’s assumed the form of Locke on the Island? Or does this mean that Desmond believes he can somehow thwart Island Locke / MIB’s plans by claiming the life of Sideways John? Or is there some other factor in play here? Is Desmond doing this because of some nefarious “you’re supposed to do this” prodding by Eloise or Widmore? Who knows?
Did Hurley have a “mirror” moment in the Sideways? If so, I missed it.
Sawyer, spoken to Locke: “You talk to wood now?”
Hurley: “I don’t have to prove anything to you, Richard. You can either come with me or you can keep trying to blow stuff up. Your call, dude.”
Hurley: “So, how do you break the ice with a smoke monster?”