Wow. What an episode. I’m still a little choked up over the ending. I have to say that I didn’t see that coming. Wow.
All right. This will likely be a much shorter review than usual and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, I’m out of town this week and I have a very limited window here to try and get this typed and published. Second, because I’m away from home, I haven’t had the chance to absorb this ep on the same level I normally do; typically I watch the episode once — “just for me” — and then I’ll rewatch it as I type my review. Since I’m away from home (and the luxuries of my DVR), I’m going basically from memory here based on one viewing. So here goes.
The Sideways was awesome; full of Twilight-Zone-esque parallels and great dialogue between Locke and Jack. I was taken with Locke’s guilt over his father’s injured condition. In the Sideways reality, John Locke feels that he deserves to be in a wheelchair, a radical distinction from the Locke we’ve come to see in the Island reality. It was always Locke’s refusal to believe he was simply a wheelchair bound victim that drove his Island iteration. But now we see why Sideways Locke refuses to believe; his hopefulness has been replaced with guilt. Jack’s line: “I think you’re a candidate” gripped me, too. Did you catch Locke’s words as he was coming out of his sleep? “Push the button. I wish you would’ve believed me.” Clearly, he’s having some sort of dream-like awareness of his Island existence. But did Desmond fail here to bring Jack and Locke to their moment of revelation? I doubt it, but with these two, it seems to be more of a slow boil. Always with these two, right? This is honestly the first time this season that I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sideways world. I’m really, really anxious to see how these two worlds / timelines are going to merge, if at all.
According to an EW interview with Cuse and Lindelof, the deaths of Sayid, Sun, & Jin were meant to leave no doubt in our minds as to the villainous nature of John Locke / MIB. Clearly, he’s been pulling a long con on the castaways, with the intent of killing them all. We’re still left to wonder what killing the castaways really proves or accomplishes. I suppose if he can somehow kill the candidate for Jacob, then he wins in their Island-diety cosmic struggle. But how are our castaways supposed to kill / harm Smokey? The only thing I can think of is the bag of Jacob ash that Hurley should still have with him (if it isn’t on the bottom of the ocean now along with Sun and Jin). Maybe the best they can hope to do is contain Smokey rather than kill him.
I have to say I expected some kind of heroic demise for Sayid. His arc this season has been fairly tragic; after being “infected”, it was believed that Sayid had completely “crossed over” to the dark side. And he did, or at least it seems, or at least it seems he did so for a while. But Hurley’s comment from a few weeks back — something like “you can always come back from the dark side; you know, like Anakin” — was probably meant to foreshadow his heroic sacrifice. Sayid has always been one of my favorite characters; the torturer whose self-inflicted wounds are far more torturous than anything his foes could heap upon him. While he’s been wrestling with not being able to “feel anything” here as the series winds down, he acted in a primal, selfless moment last night to save the lives of his fellow castaways. For that, he goes down as a hero and hopefully, he’s earned the redemption he’s longed for over the course of the series.
But I wasn’t prepared for the kick to the gut that followed his death. Sun and Jin — long separated lovers — becoming the series’ “Romeo and Juliet” (as the actor who plays Jin referred to them). It was only one episode ago that these two were tearfully reunited on the beach of Hydra Island. But their death — Jin’s refusal to leave Sun — was beautiful in my opinion. I know others were more angry about it, which I understand. It does bother me that Ji Yeon is now an orphan; and for all practical purposes, so is Aaron, at least in the Island timeline. But it would’ve been a greater travesty for Sun or Jin to survive without the other. After being separated for so long (and across the expanse of time), it was altogether appropriate for them to go down with the ship. But yeah, I was really hoping for a happy ending for them.
Question: Where in the world are Ben, Richard, and Miles? I can’t remember if they had access to any C4; I don’t think they did. So I’m guessing the detonation device Locke found on the plane was actually put there by Widmore. But maybe not. Remember, Widmore is the one who sent a freighter full of C4 to the Island the first time, so we’re probably meant to associate last night’s C4 with Widmore. But Ben and the boys have been conspicuously absent throughout all of this end-game drama. I expect them to make some sort of eleventh hour rescue appearance or something, perhaps even next week. Either way, I want some more Benjamin Linus. After offing three of our favorite cast members, don’t we at least deserve that?
What are your thoughts? What did you think of the episode? I’ll be checking back in often and we can discuss in the comments. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.