Bloggers Bridget McGovern, Rajan Khanna, and Theresa DeLucci are back once again for this week’s Lost round table discussion. Everybody loves Hurley and everybody likes cheese. Important lessons to learn. Spoilers and links ahead.
Bridget: Maybe it’s a little unfair to say this episode felt like a letdown after last week, but it didn’t deliver on quite the same level. Then again, there’s plenty to talk about, and now that we have a reason to be invested equally in both realities, flashing sideways doesn’t feel like a lame distraction anymore. Also, it was nice to see Jorge Garcia get to show off his dramatic chops a bit—as likeable as Hurley is, being the show’s down-to-earth voice of the audience requires a certain mellow, and a certain amount of distance. This episode was all about Hurley engaging with more complicated emotions, becoming a leader rather than an observer, and taking an active part in his own destiny.
In that sense, control (and lack/surrender of control) seemed to be the major theme of the episode: Smocke’s just hanging out at base camp, whittling a spear, or spike, or giant pool cue or something, sitting back and letting the other candidates come to him (which they eventually do). Ilana, the obvious authority figure for the other group, gets blown all to hell (perhaps because the Island was “done with her,” as Ben suggests?). Since he can’t go back and make up for what happened to Juliet, Jack has gotten all Zen—he is a leaf on Hurley’s wind...or something. Meanwhile, Richard is obsessed with destroying the plane, and takes Bitter Ben and Miles the Sexy Snark Machine with him, leaving Hurley in charge of everyone else. We went straight from “Everybody Loves Hugo” to Who’s the Boss? at some point.
Then there are the two Desmonds (the best part of the episode, for my money). On the Island, Des is eerily calm—as if he’s achieved enlightenment, or has some special knowledge of how events are going to play out. L.A. Desmond has become an agent of change, on a mission to make the other 815 passengers see through the fabric of their current reality. Island Des and Smocke don’t hit it off, and he gets throw down Ye Olde Electromagnetic Adventure Well. L.A. Des and Substitute Teacher Locke totally hit it off, at about 80 miles an hour. BAM.
So, what’s going on? Why does Desmond identify Smocke as John Locke? Is he wrong, is he lying…or does he know something? What’s with Locke’s obsession with people looking for answers? And why does Desmond’s lack of fear set him off? Was Desmond actually trying to kill Locke in the sideways reality? My gut feeling is that he wasn’t…besides, we all know there’s no one harder to kill than John Locke. That guy is like Michael Myers—he just keeps coming. Finally: now that we know what the voices are, can someone please tell me what’s going on with the random boys in the jungle? The smirky kid from last night was clearly different than the other ones we’ve seen, and his presence definitely unsettled Smocke. Then again, I guess I’d be pretty distracted too, if the entire cast of Lord of the Flies II: Piggy’s Revenge kept traipsing through my backyard…
Rajan: I actually didn’t feel like this was a letdown. Yes, it wasn’t quite a Desmond episode, but it had enough of Desmond in it to keep me happy and we got some answers, at least in regard to the whispers and a kind of hint of sorts with regard to the well. I was just waiting for Smocke to dump Desmond into it, of course, but I think all that happened is that Desmond got tossed a little closer to one of these electromagnetic pockets that we keep hearing about. Compasses spinning wildly and all that.
I see this season as being largely about Hugo’s journey. He went from being the down to earth comic relief to being, as of this episode, a leader. Someone willing to stand on his own and stick by his decisions. People have been theorizing that if Jack is destined to be the new Jacob, then Hurley is destined to be the new Richard, and I think this episode went a long way to supporting that idea, both in Hurley dissenting with Richard’s course (to the point of blowing up the Black Rock) and asking for, and getting, Jack’s trust.
Speaking of blowing up, that’s how Ilana goes out? I have to say that the show didn’t seem to know what to do with her. What was so special about her that Jacob had to go to her in the hospital? To get Sayid to the island? To tell the candidates that’s what they were? I never really took to her, but that still seemed a punk ass way to go out.
So we’re finally starting to see the two Earths bleed into one another. And yet again it’s love that bridges the gap. The Desmond of Earth-2 reminded me of Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven trying to guide Hurley to the right path without necessarily coming out and telling him what was up. But then he went all Kurt Russell in Death Proof on Locke in the end and I didn’t know what to make of it. I liked the mirror to what was happening in Earth-1. But I found myself wondering if the idea wasn’t to kill Locke, but somehow to jar him into remembering Earth-1. He didn’t have a love connection there, remember, so maybe the trauma would connect somehow? Maybe something to do with his injury? It looked like he might be remembering something there at the end.
And not to dwell on it, but I hereby declare this season to be Lost’s most cleavagey season ever.
Theresa: I liked this episode a bit more the first time I watched it, true. Maybe my Hurley-episode anticipation was too high and it wasn’t a great episode, just... decent. Ditto to a lot of what you said, Bridget. I wish the Desmond episode happened earlier in the season because the flash-sideways have more suspense now. Jorge Garcia was great and it’s always good to see Hugo’s mother. Some people never bought Libby being into Hurley, but I always did. Hurley is just an inherently likable and sympathetic character.
But I don’t buy that Jack has changed much. He’s still pretty much a self-absorbed egomaniac with a savior complex. Just tuned down a notched or two. I don’t think Hurley will be a leader for long. It was a bit dumb to go talk to Locke without much of a plan. When he finds out Locke wanted exactly those people there to complete his candidate collection, I bet Hurley will step down. And Jack will have a rousing speech at the ready and possibly cry some manly tears of self-righteousness.
I still don’t understand how they plan on flying off the Island anyway. That’s not a Cessna on the beach, it’s a commercial jetliner. My guess it will be an escape by submarine. But then that also means Lapidus is doomed since, to date, the only reason I can see him being on this Island is because the show needs someone to fly them off the Island since the first pilot died in the... pilot. The poor guy seems to speak once every two episodes. It’s a terrible under-use of Jeff Fahey.
I think the kids in the jungle are the young Jacob and young MIB. Why they are little ghost children though, I have no idea.
Finally, I’ve been watching Lost live this season and whoever picks the music for the promos is really great. First Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and now last night’s creepy song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? Nicely done.
Graham Annable’s Lost/Star Wars comics
Next week’s trailer uses our favorite creepy childhood memories of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to even creepier effect
A musical tribute to Libby and Hurley’s love: “I’m in Love with Mr. Cluck”
Minkowski. Hume. Pace: Driving Miss Desy
Theresa DeLucci is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Chizine. She’s eagerly awaiting the return of True Blood. Well, not so much the whole show, but at least Alexander Skarsgård in a tank top.
Rajan Khanna is a graduate of the 2008 Clarion West Writers Workshop and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Shimmer, GUD, and Steampunk Tales. He lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Chloe and Muppet.
Bridget McGovern is a lit nerd, a film geek, and a complete pop culture junkie. She enjoys David Bowie, roller coasters, and joyriding on the Wonkatania more than anyone probably should.