First things first: I’ll be referencing the preview for next weeks episode, so if you consider that kind of thing a spoiler, you may want to stop. Not that there were any major surprises or reveals in the preview… but there it is.
Okay, this isn’t easy to say, but I’ve got to say it: I agree with Kate. That’s something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. In traveling to the past the 06ers have entered a world of reckless insanity and fruitless trying-to-change-the-future madness. And so far every attempt has done nothing but ensure that very future that we have all come to know: Sayid’s attempt to kill Ben turns Ben into the sinister madman that Sayid was trying to get rid of; Daniel’s attempt to make a difference and keep adult Charlotte from returning to the island leads to her memories of the scary man who told her to stay away, and fueled her archeological career (and even though we didn’t see him tell her to stay away, I think it’s pretty implicit that that’s what happened.) And it was Mile’s reluctant admission to being Dr. Chang’s son, and his support of Daniel’s warning, that led to Dr. Chang forcing his wife and son off of the island – the very event that created Mile’s ill opinion of his father in the first place.
And now Jack is going to attempt to use Jughead to stop the incident, and I think we all know how that’s going to turn out.
And all because of Daniel. I’m still bitter about his death. The one person who could explain why the light scatters differently on the island and reveal the meaning and mechanics behind the time difference between the island and freighter… And his grief over Charlotte’s death led him to a kind of madness, where he recognized free will as the variable able to change the course of events, but failed to realize that, being in 1977, those variables had already been set in place. He was a fantastic character who should have been around for next season, and was given an inglorious death at the nadir of his logical and scientific reasoning.
His ideas inspired Jack to take action, and Jack used the grief of Eloise’s recent filicide to lure her into cooperation. Otherwise I think he would have had a difficult time in getting help. Why Richard tagged along is anyone’s guess, unless he knows that it’s a futile task and is working to ensure the inevitable future.
I have no reason for thinking this, but I’ve got a feeling that Sayid might not actually be in Jack’s corner. This runs contrary to all evidence (his attempt to kill Ben, the fact that the plane landing means that he could be with Nadia,) but there was something in his look after he emerged from the water that made me think that Jack better keep an eye on him.
That Phil’s a jerk, huh? Even Radzinsky looked shocked by his attack on Juliet. You can’t blame Phil for being bitter, though, considering that his good natured attempt to hear Jim’s side of the events documented on the tape was rewarded with a fierce punch and some time locked in a closet. Still, I’m a Juliet fan and it wasn’t very nice.
I was hoping that Jim had a plan. His deal to get Juliet and himself on the sub was a perfect way to buy some time, and the moment before he climbed into the sub hatch had what was undoubtedly the intended effect of making me think “NOW he’s going to do something bad-ass!” But his “Good riddance,” tossed all that out the window. But it seems that he’s not finished with the island yet. There’s nothing to indicate how or why Jim, Kate, and Juliet get off the sub, but it seems unlikely that the Dharma members would turn around to let them out of their own free will. I wouldn’t be surprised if the island intervenes and flashes them back to dry land. Either that or Kate’s going to spoil Jim and Juliet’s would-be happy (but boring) ending by doing something rash and forcing the sub back to the dock long enough for them to make an escape. Something extreme enough might make the Dharma folks force Jim and Juliet from the sub, whether they want off or not.
Hurley is still lugging around the guitar case, which means either that there’s something more important than a guitar inside or ghost Charlie (who I believe told Hurley to be on the plane) told him to hang on to the guitar because it would be needed in some way. I suppose that a reunion with a resurrected Charlie isn’t likely, though it’d be welcome by me.
If not ghost Charlie, then maybe Bram of the Children of Dharma got in touch with Hurley and somehow convinced him to be on Ajira 316. According to Eloise’s reasoning, this would improve the likelihood of the plane crashing on the island, plus put Ilana, Bram, and company closer to whatever their goal is. This doesn’t explain the guitar case, though.
Now we jump thirty years into the future!
Something’s up with Richard. I think he knows more about what’s going on than he lets on. He told Sun that he saw everyone she pointed out in the photo die, but this seems very unlikely. Maybe it looked to him like they died – maybe there was a giant blast or flash of the Incident occurring and he didn’t see them get swept away into the stream of time. Or maybe he’s not being honest. If he has some kind of deeper understanding of whatever is going on throughout this period of time he might have thought it necessary to lie to Sun.
I had no problems with Richard until this episode, but now I’m having a hard time knowing what to think about him. He seems to be autonomous from the leadership of the others, taking the side of the island when Widmore was angered over the saving of Ben’s life. If Jacob and the island are one, as I had thought, and Jacob/the island chose John as the new leader, why would Richard make the comment “I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble,” to Ben? If John was chosen by Jacob, wouldn’t John’s decision to take the Others to Jacob be what was wanted? Could Locke be throwing a wrench into an intricate and decades-spanning plan concocted by some combination of Jacob, the island, Widmore, Eloise, Ben, and Richard? He did seem genuinely surprised when Ben said that he had tried to kill John, and I really want Richard to be a good guy…
What about John? He’s certainly more confident than he has been in a long time (a welcome change.) There’s little doubt that he’s actually communing with the island, considering that he knew just when he and Richard needed to be at the downed plane. His accusation that Ben has never seen Jacob came as a surprise, further cementing the idea that Ben was never supposed to lead, but forcefully took the reins from Charles Widmore. We know that Locke has seen Jacob, if only for an instant, which supports him being the true chosen leader.
Even if Ben hasn’t seen Jacob, he knows that he exists. The flying objects in the cabin would be evidence enough, but we also have the ring of ash, which likely acts to confine Jacob to the cabin, and the fact that Ben shot Locke when Jacob revealed himself to him.
That was genuine shock on Ben’s face when Locke said that he was going to kill Jacob. And when Locke says “kill,” I believe that he means it in the literal sense. I don’t think that he’s turned on the person (or spirit) that asked for his help, but that he’s taking a cue from his own experience and intends to kill whatever fragment is left of Jacob in order for him to be reborn anew – whole and alive. This may have been the help that Jacob asked for. Maybe Locke’s resurrection wasn’t meant to serve so much as a rebirth for him (after all, he was communing with the island way back in season one,) but was meant to reveal to him what must be done for Jacob to be saved. He means to kill Jacob and have the Others witness it, so the true power of the island (and John himself) can’t be denied. The Other’s will no longer have to take it on someone else’s word that Jacob’s will is being followed.
One last thought, then I’ll stop: the season-ending “game-changing” twist! It’s not something that I’m going to speculate too heavily on, both because I believe that it’s most likely a useless task (because whatever happens will likely be way out of left field,) and because I don’t really want to watch expecting something to happen – I want to be as struck dumb as I was when I realized that bearded Jack was living in a flash-forward!
I do think that there is a slight mislead, however. The Incident will occur, and something will get all of our stranded castaways back into one time period, but I don’t think that the twist will directly involve any of the main characters. Whatever will happen will involve Ilana, Bram, and Lapidus, and will most likely have to do with whatever is in the crate. If the new arrivals are somehow involved with Dharma, then they may have access to machinery which could take advantage of the unique properties of the island.
I know that I said I wasn’t going to speculate too much, but I’ll end with this, only because it occurred to me as I was typing the above paragraph: Whatever is in the crate will utilize the properties of the island, perhaps linking with the device behind the frozen donkey wheel, and cause the final time jump of the season. Everyone currently on the island (with Ilana and crew) as well as the time-travelers in 1977 will find themselves together in one time period – a long time ago, under the shadow of a fully intact statue.
And there you go.