SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING! BLAH BLAH BLAH SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING THIS AND SPOILER WARNING THAT! DON’T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T KNOW JACK! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! OKAY? OKAY.
Reunions never last long on Lost. Packs of people come together after protracted periods of being apart, and then immediately fracture into new pods and cliques. The mantra is “Live Together, Die Alone,” and yet our heroes have always kinda sucked at the community thing. Will the castaway clan ever learn to live as one big happy family of man? Is our “You All Everybody” idealism but a crock? I despair! And so it went on last night’s episode that Fake Locke and his flock of flunkies absorbed the “Let’s give peace a chance” Fab Four of Jack, Sun, Lapidus and Hurley. For a few fleeting moments, the Island super-group was back together. Then Smokey sent Sayid one way (to go kill Desmond in his well), and then Sawyer sent Jack that way (to help him execute the submarine escape plan), and then Jack sent everyone into a tizzy by deciding to go solo. Feeling the pull of Island destiny on his soul and trusting his gut to go with it, Jack literally jumped ship, i.e. Desmond’s yacht, the Elizabeth, the one he got from Libby for free. Consequently, Doc Shephard missed out on the story’s most emotional reunion. At last! Jin and Sun! Their crazy-cosmic marital separation is finally over! But before the tears could even squeeze out of our eyes, Zoe, the enemy of love (and compelling line readings), announced that the beginning of Charlie Widmore’s War. The castaways were forced to assume the execution position and rockets were fired in the direction of The Monster. The explosions got us a cool Mission Impossible 3-ish f/x shot of Jack getting awkwardly flung at the camera and left him dazed and confused in the care of Fake Locke, whom I shall heretofore refer to as The Man-Thing for reasons I may or may not explain to you. “Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay,” The Man Thing said. “You’re with me now.” We’ll see how long their partnership lasts.
“The Last Recruit” didn’t blow me away. Some of it really bugged me, actually, but it was a necessary staging episode for the final act of the season (and the series!), and I won’t judge it too harshly. But can I just say that the Lapidus line “Looks like someone got their voice back” may have been the most cornball moment in the history of Lost?!? (Like I said: not too harshly.) On the positive tip, I did appreciate the Burt Reynolds gag directed at Lapidus. A Smokey and the Bandit interpretation of the episode is forthcoming. And there were plenty of meaty things in this busybusybusy outing to chew and savor. Like Jack’s torchlight chat with The Man-Thing. (Mystery Resolution Alert! Christian Shephard has always been a Smokey apparition!) (But did you believe Mr. M-T when he made the claim?) Sayid’s wellside conversation with Desmond also captured my imagination (do you think Mr. Designated Assassin executed his orders?), as did Sideways Sun’s freak out over seeing Sideways John Locke and the set-up for the next episode: Sideways Jack’s scramble to save Sideways John’s life. That passing reference to Locke’s obliterated dural sac was a nod to the classic moment in the pilot when Jack recounted his most harrowing moment as a young doctor. It led me to wonder if Lost is about to come full circle and give the Jack an encounter with mind-clouding fear — in both worlds. Count to five, folks: I think things are about to get scary…
And speaking of terrifying monstrosities, my recap is currently under construction in the mad scientist lab of my mind. I promise a slightly more focused epic than the one I posted last week. (Good news for you: no literary references to send me down pretentious wormholes of thought!) And who knows? I might actually post this one before Thursday! Until then, the message boards are yours.