One of the comments I left from my March 24th, 2008 Lost episode review (Episode 4-8):
Call me stubborn, but until the series itself refers to him as one of the Oceanic Six — and by that I mean, within an episode, he is referred as such — I’m going to remain somewhat skeptical (based almost entirely on Jack’s testimony at Kate’s trial).
Well, consider this my official concession.
That being said, their math is still a little fuzzy. If you recall, at Kate’s trial Jack testified that eight people survived the crash, and two later died. At the press conference, the first part of this sentiment was repeated, with them once again noting that eight people survived the crash. Well, I can accept that Aaron is considered a member of the Oceanic Six based solely on clever marketing, but I still refuse to believe that he, as an unborn baby, is described as physically surviving the crash. After all, it has been explicitly stated that Kate gave birth on the island. So it’s established that he wasn’t physically on the plane. And those who might argue the “pro-life” mentality that he is still considered a person despite still being in the womb, that’s far too much of a stretch. I mean, does a pregnant woman have to say that two people will be staying in a hotel room, if she’s the only one spending the night there? Does a pregnant woman have to pay for two tickets when she goes to the movies? No reasonable person would say that an unborn baby survived the plane crash, without a follow up, “can you clarify that?” question immediately after.
So yes, I now concede that Aaron IS a member of the Oceanic Six. But I’m still skeptical regarding this whole “eight people originally survived” thing.
Anyway, since we have a two week reprieve from Lost, I figured I’d settle in and not rush with my column. Instead, I thought I’d sit back and really think about what I want to say. It should come as no surprise, of course, that I thought the episode was great, and it’s making me look really forward to the finale. In fact, it very nicely complimented the season one finale, where the flashbacks were shared by all of the main cast (which, if memory serves, was a first). Here, the flash forwards gave us a peak at the lives of the Oceanic Six and their integration back into society. As celebrities, no less. While season one’s send off revealed the castaway’s final moments before boarding the plane, this episode showed us the Oceanic Six’s first moments after being rescued.
The sudden more sympathetic portrayal of Ben has already been noted by myself and others, however I must also mention that I think my favorite part of the episode was the way it set up the possible alliance between survivors and The Others. In my opinion, part one of “There’s No Place Like Home” did a wonderful job setting this in place, particularly in the scenes with Locke, Hurley, and Ben, and the showdown between The Others and Kate and Sayid.
Much like last week, it appears as if Ben has come to terms with the fact that he must pass the torch over to Locke. Of course, there’s the distinct possibility that he’s setting him up for a trap, but when you compare the past two weeks to the episodes leading up to last year’s finale — where Ben shot Locke and left him for dead because he was so desperate to hold onto his position as leader — Ben’s behavior is quite striking. Creating a diversion for Locke by turning himself in was, like, damn near heroic.
During the first three seasons — particularly seasons one and two, and last year’s finale for that matter — could you ever have imagined the survivors of Flight 815 working side by side with The Others? I certainly wouldn’t have, and I definitely feel like this is where the finale is heading. In my view, the climax will be when Jack, Sawyer and Frank, Locke, Hurley and Ben, and Kate, Sayid and The Others simultaneously arrive at The Orchid (well, Locke, et al are already there). And, as a cohesive unit, these teams attempt to overcome the freighter soldiers. On that note, how awesome was the scene where the huge army of Others emerged from the forest with guns in hand? It was very reminiscent of when Jack, Sawyer, Locke, and Sayid went to rescue Michael and Walt, only to be cut off by Tom, who ordered The Others to “light them up!” to reveal how significant their clan truly is.
It was also pretty cool seeing Jack and Sawyer share some scenes again. These two have been kept apart for the better part of two seasons, now that I think about it. I also loved Sawyer’s concern over Hurley, and got a kick out of how nobody gives a damn about Locke’s well being (for good reason). Oh, and regarding that device wrapped around Keamy’s bicep: I’m going with popular opinion here and predicting that it detects his pulse. So, basically, if he gets killed, it disarms the explosives on the freighter.
Speaking of which. the tense reunion between Michael, Jin, and Sun was quite spectacular. I especially loved how Michael asked Sun to translate for him, only for Jin to coldly inform Michael that he understands just fine. It was an excellent way of showing Michael how much Jin has grown in Michael’s absence. Actually, it was a great way of showing how much things have changed, overall, since Michael left. It did get me thinking, though: Do Jin and Sun know about what Michael did? The only ones who explicitly know are Sayid, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, The Others, and (as we recently saw) everyone who stayed at the barracks. However, we never saw anybody tell everybody else “Oh yeah, remember Michael? Yeah, he killed Libby and Ana Lucia.” Of course, considering that you could cut the tension with a knife, I think it’s safe to assume that they know. What a great scene, though. It would have been disappointing if this reunion was avoided. I love how Michael seemed ESPECIALLY ashamed over what he had done in the presence of these two.
I also think it’s worth noting, in the midst of this whole “who’s more good, Daniel or Frank” debate, that both showed their willingness to rescue the survivors, even though they’re not supposed to. Frank had arranged for the people at the beach to find the helicopter so that he could fly them out, and Daniel started doing trips to the freighter. I’d also like to point out that when confronted with a seemingly very dangerous scenario — basically, get off the island or die — Daniel opted to rescue the castaways instead of just saving himself.
The flash forwards provided some neat little nuggets. Perhaps most notable is the confirmation that, in the future, Jack’s dad is indeed dead (seemingly bringing closure to the debate of whether or not Jack’s “why don’t you get my father?” comment in last year’s finale was just part of his drunken stupor), and he finally found out that Claire is his half sister. However, he got it from an unusual source. Indeed, he didn’t find out from Ben or his ghost dad (as I thought he would). Instead, Claire’s mother — who was attending Christian’s funeral — was the one who spilled the beans. This was an absolutely wonderful scene, one that put even more of the weight of the world on Jack’s shoulders, likely making him feel even more guilty for leaving all those other people behind.
It seems that Sun is a woman scorned, and she’s unleashing her wrath upon her father (and rightfully so!) Using her Oceanic settlement, she bought a controlling interest in her father’s company and defiantly told him that she blames him for what happened to Jin and that he WILL respect her. She has really become empowered since we first met her in the pilot episode. I think it’s fair to say that Sun and Jin may very well be the best developed characters on the series. On a side note, I totally want her to rename her father’s company from Paik (her father’s last name and her maiden name) to Kwon, as a salute to her husband. THAT would really stick it to her father, considering how lowly he thought of Jin.
I really don’t have all that much to say about Sayid or Hurley’s post-island stories, other than the fact that it was awesome seeing The Numbers again, but how sweet was it when they got off of the military helicopter and Hurley affectionately grabbed a lonesome Sayid to introduce him to his family? I really enjoyed that genuinely sweet, touching scene.
Another thing that I find extremely intriguing is the fact that the Oceanic Six are apparently off of the island for more than a couple of years. Consider that they are rescued in the immediate future (after all, Sun is still pregnant and Aaron is still a baby), yet in some of the other flash forward episodes (particularly the ones with Jack and Kate), we see that Aaron is an infant, likely at least two or three years old. That means that, provided there’s no time travel/vortex shenanigans, the Oceanic Six remain off of the island — and, presumably, everybody else remains stuck on the island — for a few years. Considering the crazy crap that has happened to these people in just three or four months, I can only imagine what they’re going through in the span of three somewhat years.
More than anything else, I think I’m intrigued by the circumstances surrounding their supposed rescue. For Jack to get himself rescued, but leave so many people behind, is quite possibly the most uncharacteristic thing for him to do. ESPECIALLY when you consider how seemingly obsessed he is with getting everybody off the island. And it’s clear that this isn’t a case of “let me get off the island now, so I can send rescue later” (which was the case with the whole submarine escape last season). On top of that, who is making them lie about what happened? It can’t be the freighter people, because Abbaddon — who works for Widmore — was attempting to get Hurley to reveal whether or not anybody left on the island was still alive. And it’s presumably not Ben and The Others, since Sayid seems very surprised that Ben had the capability to get off of the island in the future, and they clearly have some sort of alliance. So, who came up with the lie, and who’s making them tell it?