Just a week after delivering a spot-on, pitch-perfect love story focused on two characters we knew virtually nothing about, Lost set about the daunting task of telling the tale of Island’s resident estranged couple, the Kwons. Finally, we were poised for a reunion over three years in the making!
Well, not really, as it turns out.
Close, but no cigar
Yes, the episode failed to deliver on what’s sure to be a waterworks-inducing finale, but that that’s not to say the episode was completely without merit. The Island storyline was largely two-pronged and the beach residents arc struck me as the most significant. Sun had taken to her old patch of a garden, left all but desolate (save for one diligent tomato) since her exit with the rest of the Oceanic Six. Sun’s lashing out at Jack about destiny purpose really stuck with me as a nice little shout-out to the diverging philosophies that are emerging on the show at this point. There are those who still believe they are part of the larger Island plan and those who still believe they are part of some cosmic accident of unprecedented proportions. The events of “Ab Aeterno” would seem to indicate that that second group is walking with blinders on to the world, but it’s important for the show not to totally disregard the fact that some members of the party still need convincing.
All Sun is and has ever been concerned with is reuniting with her husband. It seems peculiar then that she passed up a red carpet opportunity to see him when Impostor Locke made himself known and said he had Jin waiting for her. The real wrinkle here is that for all the deceptive games we’ve seen the Monster play, using the memory of loved ones to sway the actions of others, he was actually telling the truth this time (technically, Jin had been kidnapped by Widmore at that point, but the Monster didn’t know that of course). Still, Sun balked at the chance and then took off the jungle, promptly knocking herself cold.
When she awoke, she was stricken with aphasia, and was no longer able to speak English even though she could understand it. Wikipedia informs me that this is a real thing, so that’s good enough for me. Around this time, a newly-invigorated Richard showed up, laying out his plan to incapacitate the Ajira plane in hopes of thwarting the Monster’s efforts to flee the Island and unleash holy hell on the general populace. Sun, again, was miffed. This led to one of my favorite scenes of the night, in which Jack approached Sun on the beach at night, soothing her worries about their impending mission of destruction. Sun revealed that she simply couldn’t follow Locke because she didn’t trust him. This was a terrific convergence of story arcs that compliment each other to a tee. Sun’s unease about her place on the Island or as a “candidate” washing with Jack’s settling into his renewed leadership role made for very compelling television.
The plot thickens
The Monster’s plot, that is. He made it clear that he was trying to collect all the candidates whose names remained on the wall because that is the only way he could ever complete his planned exodus. Complicating this plan was the seizure of Jin by Widmore. I thought we had seen the last of Room 23, so it was a refreshing geeky season 3 holdover for those of us who thought that whole Hydra Island arc had some redeeming qualities (all nine of us). Anyway, Widmore Disciple/Geophysicist Zoe (NBC might want to sue Lost for using Liz Lemon’s likeness on their network, just saying) implored for Jin to help her make some sense of the complex Dharma electromagnetism maps, but Widmore made it clear that there were bigger things afoot. Namely, that he found Sun’s camera in the wreckage of the crash, containing the first images of Ji Yeon that had ever met Jin’s eye. Daniel Dae Kim was a miracle worker in this scene, underplaying a moment that could have easily strayed into cheese. Following that, it was time for Jin to see the package. I’ll skip all the sexual innuendo and jump right to the big reveal that closed the hour.
The return of Desmond puts so many theories in play as far the endgame of the Island timeline. It’s my belief that the person coming to the Island that Jacob spoke of in “Lighthouse” is, in fact, Desmond and not Widmore. But seeing that Widmore was freighting Desmond there, allowing the former Other leader along was something of a necessary evil. It’s been explained to us that Desmond, for whatever reason, doesn’t operate by the same rules as anyone else when it comes to altering timelines and changing destinies, etc. This means that Desmond’s presence might bring us a bit closer to some cohesion between the Island story and the Sideways world. Which leads me to…
The more things change
What are we to make of the great season 6 flashsideways experiment? I’ll continue to say it will mean so much more when the entirety of the story is told, but right now I always sort of have this thought lingering in my mind that’s whispering “so what?” That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them. It’s become sort of fun to spot the incongruities from the timeline we know. Case in point, I really enjoyed Jin and Sun traveling as business associates while maintaining a romantic relationship behind closed doors. The high point of this arc was definitely the unbuttoning of the blouse scene, serving as such a refreshing counterpoint to the show’s early days when Jun insisted Sun leave herself completely covered even in tropical conditions. Cuteness and sexiness abounds. I also like the notion that their love is a rebellious one that shatters all the cultural mores as opposed to being confined by them.
While they remain fun from a thematic standpoint, the relevance of the actual goings-on in the sideways universe is anyone’s guess. Jin was sent to deliver the watch to Keamy, who was also supposed to be paid with Jin’s unclaimed airport cash to off Mr. Paik’s not-so-dutiful employee for sneaking around with his daughter. As we know from “Sundown” this didn’t pan out well for Keamy, who was bulleted to death by Sayid. Well, he remained alive long enough to sort of warn Mikhail (GREAT to see him again, by the way) that Jin had the drop on him. From there, all hell broke loose, Jin took out Mikhail with a killshot to, of all places, the eye. But not before his pretty associate took a bullet of her own. Oh, and she’s pregnant. I guess what’s compelling about that is that Sun could very well be in danger of dying, since there is no reason to assume anyone is safe in this whole new timeline.
Overall, I think we’d all feel comfortable filing this in the “good, not great” realm. The pieces continued to move into place for what will be the most anticipated network TV finale in recent memory. Some other thoughts
- Though it was pushed to the side, the Locke-ness Monster camp continues to intrigue. Among my favorite bits were Sayid’s proclamation of overt numbness and Locke’s delicate discussion of his plans with Claire, including how he is using Kate to draft the outlying recruits.
- The Monster/Widmore encounter on the beach played like an elaborate poker game, with each player being careful not to reveal too much about what they know of the other, firmly punctuated by Not-Locke’s assertion that the “war” that Widmore spoke of has finally arrived.
- Even with all this stuff going on, Ilana managed to win line of the night award when Ben inquired as to why she wouldn’t believe him: “Because you are speaking”
- The internet seems to be all in a huff about the V countdown clock that remained in the lower right corner of the screen for the duration of the episode. The Star-Ledger’s Alan Sepinwall, a fine Lost blogger in his own right, seems to be leading the charge against the clock gimmick. Me? Dare I say I didn’t really notice it after awhile?
So, that’s where I’m at. Are you growing impatient regarding the impending Kwon reunion? Do the showrunners run the risk of diminishing the moment’s impact by dragging it out for this long? Any other thoughts and comments are welcome, as always.