Lost – Episode 6-13 Revisited PART 1

So since Lost isn’t new this week (booo!) I thought I’d do TWO Revisited columns. The first will focus exclusively on a rather critical e-mail I received (and for once, it wasn’t about me!) and next week’s installment will be the traditional compilation of thoughts, comments, and theories, as well as my responses. Many of the usual contributors to my Revisited columns haven’t sent me their thoughts, so this gives those slackers (ha!) another week to get to me.

So let’s take a look at this e-mail, courtesy of Colin Green, who I presume to be a new reader as I don’t recall ever receiving a message from him before. Strap yourself in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Jack (to Locke): “I don’t have any idea what you are.”
Locke: “Sure you do.”

Jack is fine with this answer.

I suppose that depends on your interpretation of Locke’s answer and Jack’s expectations. I took Locke’s “sure you do” to mean that Jack already knows that he’s the Smoke Monster. If that’s also what Jack took it to mean, why wouldn’t he be fine with it? There is perhaps more at stake here than understanding the mechanics of what this cloud of smoke is. So I didn’t really see it as a “I’m satisfied with that response.” It was more like, “Okay, let’s get to business.”

The Smoke Monster says he appeared to Jack as his father. Why? Because Jack needed to find water. I hope that’s good enough of an explanation for you because that’s as good as it gets on Lost.

If you decide to take that answer to its absolute most literal meaning, I suppose you’d have a problem with it. But not everything needs to be spelled out. The Smoke Monster was merely explaining to Jack that he disguised himself as Jack’s father in order to bring him to a place he needed to be. He was just using the water instance as an example of this. But it was meant to represent the idea that he manifests himself as these dead loved ones in order to lead people to a certain destination, whether it’s geographical, spiritual, or whatnot. I didn’t even think this was an especially complicated or deep reading.

And I think your comment stating that this is as good as it gets on Lost is a bit unnecessary, considering that the previous week Hurley basically looked right into the camera to confirm that the whispers are the ghosts of many of the people who have died on the island. But if you really want to see a guy sitting in a room and just going on a 10 minute wordy explanation for every little thing that has happened, I invite you to watch the ending of the third Matrix movie.

The Smoke Monster to Jack: “John Locke wasn’t a believer Jack. He was a sucker.” Man, do I know that feeling.

Claire has a heart to heart with big brother Jack. Strangely, she’s not acting crazy anymore. Locke must have slapped the crazy out of her a few episodes ago… or maybe the actors really have no clue how to play these characters because even they have no clue what’s going on.

I don’t think Locke had anything to do with Claire’s behavior. Actually, her mental adjustment occurred after she had a heart to heart with Kate. In the few times we’ve seen her since then, I’d say she’s been noticeably less crazy. But I will say this: If you didn’t find her creepy and unsettling as all hell during that brief talk, then I don’t think we were watching the same scene.

Locke, Jack, and Claire return to camp from their chats in the jungle. It’s now daylight. Wow. Those were some long chats.

I’ll admit that I didn’t notice this, but I’ll take your word for it. And yes, that is some unusual editing, and while it’s certainly a fair criticism, I’m not sure it’s something to get hung up over either.

Sawyer is in the police station with Kate. Kate tells Sawyer that he let her go previously because he went to Australia and didn’t want anyone to know he was there. Kate is a runner, an expert tracker, and a psychic.

I wouldn’t say she’s a psychic. I would just say she’s intuitive. She had a gut feeling about something that she didn’t think added up, and she took a guess. And she was right. That certainly doesn’t make her psychic. I didn’t even find it unbelievable, given the context of the series.

Poor man’s Tina Fey who previously proclaimed she was a geophysicist not a mercenary, is now a tough as nails negotiator. Apparently Widmore now thinks he can kill the Smoke Monster with a mortar round… although previously Desmond was the only answer to save the world.

Well first off, the Smoke Monster presumably can be killed. He insinuated such when he was talking to Sawyer and confessed that he doesn’t want to be killed. He’s also seemingly the equivalent to Jacob, who we also know can be killed. So I didn’t have an issue with the mortar round.

And we don’t know enough about what Desmond is rescuing them from to fairly call this a contradiction. Presumably Desmond’s mission is to make the sideways characters aware of their island lives, which, I would venture to guess, is a crucial move in this war with the Smoke Monster. And for all we know, Widmore may have been trying to kill Smokey’s non-candidate followers.

And I didn’t find Zoey all that tough. And she’s been acting as Widmore’s representative since his return to the island, so I didn’t find her appearances this episode all that out of the ordinary.

Llana is a lawyer of course. Desmond knows Llana somehow and somehow has been following Claire and somehow gets Claire and Jack together for the reading of their father’s will. Don’t ask any questions. Just go with it.

I find these “somehows” a little silly. I mean, we KNOW Desmond is investigating the people who were on the island and on Flight 815. The appearance of Ilana as Desmond’s lawyer was curious – and I did ask a question about it in my original review. Who said not to ask questions and to just “go with it” anyway? The series is constantly urging us to ask questions.

Locke tells Sawyer to go get the sail boat. Sawyer asks why they aren’t all going together. Locke says, “The bigger the group, the slower it moves.” I guess gravity has a greater effect on a large object thus slowing down the time that it takes it to move from point A to point B.

This complaint is just plain weak. The argument that a small group moves faster than a large one makes perfect sense. It has nothing to do with gravity. By nitpicking about something like this, you just make your other, more rational complaints lose credibility.

Sawyer decides he’s going to skip out on Locke and take the sail boat to Hydra island. He asks Kate if she knows how to sail the boat. Surprisingly she does. Runner, expert tracker, psychic, and sail boat captain. That’s our Kate.

Again, this is a silly complaint. Sawyer and Kate’s discussion about her coming to help him with the sailboat had absolutely nothing to do with sailing. He was asking her because she’s his closest ally, and he wanted to get her away from the Smoke Monster for his submarine escape plan. And besides which, we’re talking about sailing, not rocket science.

Meanwhile, over in the Flash Sideways… Sawyer and Miles go to arrest Sayid. Somehow they figure out that Sayid is at his brother’s house. Hey, these guys are good. Sayid almost gets away but Sawyer tricks him with the old garden hose trip routine because it’s much cooler than just yelling freeze when Sayid walks through the back door.

Again, not much of a stretch here. They found out Sayid’s name, discovered he doesn’t live around here but that somebody with the same last name does. They figure out they’re brothers. I wouldn’t say that makes them “good,” just competent police officers. And you’re complaining because they weren’t arrested the way you’d like?

Here’s where things get interesting… and by interesting I mean really dumb. Sawyer pulls Jack aside and actually says the line, “Listen up because I’m only going to say this once.” I would make an Allo Allo reference here but only a couple people in the UK would get it.

You are correct about that, because I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

So Sawyer easily convinces Jack to not go with Locke… just as easily as Hurley convinced Jack they should go see Locke… just as easily as Jacob convinced Hurley to leave the temple because Locke was coming to kill them…. just as easily as Michael convinced Hurley to get Jack to go see Locke. Don’t think about any of this too much or your head will hurt and you’ll start speaking Korean. Sawyer says he has a deal with Widmore and all this is good enough for Jack. Sawyer tells Jack to round up all the cool kids and sneak away from Locke.

“Easily” must be the new “somehow,” because you’re throwing around the word willy-nilly. Sawyer DIDN’T easily convince Jack to do anything, because Jack ultimately disagreed with the plan so much that he jumped out of a moving boat. So I don’t know how you could say that everything Sawyer said was “good enough for Jack,” because clearly it wasn’t. And Hurley following based solely on faith has been completely consistent with his character. But you’re also conveniently ignoring when he asks follow up questions and asks for explanations, which he does do from time to time.

And your comment telling us not to question anything is pretty baseless. The writers clearly wanted us to notice Jack’s willingness to follow Hurley, hence their discussion in the jungle. Jack “easily” getting talked into doing things has been a major story point this season.

Sayid goes to the well to kill Desmond. Locke can’t do it because there are some vague island “rules” that help hide the fact that Lindelof and Cuse have no rules. The depth of the well has descreased quite a bit.

Okay, the depth of the well is a fair remark. THAT I did notice. I really don’t have an explanation other than the fact that the writers probably wanted it to seem impossibly deep when Locke through him down there, but wanted Sayid to be able to see his face when he was ordered to kill him. Not that that excuses a blaring continuity gaffe.

But I don’t have any problem with Smokey asking Sayid to do his killings. Why did you have a problem with this? He’s been having Sayid do his bidding since they paired up. He had Sayid send his warning to those in the Temple. He had him kill Dogen and Lennon. He had him spy on Widmore. He had him apprehend Desmond. Honestly, aside from his Temple raid, the Locke Ness Monster has been all about talking and manipulating people, while Sayid and others have done the dirty work. This was completely consistent with their relationship thus far.

And while we don’t know everything about these rules, we do know that Smokey can’t kill Jacob, and we can pretty fairly piece together that he can’t kill the candidates. How does this equate to the creators “having no rules”?

Desmond asks Sayid what he’s going to tell Nadia he did to see her again. Desmond words seem to touch the tiny zombified heart of Sayid- a complete rip off of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We’re left wondering if Sayid really killed Desmond. The tension is killing me. Really.

So the concept of a once dark hearted person seeing the light based on the words of a kind hearted person was originated by Dr. Seuss?

Claire, who has a major abandonment issues, is abandoned by the cool kids but makes a crazy face and follows them through the jungle to the sail boat. Claire confronts them, Kate tries to do some dramatic acting, unfortunately is not shot in the heart, and everything is cool before you know it… or is it? Jack ruins everything when he decides to start thinking. Jack thinks maybe they should stay on the island because Locke wants them to leave the island. I’m reminded of a certain incident involving the detonation of a nuke. We’re not going to help detonate the nuke, we’re getting on the sub, now we’re going to help so we’re getting off the sub, now we’re not helping, now we are because I saw you look at her, hey maybe we shouldn’t do this because it could be the thing that caused the incident.

You’re a bit all over the place here. Are we still talking about Jack jumping in the water, or are we talking about last season? Whatever the case may be, a moment ago you were complaining about all these characters “easily” getting talked into things. Now you’re upset that they’re thinking about their decisions?

And your criticism seems to have more to do with your dislike of the Kate character and your distaste for Evangeline Lily’s acting. That’s your personal preference, but you not liking it doesn’t make it nonsensical.

The three major players in this drama are Locke/MIB, Widmore, and Jacob. No one has tried asking any of them any pertinent questions about what is going on. Our band of merry morons are in a life and death situation, have been told the fate of humanity is at risk, and they make decisions based on… what? It’s all contrived silliness to try and create tension and delay moving the plot anywhere. The characters are morons.

This is just not true. These characters are CONSTANTLY asking questions. Whether or not they receive answers is another thing. Widmore has come face to face with a number of central characters – Sawyer, Jin, Desmond, Smokey – ALL of whom have immediately rattled off numerous questions about how he got there, what he’s doing there, etc. It hasn’t exactly been, “Oh, you’re here? Lovely.” Further, do you recall Jack’s hissy fit when he arrived at the lighthouse and didn’t receive the answers he expected? Dude destroyed mirrors!

Nonetheless, they were thrust into this life or death situation, and they really have no choice but to make decisions based on what they know. It’s not as if they are able to say, “Wait, Jacob didn’t answer my question. I’ll just sit back and allow this chaos to go on around me. I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

The sail boat crew arrives at Hydra island and are met by Widmore’s all-purpose geophysicist/mercenary/Sayid’s nurse/negotiator/gun toting guard. She tells Sawyer the deal is off. Imagine that. Widmore is backing out of the deal. Sawyer should have made him pinky swear. Bad move con man.

And now the big moment no one has been waiting for. Jin pops up on the beach (because he’s apparently able to roam around freely) and is finally reunited with Sun. Years of “Where’s Jin” and “I must find my wife” have finally paid off. Oh, and Sun can conveniently speak English again. I’m glad that plot line paid off well. Lindelof and Cuse are geniuses.

First off, I was never under the impression that Jin WASN’T free to walk around as he wished. He was never a prisoner. We quite frequently saw him roaming around the island. And saying that “no one” has been waiting for the Jin/Sun reunion reeks of bitterness, and much like some of the inconsequential nitpicking, it just damages your more rational arguments. I’ll admit I was a bit let down by the way their reunion was handled, but there are loads of people that were very anxiously waiting for it to happen.

Jack is back on the beach with Locke. Widmore starts firing mortar rounds one at a time from 2 miles away. Jack goes down but Locke carries Bubba to safety Forrest Gump style. This gives him the chance to delvier the line, “It’s OK. You’re with me now” while dramatic music lets me know the plot is really heating up. No really, this time they mean it.

Colin, my man, you’re clearly not a hater because the length of this e-mail, as well as the numerous references made to past episodes, shows that you’re an avid and consistent viewer. So why all the anger? And I’m sure you’re a very nice person, but the pettiness and sass of some of your complaints reveals that, yes, you are angry when it comes to this show. There are what, four or five episodes left? Do you have such little faith that they’re going to answer the big, important stuff that you’re not willing to wait another few weeks if the particular question you have isn’t answered that episode? And if you don’t have that sort of faith in the writers, why bother watching? Life is too short to get so riled up over a television show. Especially one that doesn’t seem to bring you much joy.

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.