This episode could have been titled “how to dismantle a hydrogen bomb,” except that would have been misleading. Lots of twists and turns, a few answers, and a few more questions. This is quintessential Lost.
Spoilers after the jump.
Links and miscellanea:
- Is the time travel plotline heading for a reset in which the crash of flight 815 never happened? I hope not. That would be a horrible way to end it.
- Here’s an analysis of the change in Lost’s narrative structure brought about by the producer’s decision to set an end date. I think it’s spot-on. But I do sometimes miss those meandering tangents. And I also miss the creepy dread. A lot.
- Sam Anderson (Bernard) has been interviewed by 411Mania. Veteran character actors are always interesting.
- If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, you can now purchase full episodes of Lost to watch on your phone. (But I can’t imagine why would anyone want to watch a show as visually stunning as Lost on a 2″ screen.)
- This is about the crankiest thing I’ve ever read by a TV critic about Lost (and I’ve read quite a bit). Only click through if you’re ready for some serious bellyaching from a guy who would brag about having read Joyce’s Ulysses more than once.
- ABC has a whole new line of DHARMA-branded merch at its official store. If anyone wants to buy me an Orchid Station t-shirt, that’d be great. (Via Lost.sc)
- The ratings picture for Lost is a bit confusing. Some are saying that it’s bringing in solid numbers, pointing to the fact that it’s scored number one in key demographics—one of ABCs few shows that has. Others are bemoaning its multi-million viewer dropoff from last year’s premier. Whatever the case, it’s worth noting that Lost is reportedly both the most downloaded show and the most pirated show on TV. Additionally, a relatively high percentage of viewers watch the show on their DVRs, which skews the overnight ratings. I’m not that concerned at this point, as it seems pretty clear that ABC is committed to supporting Lost through it’s final episode. It probably helps that Lost not only airs on ABC, but is also produced by ABC Studios, which were recently merged as a cost-cutting measure.
Observations and speculations:
- The phrase that Desmond is shouting at the beginning of the episode is “Efran Slonga,” which is most likely the name of the doctor he was looking for. My guess is that the location is The Phillipines. The banner in the background when Desmond and Dr. Salonga are running to Penny says “Mabuhay,” which means “welcome” in Tagalog. Mabuhay is also the name of a small, coastal Phillipino municipality.
- Which of course, presents the episode’s first question: why are Desmond and Penny in the South Pacific at a time when Penny nine-months pregnant? The answer seems to be that they are hiding from Penny’s dad, Charles Widmore. What we find out later in the episode is that Mr. Widmore is happy to have his daughter in hiding. If you think back to the confrontation between Ben and Widmore in Widmore’s London penthouse, Ben promised to kill Penny as retribution for Alex’s death.
- When we next see Penny and Desmond, their son is maybe two years old. That would mean that Penny gave birth approximately a year after Desmond left the island.
- Yet another couple of redshirts got killed in tonight’s episode, this time blown up by landmines. I have a feeling that killing off redshirts is going to be a regular feature this season.
- The old-generation Others we meet once again have posh English accents. Here’s a theory to try on for size: the young female who is holding a rifle for much of the episode is Daniel Faraday’s mother (aka Ms. Hawking).
- Locke mentions that the old-generation Others have a “30 caliber M1 Garand Rifle” and that it’s new. The M1 Garand was used by the U.S. Military in World War II and the Korean War, mostly by the army and marines. Of course, it’s just another of the huge arsenal of weapons that have at one time or another been on the island.
- We never knew before that the Others spoke Latin. Now we do. We also know that the uniforms that these old-generation Others are using do not have their real names on them. Young Charles Widmore’s uniform says “Jones” on it. It’s possible they may have taken these uniforms from dead U.S. soldiers. Or they may just be aliases. Another one says “Smith.” Yet another is called “Cunningham.”
- Richard Alpert does appear to be something like immortal and not just someone who travels back and forth through time. Alpert doesn’t seem to know anything about time travel when Locke meets him, and even seems incredulous. According to Juliet, Alpert’s “always” been among the Others.
- When Faraday was at Oxford, he doesn’t seem to have been operating in an official capacity for the University. Instead, it appears that he was doing research funded by Widmore himself, no doubt related to finding the island or uncovering its abilities.
- The maintenance guy who hung the “Fumigating” sign on Faraday’s lab mentions that Desmond is “not the first one” to come asking about Faraday. So who was? Ben? Someone from Ben’s faction?
- Now we know what was kind of hinted at last season: that Faraday is in love with Charlotte. I have a feeling that there’s even more to the story, and that we’re going to find out exactly why Faraday is so connected to her. I think there may be details in both characters’ past that link them together.
- Young Charles Widmore is, as are all true Others, brutally efficient. He knows how to snap a man’s neck and run off in the jungle. He’s got a problem at this point, however, with underestimating his foes.
- John Locke fully considers himself kin with the Others now. This was the end-point of last season’s character arc for Locke.
- The name of Faraday’s female assistant (the one pictured with him in the framed photo in his abandoned lab) is Theresa Spencer. This could be another literary allusion. Or it could refer to any number of Spencers. Her sister’s name is Abigail. Abigail’s accent is decidedly un-posh. She’s wearing a clerk’s vest from the “QuikMart,” where she presumably works.
- Theresa Spenser seems to be unstuck in time, but stablized—as in, there are no signs of nosebleeds or imminent death. The big reveal in this scene is that Charles Widmore has been paying for her in-home medical care. All-in-all, Widmore comes across as perhaps less malignant than he did in previous episodes. Keep in mind, of course, that most of the bad things we’ve heard about Widmore, we’ve heard from Ben, and Ben’s a lying liar. Then again, there was the matter of Widmore sending Keamy and friends to kill everyone on the island, including Widmore’s former compatriots.
- Richard Alpert tells Faraday that he answers to someone, someone who forced him to kill all the U.S. soldiers when they refused to leave the island peaceably. Presumably, this “someone” is Jacob.
- Best line of the episode goes to Sawyer yet again: “Hate the bust up the I’m-an-Other-You’re-an-Other reunion, but…”
- The H-bomb is named “Jughead” and the episode is named for the bomb. Jughead was the name given to a certain class of 21-ton cryogenic nuclear bombs dating to around 1954, the time period in which most of the events are supposed to take place.
- The paintings in Widmore’s office, which we have seen before, were actually painted by Lost director Jack Bender, and refer to things from the island (e.g., Namaste and polar bears). This has new meaning now that we know that Widmore lived on the island as an Other when he was a young man.
- Faraday’s mother is in Los Angeles, at an address that Widmore knows. He suspects that she won’t be pleased to see Desmond. It seems almost certain now that she is Ms. Hawking, the woman working with Ben on how to return to the island.
- So Penny and Desmond named their son Charlie, which is kind of touching, given the way Charlie died. It’s also a little odd when you consider that neither Desmond or Penny seem to think highly of Penny’s father.
- It’s interesting to find out that the reason Richard Alpert was at the hospital on the day that Locke was born was that Locke told him to be there.
- And the episode ends with a cliffhanger involving Charlotte’s bloody nose.
This was a really strong episode. Spending lots of time with Desmond instead of Kate and Jack isn’t a bad thing at this point.