SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen the episode airing April 14, don't read this.
(I'm kidding. Kind of. This was easily one of the most dramatic episode conclusions we've seen all season, perhaps in the whole series, and I just haven't yet gotten my wits about me.)
But let's start at the beginning.
Michael appears to Hurley to tell him that the Ajira flight must not, at all costs, be blown up. I'm a little puzzled by this; if the good guys (presumably Team Jacob) want the bad guys (presumably Team Smokey) to contain their evil on the Island, then some plane destruction definitely seems like a good idea to me. The Island, however, has other wishes, and Ilana (in the ultimate Very Bad Day) is blown to smithereens in her efforts to do what she thinks is right. I'm really sad to see her go.
Next up, quite notably, was my first shriek-inducing occurrence of the night: the reappearance of my much-loved Libby. She recognizes Hurley, though he does not recognize her (at first). Through this, we learn that one is most likely to experience awareness of the sideways reality if one is a) a junkie, a la Charlie, b) near death, a la Desmond, or c) stark raving nuts, a la Libby. This leads me to wonder if some of our other Losties are far too rational and sane (a la Jack) to ever be made aware of the concurrent reality, but I suppose we'll see.
Also notable in this episode was the appearance of the strange boy in the woods. In a colossal lack of curiosity which is epidemic among characters in this show, Desmond doesn't follow him, despite my shouted instructions to the contrary. For the record, I predict that this strange boy is a grown-up Aaron, a hunch I base entirely on the fact that the actor seems to look like Claire, and perhaps this is by design. (Any other good guesses out there?)
This wasn't Desmond's only other unwise move of the night. He strangely is quite trusting and open with Fake Locke (who he thinks is Real Locke). This baffles me. In the last episode, Desmond seemed to accept (cheerfully!) the fate dealt to him by Widmore. Yet when he's kidnapped--at gunpoint--by others, he all too quickly spills the beans. It seems that if he were more fully on Team Widmore he would've viewed his captors with some suspicion.
He should have. In a truly awful moment (my shriek #2), Locke throws Desmond into a well (some strong Christ-like imagery there, imagery which seems to follow Desmond consistently). Thank goodness for sneak peeks at next week, which show a very alive Desmond sitting at the bottom of a well.
Things take a curious shift, however, when the "sideways Desmond" purposefully rams a car into a wheelchair-bound Locke (my very loud and extended shriek #3). Did he do this because he wanted to induce a near-death experience to help John see the island reality? Or was it some sort of vengeance for the well episode, which Desmond may have remembered during his MRI flashes? I'm betting on the former.
We learned a few more important things in this episode:
- The whispers, Michael tells us, are the voices of "the ones who can't go on". I'm disappointed by this, since the writers have repeatedly and firmly insisted that the Island is not some sort of Purgatory. They've got some 'splainin' to do.
- John tells Desmond that the Island is a place that "makes compass needles spin." I liked this reference, however brief, to the physicality of what goes on at the Island. Certainly there are significant spiritual forces at play, but this confirms there is some very physical and scientific action taking place as well.
- Jack gives us a little more insight into his changed view of the world (see Quote Of The Night below), telling us he's learning to let go. I'm dying to know more about this trusting, mellowed Jack, and it looks like I won't have to wait long--the reports are that next week's episode is Jack-centric.
Quote Of The Night:
"Ever since Julie died--ever since I got her killed--all I wanted was to fix it. But I can't. I can't ever fix it. You have no idea how hard it is for me to sit back and listen to other people tell me what I should do. But I think maybe that's the point. Maybe...maybe I'm supposed to let go." --Jack
"How do you break the ice with the smoke monster?" -Hurley
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