I began this episode feeling just a little like Sayid: nothing, no anger, no sorrow, losing emotional attachment to this show that I and so many of you have followed for years. Just a handful of episodes before it all ends – could there be anything else I could learn about the characters? Any more stories to tell, that would be as enjoyable as what we’ve already seen, much less that can bring what we’ve watched for a number of years to a satisfying conclusion? Can seven (and now six) episodes explain enough to tie key threads together? Will we find out who or what was in the cabin? Surely it wasn’t Jacob, since he lives in the statue, and surely it wasn’t the smoke monster, who was kept away by the ash circle. Will we find out how Ben could summon the smoke monster and knew he needed to be judged by it, when the Others now seem to regard it as a dangerous enemy?
This episode helped to mitigate my sense that LOST might, in spite of having a set number of seasons to tell the story, nevertheless manage to end in a manner not entirely unlike a train wreck. There is little time left to bring the story to a conclusion, and I’m not looking for every question to be answered, but I do hope that we will not be left with lots of glaring contradictions. A novelist has the chance to revise earlier parts of the book once she or he has told the whole story. With a TV show, where episodes are aired sequentially, the possibility to go back and revise is not there. And so, if the writers and producers of LOST are able to bring such a complex story to a coherent end, it will be a work of genius, proof that Locke was right – the island is a place where miracles happen.
Let’s see what we learned [SPOILERS FOLLOW]. Perhaps the most important thing we learned is that Desmond is the “package” that was kept in the locked room on the submarine. Apparently he is the best hope for preventing the smoke monster from getting off the island. But why?
We also had a hint that the key to the smoke monster getting off the island is for him to take the last living candidates with him.
The pockets of electromagnetic energy around the island also seem to be important somehow: Zoe is a geophysicist.
We were also reminded about Room 23, where the Dharma Initiative conducted experiments with subliminal messages (and where we once saw the words “God Loves You As He Loved Jacob” flash across the screen, while a backwards message told us that “Only fools are enslaved by time and space.” Presumably their reminding us about this, like their reminding us about Adam and Eve and about Christian Shepard’s missing body, is significant.
Seeing an encounter across the sonic fence barrier between “John Locke” and Charles Widmore was impressive. If it is true that Widmore knows more than he has said about the smoke monster, how did he know what his role was supposed to be in all this, after being away from the island for so long? What is his mission, and what is the background to it?
What do you think it all means? I feel like by now we ought to be able to speculate intelligently about what remains to happen between now and the final episode, and it is the sense that so much is still uncertain that leaves me feeling somewhat apprehensive.
What about you? Are you like Sayid when it comes to LOST?