For all of the elements and ingredients this episode had, you'd think it would be one of the best of the year. It's a Ben Linus episode, and he always delivers. We get to see the Black Rock, some dynamite, REUNIONS, and the old LOST camp back at the beach. It's an episode where both Locke (Smokey) AND Jack make an appearance, and we get supporting help from Arzt and Widmore, two fan favorites of the show. Despite all of that, it's really just a transitional episode with no huge reveals or mythological answers.
I've said that the novelty of the flashsideways universe has worn off, and it's pretty dumb, but mostly because we have yet to see a connection to the real LOST universe beyond those deja vu moments. This week's Linus story followed suit, but it was still one of the more enjoyable stories. The trend seems to be that we get to revisit scenarios that impacted our castaways the most. The constant chip on Jack's shoulder is his incessant need to fix things stemming from a father who told him he didn't have what it takes. So what's his big challenge in sideways world? Fixing his relationship with his son by telling him.... HE HAS WHAT IT TAKES!!!
For John Locke, his defining moment is when he was paralyzed, perfectly summarized by the line "Don't tell me what I can't do!" In normal world, this leads to a broken man hellbent on proving to everyone that he really has a special purpose (except it left him dead). In Imagination land, he corrects this mistake by telling Helen "they were right." He can't do it... and that's okay. Redemption 2, Damnation 0.
With Sayid, he chose the same path that he always chooses. He killed Omar and Keamy just like he killed Dogen and Lennon, just like he killed all the other dozens of people. I guess that's a point for damnation.
So for Ben's story, we get to revisit the death of Alex. In the real world, Charles Widmore used Alex as bait to get Ben to surrender his power. Ben balked, and Alex was murdered. This haunts him every day, so it's nice to see sideways Ben get a chance to correct that mistake. How many of you thought for a moment that he would sacrifice Alex to serve his own cause again, because I was definitely thinking that. Like Widmore, evil Principle Reynolds brings Alex into the middle of his power struggle with Ben. If Ben forces him to resign, Alex's future is ruined. This time, Ben does the honorable thing and relents. It's kinda funny that a history professor will sacrifice the greater good of the entire school to help a student, but a father wouldn't sacrifice his power (or the Island) to save his daughter.
And how about that emotional reunion at the end? Michael Giacchino is undefeated when it comes to to reunion music, by the way. You may of thought it silly that Sun was so happy to see Jack and Hurley, when really they've only been apart for a couple days. But Sun knows they went back in time to the 70s, and for them to return, she knows that Jin can't be too far behind. Imagine the campfire stories they'll exchange that night...
Other quick points:
- Anyone else think that Widmore convinced Desmond to join him on the sub?
- What is the destination of that sub? Hydra Island? The Barracks? Hmmm....
- Jack's game of chicken with dynamite was my favorite scene in the episode. I expected Richard to renew his faith by jumping in at the last second to remove the fuse, proving that he believes in Jacob's plan. Instead, Mad Jack waits to the end until.... nothing. The fuse was extinguished by... something? nothing? Jacob? Who knows, but Richard is back on board!
- Anyone else relieved that Karl wasn't in this episode as Alex's boyfriend?
- Same old Smokey entrance.... why bother with all the mechanical noises? JUST WALK INTO THE SCENE AS LOCKE AND NO ONE WILL CARE!
- I don't know what the to think of Widmore finding the Island twice in 3 years.... weird.
- I really can't think of any other interesting points (Ilana sucks?). Like I said, this was mainly a transitional snoozefest.