Lost Wednesdays: Everything in its Right Place

April 21, 2010
By | 14 Comments

I imagine that a lot of people will gripe about “The Last Recruit” as a moving-the-pieces episode, as both timelines saw characters rearranged into new groups and locations. But to me it felt less like a table-setter and more like the first half of a two-hour finale. Perhaps it was the sailboat, which featured prominently in season 2’s finale “Live Together, Die Alone.” Or the musical score that reminded me of various tromping-through-the-woods-in-a-taught-manner scenes that are a staple of many seasons’ finales. But the episode felt like it was building to something big – which we now must wait two weeks to resolve.

The episode definitely feels like the beginning of the endgame. On island, the sides have been drawn, with four teams in place. Team Widmore is out for blood, willing to blow people up and double-cross allies. Team Sawyer broke free of Locke, but traded Jack out for Claire, a risky move considering Locke’s seeming focus on Jack as the titular last recruit. Team Locke seems in control despite being betrayed and bombed. And Team Ben/Richard/Miles is off rearming itself, forgotten about for the time being but certainly poised to return with a combination of grenades and sarcastic one-liners.

I quite enjoyed Jack’s conversations with both Locke and Sawyer. While it’s no surprise that Christian’s on-island presence was Smokey, it was nice to have it quickly confirmed (although I’m still unsure about his appearance in season 4 off-island flash-forwards). I love UnLocke’s contemptuous mockery of the old Locke, if only because it makes him seem like such a dick – and also undermines RealLocke’s entire faith-based character arc. And now that Jack has taken up Locke’s destiny-driven mantra, it’s fun to see Smokey play on Jack’s vulnerability.

Certainly the biggest emotional moment on the island was the long, long, long-awaited reunion of Sun and Jin. While the moment was heart-warming, it was almost undone by two distractions. First, the idea that Sun lost her English a couple of episodes ago simply as a plot convenience, with no significance beyond an attempt to heighten the stakes of the reunion, feels like an awkward waste of time. And more in the moment itself, seeing Sun & Jin run together along the sonic fence border made me (and many others on Twitter including this this cartoonist) cringe in fear of a brain-melting reunion – my wife exclaimed repeatedly, “Shut off the fence!”, which was definitely a distraction from the romantic melodrama. I can’t help but thinking that this was intentionally designed to produce this cocktail of sentimentality and fear, but after years of waiting for the moment, I wanted to be able to enjoy the reunion without fearing that one of them would pull a Mikhail.

The off-island storytelling changed the pattern to create a further sense of acceleration, moving beyond the single-character flashback and focusing on bringing the characters together, both by Desmond’s interventions and blind luck (or fate, if you’re feeling Jack-ish). I’m still not convinced that last week’s hit-and-run was just a ploy to get Locke & Jack in the O.R. together – and if it was, Desmond needs a better strategist, as it seems pretty risky. Based on Sun’s reaction to her stretcher-side vision of Locke, I imagine that the post-enlightenment characters do see him as a major threat. Overall, I quite enjoyed all the players getting their moments, and I look forward to Desmond’s motivational speech convincing them all to do… whatever it is they need to do. But we’ll have to wait an extra week to find out!

Random favorite fanboy moment: Had the fence not killed the mood, I would play it sentimental and tag the Kwon reunion. But instead I’ll give it to Sawyer’s great quip about Lapidus stepping out of a Burt Reynolds film.



14 Responses to “ Lost Wednesdays: Everything in its Right Place ”

  1. Jonathan Gray on April 21, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    The fence didn’t ruin the moment for me, though I did want more of a musical flourish for it, and I still don’t get why they spoke English to each other, so that latter point really distracted. Last time they saw each other, Jin couldn’t speak much English, so where’d the subtitles go here?

    • Sean C. Duncan on April 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM

      Jin spent 3 years in Dharmaville in the 1970s and became fluent in English then, so perhaps he was just flaunting it for his wife. 🙂

    • LostnLost on April 22, 2010 at 8:03 PM

      Yeah I liked the reunion also. Although, I didn’t see it as this huge build up even though she has been searching for him for 3 years. I thought the tender hug/kiss moment was sweet and just about the right lenth of time. We did not spend 5 minutes on a reunion when there is story line to begin telling. I was also thinking Lost knows how to capture the romantic connection between couples (Desmond/Penny, Sawyer/Juliet, Hugo/Libby…all pretty good chemistry between couples).

      Now I must admit when the ran toward the sonic fence I gasped a little bit saying…”No not another Illana…” Lol.

  2. Sean C. Duncan on April 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    The Kwon reunion was… underwhelming, probably because of the fence and because of how tacked-on it seemed. Not to mention that they really dragged this one out with unnecessary and obvious audience manipulation for weeks. What was the point of Sun losing the ability to speak English for a few weeks? I just don’t get it, it seemed a haphazard and not terribly well planned-out story arc for such central characters.

    So Jack’s the “last recruit,” I suppose, but he’s obviously not, right? As he stated, he’s been down this whole “we’ve got to leave the island!” road before, it turned out not to be such a great idea. I’m really not sure where they’re going with this, which leaves me alternately excited and frustrated.

    A set-up episode, nothing earthshaking going on here with the possible exception that perhaps Sayid and Claire aren’t beyond hope. Sayid couldn’t have been more obvious about not offing Desmond, while Claire can’t be more obvious about not being genuinely part of Team Skate now. Curious to see where this goes, but I’m still doubtful we’ll end up getting any significant redemption for these two characters.

    • LostnLost on April 22, 2010 at 8:17 PM

      Whoa…I thought Tons earth shattering went on. I mean right in the beginning we get Smokey is Christian Shepard, not earth shattering as we already suspected that but better than dead people are the whispers. And since Christian Shepard was the one who told Locke he had to turn the wheel and bring back all the Candidates Wow for me. Just the planning that Smokey went through to put the pieces into place to get the candidates back and somehow letting Eloise Hawkings know that Locke’s dead body had to return. I mean this one seemingly innocent reveals has long tentacles that need to be re-examined, looked at and figured out what it means for both where the story is going and what it tells us about what has already happened. In Short, now that we know Smokey was many different people and he needed a Dead Locke body to totally inhabit it will this Major reveal provide insights into how we got here.

      Jack jumpoing off the boat and beginning to evovle into something more spiritual and connected to the island.

      Did Sayid find that spark of Humanity when Desmond asked him what will he tell Nadia about what he had to do to see her again. It was the first time since he Joined Locke that he almost seemed a person again. And as I said last week, I am guessing he let Desmond out of the well.

      I have read on one persons blog that they believe the Sideways world is actually the world that occurs if Smokey leaves the Island. The way Sun was looking at Locke there was definately a hint or a recognition that he may indeed be Smokey.

      And Since Desmond seems to have conciousness in both worlds, the reason Desmond ran him over is because he knows Sideways locke is really Smokey.

      I found it kinda creepy they way Sideways Locke calmly told Ben and the Paramedic his name and his wife’s name. Even in the moment, the way he said it had the knowing smirk signature, I am just telling you the truth and trying to help, twinge of Smokey.

      I have read on one persons blog (maybe here) that they believe the Sideways world is actually the world that occurs if Smokey leaves the Island. The way Sun was looking at Locke at the hospital there was definately a hint or a recognition that he may indeed be Smokey.

      And Since Desmond seems to have conciousness in both worlds, the reason Desmond ran Locke over maybe because he knows Sideways locke is really Smokey.

      I found it kinda creepy they way Sideways Locke calmly told Ben and the Paramedic his name and his wife’s name. Even in the moment, the way he said it had the knowing arrogant Smokey smirk signature.

      Anyway, I thought this Episode was on the Awesome side for setting up the peices that hopefully explain and give us answers to this 6 years of Mythology.

  3. Jeffrey Jones on April 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    Hurley’s Anakin remark seems significant to me, esp. if we buy into the larger religious/Christian message associated with redemption, good and evil that is constantly floating around here.

    • Sean C. Duncan on April 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM

      I dunno, I viewed it as just another one of the many Star Wars in-jokes they pepper the show with (from “Some Like it Hoth” through Karl’s “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” just before he was offed). Seems like a fake-out to me, I’m assuming Sayid might end up doing something small to help out the good guys (uh, whomever are the good guys), but it seems doubtful that with 4 episodes to go they’ll spend much time on a redemption storyline for him.

      • Jeffrey Jones on April 21, 2010 at 3:23 PM

        Well, I don’t think Sayid killed Desmond, and Claire seems to have had a change of heart–when both of these characters were said to have been infected with and consumed by evil. And if Desmond is somewhat key here, that seems significant.

        • Sean C. Duncan on April 21, 2010 at 4:42 PM

          Right, right, I’m just unsure about both potential changes of heart. Sayid clearly didn’t kill Desmond, but whether he’ll be redeemed in any significant way is something I’m skeptical of — given how much they have left to cover and how little time, it’ll be a perfunctory “redemption,” in any case.

  4. Nick Bestor on April 21, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I agree that it definitely felt like the set-up first half of a two-parter, particularly due to the multi-centric-ness. They seemed to have methodically gone through and given pretty much every significant character their episode so far this season, so I was curious to see where we going after last week. I was kind of hoping we might get something dealing with the secondary characters, perhaps an Ilana episode. Or the long overdue Widmore info-dump episode. I definitely didn’t want to have another Jack or Kate episode, so I’m happy they went this way, which seems to have done a very good job of announcing that we’ve entered the endgame. Unless we get an episode that deals with Widmore or the MiB, I expect we’ll probably be sticking with multi-centric episodes for the remainder of the series.

    I was honestly a little disappointed in Desmond’s fate on the Island. For one, I think the reveal that the well wasn’t actually deep didn’t work well. I think if we’d seen that in last week’s episode, it would’ve seemed alright, but waiting a week for the reveal made it seem a little silly. Also, I was willing to accept Desmond as dead in the OT, as he seemed to have so much to do in the FST. As usual, he’s one of the characters I’m most interested to see how things turn out for, particularly as I’m seeing him as the black horse Jacob-replacement to challenge Jack’s destiny. We had five seasons of Locke filling our heads with talk of destiny and fate, and I started to buy it, but now Locke’s dead and a fool, so it may be free-will’s time to shine.

    And then there’s Frank. Why is he still around? I don’t know what to make of him being in the main cast. Maybe it’s just a nice gesture to Jeff Fahey, a way of saying, “Hey, you’ve been on the show three years now, you’re on the Island with everyone else, we’re bumping you up.” But I still expect something from him. None of the other survivors really seem to know what he’s doing there either. And he keeps putting himself in terrible redshirt situations. Tromping off on adventures with cast members who’ve been around since day 1, it just does not seem smart. Is he actually important, or just some guy?

    • Sean C. Duncan on April 21, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      Frank’s still around because Smokey needs him to fly the plane. I suspect it’s that simple.

    • Jason Mittell on April 22, 2010 at 7:39 AM

      For what it’s worth (and vaguely spoilery for those who hate knowing anything about what might happen in future eps), I’ve heard that there is another upcoming episode that is focused primarily in a time/place that features virtually none of our main characters. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s supposed to be ep 15 (this week’s was #13). My guess is that it will either be a MiB origin story and/or the backstory of Widmore/Eloise – or maybe the epic story of Frank in a Burt Reynolds film! So I’m sure that one will vary from the multi-centric pattern, if nothing else.

  5. Brett Boessen on April 22, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    When you wrote that two things spoiled the Kwon reunion somewhat, I was almost certain you were about to say “the clunky return of her English” and “the clunky line by Fahey, ‘look who’s got her voice back.'” That just made it worse.

    Still, I’m with you: there’s more “moving toward the finale” here, it seems, than “moving the pieces around.”

  6. […] is a moving the pieces episode, as Jason Mittell noted. I’m not going to gripe about it, though a part of me really wants to. I defended […]