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The Long Goodbye

Posted by ckirkman on 2010.05.20 at 11:48
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Previously, on Lost: Sawyer screwed the pooch on the sub, sabotaging Shephard's straight-shooting speech and subsequently sending Sayid towards suicide. The sub shook and shimmied and Shephard saved Sawyer, while Sun and her suitor sucked seawater and said sayonara. Shephard and the sole survivors soon sobbed.

This week, on Lost: As many a time before over the past six seasons, we open on an eye. Jack's, to be exact. We soon see that he's not waking up in a jungle, or trapped inside a Dharma aquarium, or bearded and hopped up on goofballs. No, this is AlternaJack, and he's got quite the life, now. It's morning in LA X, and Dr. Shephard makes his way to the bathroom. Once there, he notices something very peculiar, indeed.

Dude, you really need to stop eating PB&J in bed.

Little Jack Jr. interrupts his pop and says he's made breakfast. They sit down to a big ol' hearty bowl of Super Bran and it becomes quite obvious how Jack got his neck wound - he probably blew out a vein in the bathroom after all that fiber. David asks his dad if he's coming to the concert tonight, and Jack says absozooberutely.

Soon, not-so-crazy AlternaClaire waddles out and they all have a shiny, happy family moment before the phone rings. Jack picks it up and a voice informs him that Oceanic has found his lost luggage - in other words, Papa Shephard has finally reached port. Jack says thanks and we are soon treated to the identity of the voice on the other end of the line - Desmond, who speaks American pretty darn well.

Meanwhile, over on Island Prime, it's morning on the beach and Jack is pulling some stitching out of his underwear in order to sew up Kate's wounded shoulder. Sawyer is up and about, and sits a bit dazed on the beach with Hurley. Kate grimaces and mourns for the Kwons while getting her stitches, saying that Jin hadn't even met his little girl yet. "Locke did this to them," says Kate, gritting her teeth in a slight snarl. "We have to kill him, Jack."

To be such a pretty girl, Kate sure can make some messed up faces.

Jack calmly looks down at his patient, nods his head slowly and simply says, "I know." Awwww yeah!

Cue the swirling Lost!

With Kate all stitched up, the four survivors stand solemnly on the beach and watch the debris from the sub wash ashore. Kate leans her head on Sawyer's shoulder. Jack breaks the silence and says that they should head to the well that Sayid told them about before he pulled an Arzt. Inside that well is Desmond, and if Locke needs him, says Jack, then they're gonna need him. They all mount up and move out.

Back in LA X, Desmond is in his POS rental again, checking out the school parking lot. AlternaLocke is back in action, and some students welcome him back as he rolls across the lot. Desmond starts up the car, but Dr. Linus flings himself across the hood, yelling bloody murder. Desmond gets out of the car and proceeds to beat the ever-loving snot out of Benjamin - as usual - saying that he's not there to hurt Locke, he's there to help him let go. During the beatdown, Ben gets a flash or two of times in another life, brutha where he is getting a similar ass kicking at the hands of the Scot.

I half-expected Desmond to start belting out "Singing in the Rain." Too obscure, my droogs?

Desmond hightails it out of there, leaving Dr. Linus beaten, bloodied and bewildered.

Let's stick around LA X for awhile and see what shenanigans ensue, shall we?

Smoking Stinks. Hah, get it? God, I love the set designers on this show.

AlternaBen gets all patched up in the nurse's office. She makes the mistake of calling him Mr. Linus, and he quickly corrects her that it's Doctor Linus, showing a tiny bit of the Island Prime prick we've all come to know and love. She runs and grabs an ice pack, and Locke wheels in, wanting to know what happened. Ben fills him in about the beatdown, about Desmond, and most importantly about the feeling. Locke tries to call the police, but Ben stops him, telling John what Desmond said - that he was trying to get Locke to let go. John is stunned. "Does that mean something to you?" asks Ben. Locke puts his phone away.

Over at LAXPD headquarters, Desmond walks in and asks to see a detective. They take him over to Detective Ford and Des turns himself in for the hit and run and, more recently, the assault and battery that occurred earlier that morning. Sawyer books him and throws him in the hoosegow with Sayid and Kate. What a coincidence! Desmond is very pleased, indeed, wishing both Freckles and the Iraqi a good day with a wry smile.

Later that day, Ben's leaving school for the day and bumps into Alex. She says that he shouldn't drive because he only has one arm and looks a bit like Napoleon. Yeah, Dynamite. Zing! He says she has a point and they mosey over to the car where Alex asks her mom if it's ok if teach tags along for awhile. But of course, says Danielle Rousseau, looking decidedly non-crazy and very happy to see Benjamin. The two even invite Ben over for dinner since it's coq au vin night - you know, since coq au vin is the only thing that French people know how to cook.

"We insist, even if we have to kidnap you." AlternaDanielle is funny, pretty and charming. It's amazing what happens when you actually run a brush through your hair every other year.

Over at chateau Rousseau, things are going swimmingly. While Alex does her homework, Danielle and Ben get better acquainted over dishes. Ben asks about Alex's father, and Danielle tells him that he died when she was 2. It's also probably the reason why she's so attached to Ben, since he's taken a real interest in her. He's the closest thing to a father she's ever had. Ben looks in on Alex as she studies and gets a bit choked up. Danielle asks if he's ok, but Ben plays it off, saying it's probably just the onions. Danielle says that she'll put in less next time. Ben laughs as if to say "oh, that's funny," and then the light dawns and he looks up as if to say "OHHHHH hell yeah." Get you some, Ben.

Over at the hospital, Jack is doing some paperwork in his office. John Locke comes wheeling in, and Jack is glad to see him, but wants to know what he can do for John. Locke pauses for a moment and then lays it all out - they were both on Oceanic 815, Jack gave him his card, John threw it away, John gets hit by a car, he happens to get Jack as a surgeon, Jack wants to fix Locke, Locke doesn't want to get fixed, yadda yadda yadda. All that's great, says John, but check this crap out: the moron who ran him down earlier showed up at the school today and beat the snot out of Benjamin Linus and told Ben that he wasn't there to hurt Locke, he was there to help him let go - the exact same thing that Jack said to John the last time they saw each other.

Jack is a bit confused, and thinks that John is suggesting that Jack sent Desmond to run Locke down in the first place. Locke quickly denies that and stumbles a bit before suggesting that all of this is truly happening for a reason... maybe all this is just a sign, pointing out that Jack is supposed to fix him. Jack, still maintaining some of his obstinance even in LA X, says that perhaps John is mistaking coincidence for fate.

The only thing missing from this smile is an orange peel.

Call it whatever the hell you want, says John - but he's pretty sure he's ready to get out of that chair. Jack smiles.

Over at LAXPD, it's time for the prisoners to be transferred to county lockup. Sawyer bids them farewell, but lingers by Freckles' cage. She makes one more play, acting all cute and charming and asking Sawyer to let her go, but he can't do that - he's a cop. "Nice knowing you," says James, walking away, but still looking back over his shoulder at the brunette he just can't seem to get off his mind.

Desmond, Sayid and Kate are bouncing around in the back of the paddy wagon, when Desmond speaks up: "I think it's time to leave." Kate wants to know who Desmond is, and Sayid says that Des is a crazy person. Crazy or not, says Des, it doesn't matter - they all still want to get out of there. Kate asks if Des is just going to ask the driver to stop, but Des says that the driver already knows where to stop - and when that happens, Kate and Sayid have to promise that they'll do what Desmond asks of them. Sayid says oh, absolutely and they all laugh a little, and Des asks Kate, and she says sure, and they all grin. That's about the time the van slows to a stop and all of a sudden Kate and Sayid aren't smiling any more. The back of the van pops open and a familiar face peers in.

I'm fairly certain that Michelle Rodriguez has been on the flip side of this scenario more than a couple of times.

Ana Lucia wants her money or else she's gonna have to shoot them all as if they were trying to escape - or as if they were all Maggie Grace. Desmond tells her to keep her pantyhose on, that his guy will be there soon. She lets them out and uncuffs them, and soon Desmond's guy is there. It's Hurley. He's sorry he's late, dude... and he's also shocked that Ana Lucia is there. "Do I know you, tubby?" she asks. Hurley says no, that they've never met, then hands her an envelope full of cash, and she splits. Hurley asks if she's going with them, but Des says that she's "not ready yet." Awesome.

Hurley brought along his Camaro for Desmond - the same one he smashed through the fruit stand back in Season 5, only this is the AlternaCamaro. Desmond says excellent, and asks if Hurley knows where he's taking Sayid. Absolutely says Hugo. Des says they should get going and that Kate is coming with him. Kate gets her best scrunchy face on


and wants to know what Desmond means. Des nonchalantly pulls a little black dress out of the trunk of the Camaro and tells Kate that they are going to a concert. Kate takes the dress, perplexed, and Desmond opens the passenger door. "Let's go!" grins the Scot.

Thus concludes this portion of the adventures in LA X. To be continued Sunday!

Meanwhile, on Island Prime, we finally learn what Richard, Miles and Ben have been up to - apparently trekking through the jungle toward New Otherton. That is one long hike, let me tell you. And to top it all off, Ben says that they're taking a shortcut! That has to be an in-joke. Speaking of jokes, Miles questions Ben's directions and he says to trust him, that he lived in these houses for a very long time. Oh yeah? quips Miles. "Well, I lived in these houses 30 years before you did - otherwise known as 'last week'." Greatest line of the episode, by far.

The trio soon exit the Jungle of Mystery and onto main street of New Otherton, making their way toward Ben's bungalow. Miles's dead Spidey sense starts tingling, and he pauses and kneels by a patch of ground. Ben wants to know what's up, but Miles doesn't think he should say anything. Richard says it for him - it's Alex. He buried her there after Keamy blew her away and Ben left the Island after turning the great wheel. "Thank you, Richard," says Ben solemnly.

The trio enter Ben's bungalow and Ben opens up his secret room behind the bookcase, entering, and shoving some clothes out of the way. Miles notices the stone door covered in heiroglyphs and asks "what's that? A secreter room?" Ok, I lied, that is the best line of the episode. Anyways, Ben explains that it's where he was told he could summon the monster, but little did he know it was the monster that was summoning him. Lesson learned, Ben - smoking stinks.

Ben opens up his secret safe and peers inside. The C4 he stashed there a while back is still intact. He asks Richard if they intend to cripple the plane or blow it all to hell. Blow it to hell, says Richard. Better take it all, then, says Ben.

Mmmmm, brownies. That's Good Eats. (That's a little Alton Brown humor there for the four of you who might actually get that joke)

They shove the C4 into Richard's knapsack - no need to treat it gingerly like old Black Rock dynamite - when they hear a noise in the kitchen. They investigate. It's Zoe. Ben wants to know who the hell she is, but Widmore soon pops out and says she's with him. "Hello, Benjamin," says the old bastard with a grin. "May I come in?"

Chuck pours himself a glass of water and tells Ben to put the gun down. He then gives Zoe orders to head to the dock, get the equipment, and sink the outrigger. Ben says that she's going nowhere, but Charles warns him that if he shoots him, Ben's chances of surviving on the Island are very slim. He then sends his lackey off to do her chores.

Ben wants to know how Chuck got back to the Island, and Widmore tells him that Jacob invited him. Ben says that Chuck's pants are certainly on fire because there's no way that Charles has seen Jacob. Uh huh, have to, says Chuck - Jacob appeared to him soon after they blew the freighter all to hell, and he told Chuck everything he needed to know to fulfill his purpose.

They're interrupted by Zoe on the walkie, informing them all that Locke has landed at the dock and he's hightailing it up to New Otherton. Run back, says Chuck. She does. Chuck suggests that they all, you know, hide.

Out in the Jungle of Mystery, Jack and company are trekking toward the well. Sawyer takes a metaphorical seat on the analysts couch and asks Jack if he really killed everyone on the sub. No, says Jack - he killed them. He being Locke, of course.

Hurley and Kate take up the rear, and Hurley soon stops, seeing young Island Matt Damon off in the brush. Kate asks if he's ok, and Hurley says he's fine. She walks off. Hurley turns around and jumps at the site of the young boy. The boy demands the ashes in Hurley's pocket, and he pulls them out, asking what the boy wants them for. The boy wastes no time, grabbing the pouch and running off into the jungle. Hurley gives chase.

Not to be cruel, but if Hurley's been carrying that bag around in his pocket for several days, is little Jacob even sure he wants his ashes anymore?

Hugo comes upon a clearing. Jacob's there. Hurley asks if Jacob saw a little boy run by with his ashes. Jacob explains that his ashes are there in the fire, and that when it all burns out then he'll never see Jacob again. Hurley is perplexed, as are most of us - but these are the rules of the Island. Jacob says that he should run off and gather his friends, because they are very near the end. Yes, we are, Jacob.

Back in New Otherton, Zoe shows up and she and Chuck make a break for the secret room. Ben, however, wants to stay and confront the monster because he's gonna find him sooner or later. Miles thinks these are both wonderful plans, but he plans to exit stage left - right quick and in a hurry. Before he goes, he grabs Chuck's walkies and hands Miles one - just in case he needs the Asian for any reason. Chuck tells them all that they're gonna die and Ben says that he guesses this is goodbye. Chuck and Zoe hide in the closet.

Ben asks Richard if he'd like to wait outside for the inevitable, and Richard says that he'll just talk to Locke - that he knows this man and all he wants is for Richard to join him, and by talking, it might buy the rest of them time. Good luck with that, says Miles, as he hauls ass out the door and into the Jungle of Mystery.

Outside, Richard walks slowly through the Dharma compound. Ben watches from a distance. It's not long before we hear the clickety cricket sound, and the battle horn of Ol' Smokey sounds off and soon Richard has a face full of smoke monster. Ol' Smokey sends Richard rocketing to the moon, and leaves Ben standing there, staring, his face full of shock and awe.

Dude, weren't you paying attention when we were saying that "smoking stinks?"

Hrm... guess not. See you around, Ricardus.

Ben slowly walks over to his porch and takes a seat and waits. He doesn't have to wait long, as MiB comes around the corner and takes a seat next to Ben, telling him that Ben is just the man he's looking for. "Well, you found me," says Ben quietly. "Can I get you a glass of lemonade?"

MiB sits and picks at his fingernails with his favorite, large hunting knife. "I need you to kill a whole bunch of people," explains Locke. And if Ben does kill a whole bunch of people, he can have the Island all to himself when MiB leaves the Island. Sounds good to Ben. MiB inquires about the outrigger, and Ben fills him in on Widmore - even going so far as to tell him that ol' Chuck is inside, hiding in Ben's secret closet.

The duo head inside, and Ben opens up the closet for MiB. He warns Locke that Chuck's ladyfriend is armed, but he guesses that's not a problem for Ol' Smokey. As Ben opens the door, MiB tells him to wait outside, that Ben doesn't need to see this. Oh, but Ben really wants to see this. MiB seems a tad impressed.

The door opens and the light goes up, and Zoe and Charles are standing there like two little kids, suddenly caught before olly olly oxen free has been called. MiB says howdy and declares that it's nice that he and Chuck can talk face to face without those pesky sonic fences in the way. MiB turns to Zoe and asks who she is. She starts to answer, but Chuck stops her, telling her not to talk to MiB. Ol' Smokey doesn't really take kindly to that, so he whips out his pigsticker and slits her throat. She collapses in Widmore's arms.

When thinking of a caption for this, my fevered brain could only repeat over and over - "Big Mac, Filet o' Fish, Quarter Pounder, french fries, icy Coke, thick shake, sundaes and apple pies!" I wish I could explain, but it is a dark and wondrous place up there.

"Why'd you do that?" pleads Chuck.

"You told her not to talk to me, that made her pointless," says MiB, flatly.

It's clear to MiB that Charles is not afraid to die, so there's really only one way to motivate someone like that - once he gets off the Island, states MiB, the first thing he's going to do is find Chuck's daughter, Penny, and kill her. Chuck doesn't much like that, but he also believes that MiB will kill her whether he talks to Smokey or not. MiB gives Chuck his word that he won't, as long as Widmore tells MiB why he came back to the Island.

Chuck ponders for a moment, and then spills the beans. He explains that he brought Des back to the Island because he's got this funky resistance to electromagnetism, and the Scot is a measure of last resort. MiB doesn't quite understand, but Chuck says he's not going to tell the old smoke monster anything in front of Ben. Ben hovers at the door, but then slowly turns around and shuffles slowly away. MiB suggests that Chuck whisper the secret to him, and so he does, leaning in and saying something under his breath that sounds an awful lot like "watermelon watermelon watermelon."

And then Ben blows ol' Chuck Widmore away.

RIP Charles Widmore. Cause of death: Lead poisoning.

Ben leans up against the door jamb. "He doesn't get to save his daughter," says Benjamin. How delightfully vengeful. MiB remarks that Ben never ceases to amaze him, and that, fortunately, Chuck had already told MiB everything he needed to know, so no harm done. "Good," says Ben, glancing at the floor. "Did you say that there were some other people to kill?" Dude, even in the face of damnation you are still the man.

Out in the Jungle of Mystery, it's nightfall, and Hurley has gathered Jack, Kate and Sawyer and taken them back to see Jacob. And see him they do - all of them. Somehow burning his magic ashes enabled all of them to see the dead protector. Soon, secrets of the Island start coming out, as most secrets this season have tended to - while seated around a campfire, making s'mores. To make a long story short, Jacob screwed up when he tossed his little brother down a hole and created a monster, and ever since then that monster has been trying to kill him. He knew that someday the monster would figure out how to make Jacob pine for the fjords and so Jacob needed to secure a replacement. Hence, the Candidates.

"... and then the police called and said to grab the kids and run because THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!"

All of this doesn't sit too well with Sawyer, and he says that Jacob had no right - that James was doing just fine before Jacob came along and starting mucking about. Jacob calls Sawyer on his B.S., telling them all that they were flawed and lonely before coming to the Island, and their time there has made them realize how much they need the place, as much as it needs them. All part of the process, I suppose. Kate asks why her name was crossed off. Because she became a mother, says Jacob, but it's just a name in chalk - the job can still be hers if she wants it. Nice bit of creative cover-up there, if you ask me.

Jack asks for details about the job, and Jacob explains about protecting the light at the heart of the Island. He says that they have to protect it from the monster, and do what it is that he failed to do. So, basically you want us to kill him, says Jack. Yup, because if you don't, he's certainly going to kill all of you, says Jacob.

Hurley wants to know how Jacob is going to pick, but Jacob says he's not going to pick - it's up to those four to decide, and if they don't, things are going to end very badly.

Before anyone else has a chance to respond, Jack raises his hand and goes "ooh ooh! pick me, pick me!" as if he was getting to be captain of the football team, not guarding the grail for then next millennia. It's what he's meant to do, states Jack. Well, duh, says we.

Jacob takes Jack out to a creek and tells Jack that the heart of the Island is out past the bamboo field that Jack woke up in when he first came to the Island. Jack says there's nothing out there, but Jacob knows there is - and now Jack will be able to find it. Jacob asks for a cup from Jack and while he's fishing around in his pack, Jacob pulls some water out of the creek and says some latin mumbo jumbo over it. He then takes the cup, dips it in the water, and hands it to Jack. Drink up, he says. Jack wants to know how long he's going to have to do the job. "As long as you can," says Jacob.

Two guys, one cup.

Jack raises the cup and downs the whole thing. As he lowers the cup, his countenance changes, ever so slightly. He raises his eyes to Jacob, as if a sudden realization has come over him. Jacob smiles. "Now you're like me."

Further out in the Jungle of Mystery, Locke and Ben walk toward the well. Ben asks an excellent question - if Locke can just turn to smoke and fly around, why does he bother walking? Locke tells Ben that he likes the feel of his feet on the ground - it reminds him that he was human.

The two soon clear the jungle and approach the well. Locke peers over the edge, telling Ben that this was the well he flung Desmond Hume into a few episodes back. Locke sent Sayid to kill Desmond, but obviously the Iraqi failed to do his job. Ben notices a rope leading down. "Looks like someone helped him out," he says.

"No, Ben, someone helped me out, " says Locke, taking a seat on the edge of the stone well.

This intrigues Ben and he asks what Chuck said to Locke before he died. Locke tells Ben that Widmore said Desmond was a failsafe - a backup plan set in motion by Jacob in case Locke was able to kill all the candidates. Ben is stumped, and asks Locke why he's so happy that Desmond is still alive. The monster explains: because he's going to find Desmond, and when he does, he's going to get Desmond to do the one thing that the could never do himself. He's going to destroy the Island.

Guess that means Ben doesn't get to keep the Island all to himself.

Cue the THONK!

Typically, the transition episodes just before the finales of Lost tend to be a bit disjointed, and often filled with a lot of "let's go here, while they go there," that plays out rather slowly. It's an inevitable, but necessary, part of the production process, setting things up for the big climax. This episode was, indeed, a transition episode - but unlike many of its predecessors, I thought it kicked some major butt. We saw the return of badass Ben, Ol' Smokey snuffed out another major recurring character that we all thought might play a more important role in the scheme of things, and the happenings over in LA X ratcheted up to an awesome high. I have to admit that I'm far more excited and intrigued by what's going on over in the alternaverse than I am on Island Prime right now, and that's ok. As long as I'm on the edge of my seat about something then Lost is still doing its job.

There's not a whole lot of analysis this week since everything that's happened is pretty much prologue, but I have a few thoughts rattling around. Let's get to it!


It appears as though AlternaHurley has quite the grasp on the happenings of Island Prime because he remembers Ana Lucia quite well. He's gone far beyond just the few flashes he had when he and Libby had their picnic on the beach. Does he remember everything from his alternate life? Has Hurley's two conscious minds merged somehow? Perhaps both Hurley and Desmond know what's at stake - that there is a chance that the reality of LA X could be wiped out forever if actions aren't taken.

If what we've seen recently about the light going out is true, and Ol' Smokey is ultimately trying to destroy the Island, he is threatening everyone's very existence. Jacob even said so himself this episode, pointing out to them all when they were telling campfire stories that they and everyone they know and love could be wiped out if Smokey succeeds in his plans. Since Desmond, and possibly Hurley, have the added advantage of knowing what's happening/has happened/will happen in the alternate timeline, they are free to try and intervene by getting everyone together in LA X and making something happen.

"Let's see, it's just about butt-kick o'clock, so we'd better get moving."

I'm not yet sure what that something is just yet, but I'd bet good money it has to do with the Island. Perhaps Jack fails to protect Island Prime, or he sacrifices himself in order to put an end to Smokey but it also sacrifices the Island. If this is true, then the only way to truly save "reality" is for AlternaDesmond and crew to somehow relight the fire at the heart of the Island. Right now the Island is at the bottom of the Pacific, so that might be a tad difficult. It could involve another submarine and some sort of kick-ass, James Bond-like underwater endeavour. Or perhaps there's a portal to the Island somewhere in the world; if there's an "exit" in the Tunisian desert, there may possibly be an "entrance" somewhere else.

These scenarios are very far-fetched speculation at this point, but it's fun to think about how many ways the finale may play out. Have you all got some crazy ideas of your own? Let's hear them!


So, Ol' Smokey can be reminded of his humanity, can he/she/it? I'm speaking, of course, of Locke's comment to Ben that he prefers to walk than fly about as a wisp of smoke. That can mean one of two things - one, that smokey was human at some point, or two, that he has assumed human form for so long that he feels and believes that he was once human. Either way, this bit of information could be used against him. In his human form, we haven't witnessed any extraordinary strength - we only know that he appears to be impervious to bullets. If Jack and Co. can manage to keep Smokey in his Locke form - convince him that he should face them all like a man - then they could have a shot at taking down the smoke monster once and for all.

How can they take down an ancient smoke monster that has super strength and is seemingly impervious to harm? I'm glad you asked.

We all know that Ol' Smokey is susceptible to sound, hence the sonic fences. I would imagine anything that is able to disperse and disrupt the particles that make up his semi-corporeal form would also do the trick. Hence, the shit-ton of C4 that Ben took out of his safe. Remember way back in the finale for Season 1 when Smokey tried to drag Locke down into a Cerberus vent? Sure you do.

Ah, memories. So why was Ol' Smokey trying to drag Locke away so soon, if he was just going to use him later? That's a discussion that could drive us all mad.

Anyways, in order to "save" Locke when that happened, Kate threw a piece of the Black Rock dynamite back behind Smokey. When it went off, that seemed to upset the smoke monster, he released his grip on Locke and then took off into the Jungle of Mystery. Whether it was the actual explosion or simply the massive sonic shockwave that seemed to disrupt Smokey doesn't really matter - the explosion made him let go and run away like a scared rabbit.

Now, let's imagine that Smokey can be convinced to stay in Locke's form for a final stand, and make sure that stand is right on top of a whole heap of C4. I imagine that if it that much C4 was detonated point blank on Smokey, the resulting blast would shred anything even remotely corporeal, and the sonic shockwave would scatter his semi-corporeal form halfway across the Pacific. But that's just a theory.

One final downfall Ol' Smokey that may be a final piece in the puzzle: despite all the death and destruction that he can wreak, Smokey seems to always have the need for a doomed lackey to do all his dirty work. At the end, it's Ben again. Ben who has nothing to lose anymore. Ben who has taken care of his need for vengeance and now needs a shot at redemption. Ben who is probably tired of getting dicked around by everybody.

Ben who has a whole mess of C4 squirreled away for a rainy day. I'm just sayin'.


The top is from last night's episode, and the bottom is from "Man of Science, Man of Faith" right after they had blown open the Hatch. I thought this was great symmetry. Both times that Locke is peering down the hole, it's about looking for Desmond.

I find it incredibly ironic that Desmond is the "failsafe" for the Island, since Desmond turned the failsafe key in the Swan and took the first step towards who and what he was supposed to become.

Why, if Ben was just going to shoot Widmore, did the whole conversation between the two of them occur back in Season 4 in "The Shape of Things to Come," as if they were the ones that would play out a lifelong game of Senet? That's somewhat of a disappointing turn of events - that episode completely set things up for Ben and Widmore to be the millennia-long adversaries. Oh well.

So now we know that the golden hole is somewhere near where Jack woke up in the bamboo field. I imagine that will play out in the finale - or at least partly explain why we're all being treated to the series pilot again on Saturday.

I found it interesting that the episode opened with the mention of Jack's missing father, but we never see the resolution of that. I'm sure it'll come into play in the finale, but Desmond sets it all up and then the next thing you know, Jack is talking to Locke in his office and Des is picking up Kate, telling her they have a concert to attend. Isn't Jack going to wonder why Oceanic hasn't called him back about the coffin before the concert?


That about wraps it up for this week. I wish I had more thoughts to throw out there, but I need to save some mental and emotional fortitude for the insanity on Sunday, and the week-long recap and analysis festival that's sure to ensue afterwards. Speaking of emotional, since this is the next to last Down the Hatch ever, I wanted to start the farewells now. There are many, many readers and fans of this column out there, and I appreciate all of you. Over the years, there have been some amazing discussions, comments and wild theories thrown out there, and I want you all to know that, even though I may not always have time to respond, I read and enjoy every single one of them.

On HoboTrashcan, thanks to many of the usual suspects for sticking around through the years: Daniel, Bud, James, zetts, SFoskett, Randy, tld, jonathan, Derek, A in TX, and The Baxter for always bringing out the good talking points, lostfan for usually making even my troubled mind hurt (I don't always understand what you're saying but I'm glad you're saying it), Mimi for constantly pointing out something incredibly cool that I missed, everyone who has spread the love on other sites and forums like Slate, and, of course, Joel Murphy for convincing me that 16 weeks out of every year I really don't need all that much sleep. Oh, and let me not forget Lars - without readers like him, I wouldn't seem half as smart as I do. My sincerest apologies if I've missed someone - if I have, shoot me a comment and I'll give you some props in the final column. You deserve it!

Over on lostdiscussion.livejournal.com, where Down the Hatch was born, I'd like to thank mancer, beekerzwhirled, asavitzk, kyaraelf, varenn, cgallivan, filigod, rexroof, ashmh, prattlingpeony, flummoxicated, tone_milazzo, feldegast, anonymooz, liz007 and the incomparable makitt for sticking around for a really, really long time, not only encouraging my mad ramblings, but helping the community to survive and flourish throughout the years. I can't thank you all enough.

Much thanks to sl-Lost.com for spreading the love and word of the column, and reposting it every week. The readers over there have managed to provide some very interesting and unique perspectives over the years. I haven't understood a lot of it, but I love it, nonetheless!

To all the twitterers who spread the tweet love (especially msrib, sparklej, amandamcpherson, and rballen81), my undying gratitude.

To Michael Emerson, thank you for the greatest compliment I could have received as a columnist.

And to my partner in crime, thanks for pointing out all the little details I might miss and for keeping my crazy brain grounded. You will always give me butterflies.

I'd better go before I get all choked up. Until next week (or Sunday, at the latest), keep thinking those thoughts and if you have an epiphany, tell me something good.


Cross-posted to ckirkman


joy meets world
joymeetsworld at 2010-05-20 15:56 (UTC) (Link)
One of my absolute favorite things about Lost is reading your thoughts and recap the next day. I'll miss it and I have you (and Liz) to thank for getting me into Lost in the first place!
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 15:57 (UTC) (Link)
JOY! Oh, I'm so sorry, you should have been in that shoutout list, too! You've stuck around since the VERY beginning. Thank you so much :)
(Anonymous) at 2010-05-20 16:01 (UTC) (Link)
I think Juliet is going to end up being Jack's ex and the mother of his son. Isn't the concert at the museum where Miles keeps begging Sawyer to go? Sawyer will go, meet Juliet and she'll say maybe they can grab a coffee which is what she said right before she wanted to say "It worked," and died.

makitt at 2010-05-20 16:03 (UTC) (Link)
That last one was from me.
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 16:03 (UTC) (Link)
For some reason, I had a feeling. :)
duhneese at 2010-05-24 06:57 (UTC) (Link)
wow, you nailed that! :)
ckirkman at 2010-05-24 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
She sure did. Bravo!
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 16:03 (UTC) (Link)
makitt at 2010-05-21 21:01 (UTC) (Link)


I've enjoyed the ride. I learned, laughed, loved and lost. That's just from reading your recaps!

What will you do with yourself now?

The Drummer
adifferentdrum at 2010-05-20 16:27 (UTC) (Link)
I've greatly enjoyed your columns since the beginning. :D I've always looked forward to reading them even if I never had that much to say. I'll miss this place and your awesome analysis for sure!

(Heehee~ Good Eats reference FTW~ It totally does look like the interior of an oven. WIN. XD)
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 16:29 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm glad you've stuck around for so long, and that you've enjoyed the ramblings. :) I'm also very glad you appreciate the Good Eats reference! YES, that makes my day. :D
The Drummer
adifferentdrum at 2010-05-20 16:34 (UTC) (Link)
They were fabulous! And I wish you luck on your next endeavor! It's bound to be a smash. :D

Good Eats and Alton Brown rock my socks. XD My brother is going to culinary school so not only do we watch a ton of Food Network, he forces his tasty creme brulee on my family! The horror, I tell you! THE HORROR. OMNOMNOM :9
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 16:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! For now, my next endeavour is going to involve some sleep and a few beers. ;)

Wow, that sounds absolutely HORRIFIC.

Good god how I love the crunchy puddin' o.O
prattlingpeony at 2010-05-23 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
I watched an episode on the anniversary of "Good Eats" and Alton Brown told the crowd that he originally went to the Food Network and suggested that they put on a show with a mix of Julia Child, Mr. Wizard and Monte Python. He was told to act in the show himself, of course.

Hearing about that combination of the show makes total sense!

Now.. find me a shrubbery! :D

Oh, and Ckirkman... thanks for the postings. I only found this site when Varenn pointed it out to me... I'm gonna miss your ramblings and hope that you let us know where you'll be posting next. :)
asavitzk at 2010-05-20 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the shout-out. :) Your column is just as much fun to read as each episode is to watch!

I'm a theater guy (stage manage, sound/light design, etc...) and I have to admit I feel like this coming Sunday is closing night after a crazy long run. I've gotten to know the cast (friends, online people like you, and the cast of the actual show both in character and out) over many years and now after Sunday it will all be over. It will be epic to see the story through to the end and I *really* hope I'm blown away by the finale but at the same time I'm dreading next Tuesday without my favorite show to look forward to.

Sigh. But anyway...

I was surprised when Ben shot Chuck too mainly because it seemed like those two were under the same Jacob/MIB rules of not being able to hurt each other. That got me wondering though - did Ben shoot Chuck in order to save him?

Ben knew just like Chuck did that after he spilled the beans MIB was going to kill him. Ben also knew that Chuck couldn't be hurt by Ben. So Ben shoots Chuck, MIB thinks Chuck is dead, but Chuck gets back up a few minutes later and gets moving on his plans.


Also, I love how the Smoking Stinks poster has a skunk that looks a lot like a whiff of smoke flowing through the air.
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 16:37 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm glad this long-winded thing is still fun to read. :)

I feel the same way you do - it's truly the end of an era, and I've been with this show, these characters, and the people online and off that go along with it since the very beginning. It's been a long, strange trip and I will be very sad when it's all over.

This is a very good point about Ben and Chuck - I hadn't really thought of that, but it makes sense. Also, Ben doesn't seem to have the C4 with him, currently, so maybe Chuck can grab that and his equipment down on the docks and really screw up Ol' Smokey.
ashmh at 2010-05-20 17:23 (UTC) (Link)
Ana Lucia wants her money or else she's gonna have to shoot them all as if they were trying to escape - or as if they were all Maggie Grace. Desmond tells her to keep her pantyhose on, that his guy will be there soon. She lets them out and uncuffs them, and soon Desmond's guy is there. It's Hurley. He's sorry he's late, dude... and he's also shocked that Ana Lucia is there. "Do I know you, tubby?" she asks. Hurley says no, that they've never met, then hands her an envelope full of cash, and she splits. Hurley asks if she's going with them, but Des says that she's "not ready yet." Awesome.

"Not ready" my ass! What a dumb ass scene! All to pander to the LOST fans who can't stand Ana-Lucia. This scene completely negates a few things about Ana-Lucia:

*She was working for LAX airport security before leaving the States for Australia.

*She was also on Flight 815, returning to L.A. to face the consequences of her murder of the guy who had shot her.

And I'm really supposed to believe that a murderer like Sayid and Kate, who had killed a man, while failing to kill her father; were ready and Ana-Lucia wasn't?

And if Sawyer was returning from Australia, that means he must have killed Frank Duckett.

I also have a problem with Jack allowing Sawyer not to take some responsibility for what happened on the submarine. Frankly, I don't buy that shit. As far as I'm concerned, Sawyer is partially responsible for the deaths on the submarine. The series is down to its second to the last episode; and James "Sawyer" Ford has yet to face the consequences of the deaths (murders included) that he has caused.

I'm sick of this shit.

ckirkman at 2010-05-20 17:30 (UTC) (Link)
Hahaha I feel your pain, really I do, but at this point I'm just kicking back, relaxing, and letting most of it just roll off me like water. It doesn't bother me that Ana Lucia wasn't "ready" - if we had another season of them gathering on LA X, I'd really call bullshit, but there are only so many minutes (and cash) to devote to characters. I've just learned to let most of this go, at this point, and have faith that the finale won't disappoint.

I will say, however, that I'd better not be sitting there with my mouth agape, wondering what the hell happened, like in the Alias finale. Or heads will roll.

As for Sawyer and Frank Duckett, this is LA X - a lot of things didn't go down like on Island Prime, so there's a good chance that Sawyer was just investigating leads, not committing homocide. Also - Kate is innocent now. Haven't you heard? ;)
asavitzk at 2010-05-20 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
The Alias finale almost made me stop watching Lost.

ckirkman at 2010-05-20 17:43 (UTC) (Link)
The only good part of that whole finale - looking back, mind you - was how Jack and Sloan ended up entombed with each other for eternity. That was pretty cool, actually.

You know, it kind of reminds me of the direction that another finale is taking, come to think of it........
ashmh at 2010-05-20 17:49 (UTC) (Link)
["As for Sawyer and Frank Duckett, this is LA X - a lot of things didn't go down like on Island Prime, so there's a good chance that Sawyer was just investigating leads, not committing homocide. Also - Kate is innocent now. Haven't you heard? ;)"]

If Sawyer was investigating Frank Duckett as a lead in a criminal case, he would not have been taken aback by Kate's accusation that he didn't want anyone to know that he had been in Australia. I will bet you dollars that he had murdered Duckett.

As for Sideways Kate's innocence, I'm not buying it. She was trying to kill her father, when she killed the other guy. And this doesn't negate the fact she killed her father in real island time, because she couldn't stand the idea of sharing his blood. Or that Sawyer murdered three people. I guess those two will never have to pay the consequences of their actions, while more unpopular characters like Ana-Lucia or Michael do. What is it about LOST fans that they are determined to make excuses for the mistakes and crimes of the more popular characters? Why?

I cannot believe that I had wasted five to six years of my life for this show. I thought it was going somewhere. I see now that I was wrong. And they have the nerve to call "LOST" the best show of the decade? Screw that!
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 18:05 (UTC) (Link)
"I guess those two will never have to pay the consequences of their actions, while more unpopular characters like Ana-Lucia or Michael do. What is it about LOST fans that they are determined to make excuses for the mistakes and crimes of the more popular characters? Why?"

I always thought that LA X existed so that everyone could be given a second chance.
tone_milazzo at 2010-05-20 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
No, thank you, dude, for giving us the info and ideas that made us seem smarter than Lost fans you don't read you posts.

>Why, if Ben was just going to shoot Widmore, did the whole conversation between the two of them occur back in Season 4 in "The Shape of Things to Come," as if they were the ones that would play out a lifelong game of Senet?</>

Wednesday morning I aid to myself "Holy Crap, the big bad guy for two seasons was just gunned down in a closet!" I like how Widmore and Ben, two of the most powerful men on Lost, were used like pawns by Jacob and MiB. Material power is outclassed by the metaphysical.
ckirkman at 2010-05-20 18:03 (UTC) (Link)
Hahah thanks! I would figure you'd all just sound crazy because of the column. ;)

Part of me is sad that something like that happened to Widmore and Ben, but the other part agrees that it's what needed to happen to stay in the context of the way the series has gone the past couple of seasons. Compared to Jacob and Smokey, Ben and Widmore are just kids fighting over toys in a sandbox.
Mali (Coop)
mals13 at 2010-05-23 02:07 (UTC) (Link)
ditto "for giving us the info and ideas that made us seem smarter than Lost fans that don't read you posts."

just yesterday, I was talking to some clients in my office about lost and pointed out some things they would have never even gotten close to noticing. If it wasn't for your column, I would have been just as ignorant -->I thank asavitsk for introducing me to your writings. And so, I gave them the link to your column and passed it along as well. Yeah, even this late in the game, no matter how much they decide to read, they'll learn something they'd never noticed or thought of before, enlightening their minds as much as you've done for us.
Thank you for catching on to so many tiny details, looking into the possibilities of so many theories and the history of so much information none of us would have EVER been privy to. You did so much work for our unkeen minds. I wish I could give you a cookie :)
filigod at 2010-05-20 19:04 (UTC) (Link)

Namaste, dude.

ALl of these goodbyes are killing me! Next Tuesday is, I think, the day I begin to go crazy. Thanks, man, it's been great hashing all this out.

Thanks also for not making the "Twilight" crossover joke I was fearing to go with that first screencap. I'd like to think that if I were a doctor I'd be a tad more alarmed at sudden unexplained open wounds on my neck.

I think Ben's "lemonade" line was the best of the night. But it was a tough field :-)

Makitt is onto something about Juliet's importance in the finale. I'm not so invested in whether she's David's mom, but the idea of her meeting Sawyer is key, and not just sentimentally. I've got to think something's up with the fact that a) Sawyer doesn't want to go to the concert, and hasn't had any sort of "awakening" and b) Juliet wasn't touched by Jacob in Primetime. Why hasn't Desmond shown any interest in Sawyer up to now? And will he meet Juliet at the concert or elsewhere?

I have a feeling I may shed some new tears over that resolution, but I'm so ready for resolution that I'll take them.
ckirkman at 2010-05-21 17:41 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Namaste, dude.

Hahah it didn't occur to me to make the Twilight connection - I did that when I talked about Richard's spanish lover's weird eyes. :)

I think makitt is onto something, too. Juliet has yet to reappear, and I think they've just been saving her for the finale. It's going to be awesome when we see her again. I may plotz.
(Deleted comment)
ckirkman at 2010-05-21 17:43 (UTC) (Link)
Whomever directed you here first, I'm glad that they did! And I'm glad that you've enjoyed this long, strange trip. :)

Your description of coming to the end of a long series of books is very appropriate. That's how I feel now.

The next discussion group? Wow... I have no idea! Any thoughts. ;)
prattlingpeony at 2010-05-23 17:50 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! No, it was YOU who pointed out this site to me, Varenn.

Some of Ckirkman's explanations (especially when it came to describing the flow of time) had my head spinning.. but it was always mixed in with a great sense of humor.

Several of the readers who commented explained things so eloquently that I was hesitant to respond at first, but I'm really glad that I did. I tend to have an eye towards detail, not the intellectual spoutings that others posted. ::pauses:: Ha! Does that mean my eye would be at the opening of this "episode".

Honestly, the only thing that got me on this last episode was that the ashes would have been wet by the time that mini-Jacob found Hurley. Then again.. it's JACOB. He can do anything. :)

For the finale, I'm hoping that Juliet has something to do with Sawyer, not Jack, as previously mentioned... I'm also sad that such a great series is coming to an end.
kyaraelf at 2010-05-21 13:03 (UTC) (Link)
I have to go back and reread and digest and all that good stuff. Thank you for the shoutout. THANK YOU for your insight and humor and all the time you have put into this column.

Finally, an Enterprise reference?! I thought I was the only one who liked that show enough to make references to it.
ckirkman at 2010-05-21 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
Hahaha I do, indeed, love Enterprise, but I didn't make a reference that I'm aware of. Which one??? Maybe I did subconsciously and didn't even know it! :D
kyaraelf at 2010-05-21 18:03 (UTC) (Link)
Through the Mirror Darkly, wasn't that the penultimate episode of Enterprise?
ckirkman at 2010-05-21 18:14 (UTC) (Link)
Oh YEAH! Holy cow... wow that truly was a subconscious reference, but I think that may be why I put that. I was just thinking about that episode the other day. I love how they changed the show intro for that.
filigod at 2010-05-21 17:11 (UTC) (Link)
Thought I'd drop off a link that seems to have been made with you in mind:

Lost Women Ranked By Sexiness

Be sure to click through to page 2 :-)
ckirkman at 2010-05-21 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
Now that's what I'm talking about! YES, Juliet beats out Kate every time. :D
duhneese at 2010-05-24 00:25 (UTC) (Link)
i will forever think of chris when i think of lost. thanks for all the mind-bending theories and MEGA helpful recaps. :)
ckirkman at 2010-05-24 14:19 (UTC) (Link)
Awwww, thanks! I'm touched. :)
angledge at 2010-05-24 15:50 (UTC) (Link)
I'm just hoping you won't disappear off LJ forever when this column ends....
ckirkman at 2010-05-24 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
I'm a lifetime member... I can't stay gone forever. ;)
duhneese at 2010-05-24 20:44 (UTC) (Link)
and when the thing with sawyer and you-know-who happened in the finale (can't ruin it for slow-pokes), all i could think was how happy chris would be! lol
ckirkman at 2010-05-24 20:45 (UTC) (Link)
I was totally ecstatic. I was clapping my hands. hahah
duhneese at 2010-05-24 20:46 (UTC) (Link)
i cried waaaaay too much last night!
Anna Willo
willo at 2010-05-24 03:59 (UTC) (Link)
I may not have commented much, but I've always read and discussed your writings with my family. I'll miss these moments; the finale is about to play on the West Coast. Thanks so much, Chris and Liz, for the wonderful recaps and insights. You made this experience so much more for us.


ps - I hope your puppy is doing well!
Anna Willo
willo at 2010-05-24 05:22 (UTC) (Link)
pps - omg the lost parody commercials!!
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