Thursday, November 12, 2009

3.22/23 Through the Looking Glass

Follow along! The episode guide for “Through the Looking Glass” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 183-203.

Still, in my opinion, the best of the Lost season finales. It had suspense, death, heroism, fear, revelation, more death, and… the flashforward, which is the biggest game-changer of the series thus far. To be honest, I remember watching the first five minutes and then saying to my husband, “I can’t honestly place when in Jack’s past he would have had that beard. Could this be the future?” And then as soon as I said it, I continued watching it as if it were a flashback, so, luckily, the shock at the end was still a surprise. Rewatching this episode again, I still cried like a baby when Charlie died (good thing I’m doing this rewatch alone…) Honestly, I think that scene’s power is in the mournful violin and the music cutting out all of the actual diegetic sound in the scene. We don’t hear the water, things are in slow motion, and we watch Charlie’s death with just that beautiful piano music playing him out.

Fun things I noticed:
• Oh, that JEARD. As mangy and awful as the day we first saw it.
• Did you notice when the island group is walking across the flats and the big wave washes up, they just slosh through the water rather than dodging it by walking to the right about 5 feet? I don’t know about you, but a trek across the island in sopping wet shoes sounds AWESOME to me.
• Ben to Alex re: his brainwashing of Karl: “I suppose I overreacted.” HA!!
• I know I said this in my book for this episode and for “Beginning of the End,” but I ADORE Jack’s musical taste. What a PERFECT song to play in this scene.
• Again, mentioned in my book, but I love that Rousseau’s first words to her daughter are asking her to help her tie Ben up. Haha!
• You know, I never really liked Naomi. I always found her harsh and unlikable, even when she shows up again in seasons 4 and 5.
• Best ending ever.

Things that have new meaning:
• Now that we know the island wouldn’t let Michael kill himself, does the island cause the car crash, thus preventing Jack from jumping off that bridge? He looks up and utters, “Forgive me” but maybe part of the island’s redemption process is he has to forgive himself, and he can’t die until he does.
• Juliet going back to the beach with Sawyer – and the fun banter between the two of them – seems entirely different post-season 5.
• She mentions the runway that they were building, and that’s the same runway that Ajira 316 will land successfully on, as if the events of season 5 were already being put in place now.
• Now that we’ve seen the events in “Dead Is Dead” where Ben first took Alex and how much he really does care for her, it must have been hard for him to march her along with him and tell her he was turning her over to her “new family.” Do you think he was being sincere about that or was ha planning on doing something else?
• Ben says he took the lives of over 40 people, but in season 5 we see WAY more than 40 people in the DI. Will it have significantly decreased in number by the time the Purge happens?
• Again, I have to emphasize that he says, “Every single living person on this island will die.” There’s some significance to him saying “living person” as if he knows there are some persons on this island not living.
• The machine in the Looking Glass was programmed by a musician. I know I asked this in my book, but in light of season 5, is there any chance that musician was somehow Charlie? Or was it the head songwriter in Geronimo Jackson? Was Charlie the head songwriter in Geronimo Jackson? (Har.)
• Locke telling Jack, “You’re not supposed to do this” takes on much greater significance after seeing season 5, and what Jack then believes he’s REALLY supposed to do.
• Minkowski has a completely different voice, because Fisher Stevens hadn’t been cast in the role yet.
• Jack tells Kate that he’s sick of lying, and at the time when we spend a wild summer trying to put together the pieces of this finale, we all assumed Oceanic had forced them to lie. And now we know it was JACK who concocted the idea of it and forced everyone to do it. Interesting he’s the one who couldn’t sustain it.
• And again, something I talk about at length in my new season 5 book, but Jack’s beard growth is significantly more than it was when he ran into Locke in the hospital bed. And he hadn’t yet started to take plane trips then. Locke dies within a week of having that conversation with Jack, and yet Jack doesn’t see the body in the coffin until now, when his beard has a couple of months’ growth on it, and he’s been taking Friday night flights for a long time. So why didn’t the body decompose? Why is there that time discrepancy?

Another season down!! Time to dust off your Finding Lost Season 4 guides and get ready for the next season next week. And tune in here tomorrow night for my rundown of season 3, and some extra season 3 fun. :)


Marebabe said...

This is Ben’s frantic, freaked-out episode. He’s really not used to being so out-of-control, and especially not when the stakes are so high.

How much time passed since Ben shot Locke? How long did he lie in that mass grave before he decided to shoot himself? Anyone have a handle on the timeline of events here? It seems that Locke’s beard has grown some since we last saw him. Could it have been a whole day in Island time?

I never noticed that Minkowski’s voice was different. It’s hard to tell with a voice that’s being transmitted over a tiny little speaker.

We are told that only Ben, Greta and Bonnie know the “Good Vibrations” code for turning off the jamming device. I actually think that time-traveling Charlie being the musician who programmed it is a pretty decent theory. It’s an interesting notion, and I’m not saying that it’s impossible. But Ben plays piano (way better than Jack, I might add!), and since he is one of only three people who know the code, maybe HE is the one who programmed it.

Regarding the fact that the number keys don’t exactly correspond to piano keys, you’ve got that right! I remember dinkin’ around with my brand new touch-tone phone back when it was a novelty item and we’d just graduated from rotary phones. It was fun to try to play short melodies (for some reason, I remember trying to play “Yellow Rose of Texas”), but if you weren’t careful, you might suddenly hear a voice on the other end saying, “Bon jour!” For safety, we kept practice sequences to only 6 notes.

I still don’t know what to make of Charlie’s left-handed Sign of the Cross as he’s drowning. Nikki, in your S3 book, you filed this under “Oops”, and I think that’s probably correct. But if it was simply a mistake, I guess what bugs me the most about it is how easily avoidable the mistake was. I’ve checked for signs that the image was reversed in the editing room, but that’s definitely not it. (Charlie is right-handed; he wears his watch on his right wrist and the group of thin black bracelets on his left wrist; he wrote “Not Penny’s Boat” on his left hand.) I’ve even pondered the possibility that we’re seeing events in a parallel world where it’s proper to use the left hand for the Sign of the Cross. The “Oops” is the most likely explanation, even if such carelessness seems extremely unlikely from such a brilliant cast and crew.

Near the end, when Jack is on the phone with Kate asking her to meet him, he says, “You know where.” So, they’ve had end-of-the-runway meetings before. But why? I personally enjoy parking right at the end of a busy runway and watching big jets fly low overhead. It’s a thrill, and can provide wonderful photo opportunities. (I have some great shots of the Concorde landing in Miami.) But Jack and Kate are so intense all the time, it’s hard to imagine them doing anything “just for fun”. So why else would someone choose the end of a runway for a meeting?

Speaking of “just for fun”, you’re teasing us with the promise of some extra season 3 fun tomorrow. I love it!

celandinehaleth said...

Umm, I thought Locke convinced Jack that they had to go back. He certainly made it abundently clear that he did not think Jack and company should leave in the first place. Jack didn't want to believe him, but in his dismay I think he comes to that conclusion, maybe even because Locke dies.

The beard part, just continuity error:(.

JennM said...

I stand by my previous position that Charlie's death is his salvation.

The non-selfish part of me gets that. The selfish part of me says, "Screw salvation. I miss Chah-lie."

Oh Charlie. :(

Jarrett Pressman said...

Hey Nikki,

I remember sometime during the following season after we met Kevin Johnson that Damon and Carlton had mentioned on their podcast that YES, it was the island stopping Jack from killing himself on the bridge by crashing the car, because the island wasn't finished with him yet. It was Damon and Carlton's response to that very same question you just asked in this post. :)

Susan said...

Nikki kudos for recognizing that it was a flashforward. Not only did I not realize it, but when Kate appears at the end, for a brief ten seconds I actually thought, "They've known each other all along!"

re Jack instigating the lying, it was actually suggested to him by Locke (end of season 4).

I know a lot of people make fun of Jack's beard, but I can go one worse. Young Ben's fake wig was so awful I wished they had just used a different actor to play him (but more on that when we get to Dead Is Dead).

Charlie is hilarious when he's captured. Maybe the knowledge that he will die after pressing the button keeps him from being afraid that the girls will kill him, but he has some great one-liners here. "It's Charlie! Tell him I said hi!"

Body count: according to Lostpedia, Bernard kills 2 Others, Jin 2 as well, Sayid kills 3 in the first attack, then 1 later during the rescue, Hurley kills 1, and Sawyer kills 1. Just some fun facts for anyone who is interested.

The Question Mark said...

Hmm...if the musician who programmed the Good Vibrations code was indeed time-traveling, could it have been Daniel Faraday? He was pretty skilled with a piano himself.

@Susan: LOL Ben's Hitler wig! I'd forgotten about that! I guess that's the down-side to having an actor as brilliant as Michael Emerson: they probably couldn't find young actors able enough to match his character work. Although, for the record, Sterling Beaumon is EXCELLENT.

I love this finale simply because of how EPIC it is. It seems like everything the show has been leading up to culminates in some way here: We see the survivors abandon their beach camp and make for the tower. We see the French transmission being deactivated to make room on the airwaves. We see Jack FINALLY making contact with a rescue boat. We see Charlie die (sniff). We see Hurley saving the day and being a hero. We see the Losties finally kicking Other butt all over the beach, after all the torment the Others had put them through. We see Jack and Locke's rivalry come to a head. AND...we see life after the island, for the first time ever.
This was so epic, it almost felt like a mini series finale, in a way. I can only hope that the REAL series finale matches the scale and grandeur of Through the Looking Glass.

Marebabe said...

@Question Mark: Could-a been Daniel Faraday who did the musical programming. I'd forgotten about what a piano prodigy he was. With all the threads they have to tie up in S6, d'you suppose that they will be able to address this minor detail? (Oh please oh please!)

I've always thought Ben's wig looked like Hitler Hair. Glad to see someone else thinks so.

You summed up this episode in an epic nutshell. And really, if the series finale is this good, I'll be more than satisfied.

Rebecca T. said...

@Nikki: Juliet going back to the beach with Sawyer – and the fun banter between the two of them – seems entirely different post-season 5.

That was one big thing I noticed that had really changed in the rewatching of this particular episode. The groundwork was already being laid.

Was Charlie the head songwriter in Geronimo Jackson? (Har.)

Har Har indeed :D

I remember when I first saw this episode, my sister and I spent the ENTIRE thing talking about where on earth the "flash" fit into Jack's life. Then when Kate showed up we both screamed, "WHAT!?!?!?!" and gaped at the screen open mouthed for about five minutes once the show had ended. hee hee.

Jack just seems overly worked up over Locke's death. imo.

Aww... Claire was using that baby carrier that Charlie made for Aaron back ... whenever.

Ok. Why would Naomi show Jack how to use the phone "just in case" if the people on the other end were going to freak out when she couldn't come to the phone?

And I HATE that Jack doesn't protest when naomi doesn't trust Juliet but flipped out on Kate for the same suspicions.

Ben's best line this episode? "I lied." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I would like to know why Sarah came to see Jack in the hospital. The only real reason I can come up with is that the writers wanted us to think that it was a flashback of some sort. and that irritates me.

Rose: "If you say 'live together, die alone,' one more time, I'm gonna punch you, Jack." HA! My sentiments EXACTLY!

@Susan: I love Charlie's antics, too. When he starts singing to cover Desmond's arrival, it is absolutely hysterical

When one of the Other girls (don't remember their names, sorry) says when they stop following orders, "Everything we're doing here falls apart." What exactly ARE they doing there other than living and stealing babies and pregnant ladies?

Ben's hair looks like chicken feathers in the second half. :P

All right. There is diving equipment. Charlie knows that if he pushes the button, he's supposed to drown. So why don't he and Desmond put ON the diving equipment, then push the button and then escape. I know, I know, he has to drown to make the vision come true, but he still pushes the button, so help would still come, right? It's just always seemed to me like Charlie's death here could have been avoided. Even if they hadn't put on the equipment, he and Des should have been able to run for the moon pool and swim out. They swam in, so it shouldn't have been a problem to swim out. Why did Charlie close the door?

(Deep down I ask all these questions because I miss Charlie, but I think there is some validity to my questions as well.)

In that final scene, my sister and I have always thought that Kate looks like Arwen the elf from LOTR. :P

Susan said...

Sonshine re Sarah coming to the hospital to see Jack, I think you're right about the writers trying to fool us. They do the same thing when Jack starts yelling about his father upstairs. They certrainly fooled me. I had thought this flash took place sometime after his divorce but that he later cleaned up by the time he went to Australia.

Fred said...

What's with Sarah coming to the hospital pregnant? Nikki, you say in your book the actress pregnant at the time. But has this anything to do with the theme of fertility in the show? And what an appropriate musical number but Nirvana's In Utero album.

Hurley driving in the VW bus reminded me of Juliet's huband getting run over by the bus. Sawyer even says to Hurley, stay in the bus.

Oh, poor Jack. He's so devolved he's become an addict wanting to crash on the island. It seems like Charlie and Jack have traded places. His behaviour on the plane is not only dark, but like an addict he shows no concern for others. His house is a mess with maps, which lead him nowhere. On the island he had a purpose, but home he has lost his center of being. Even his position at the hospital has been replaced by a new doctor, now head of surgery (Christian's old job).

In contrast, we see Locke helpless in the pit among the remains of Dharma residents. And if they were tossed in there in 1992, how is it that revolver still works, what with all the rain showers. It should be rusted solid. I get the feeling of something like Dante's Inferno, where Locke is in, the pit of hell. Nikki you described Locke's rising from the pit "Christ-like," but I beg to differ. It's more Christ healing the lame man, while Christ rising is echoed in Locke and Eko's pushing the stone away form the door to the Beechcraft to find Yemi's body missing. But LOST isn't a Chritian dialogue; Locke doesn't believe in Christianity, as shown by his interaction with Eko. So should we trust in miracles? And Walt telling Locke, he has "work to do," echoes Chrisitan's mobisode where he tells Vincent to wake Jack. But if Locke is to prevent Jack from calling the Naomi's ship, why does he stop in his tracks when Jack actually calls? Does Locke know Jack is important? Perhaps, with future-insight, Locke knows that if he tried to shoot Jack the gun would jam, like it did when young Widmore escaped from Locke and Sawyer.

Susan said...

John knows the gun isn't loaded because it's the one he used on Sawyer in The Brig. I'm guessing he didn't stop Jack because it's one thing to kill an almost stranger but if he killed Jack the rest of the Losties would turn on him.

Pamalamb said...

@Sonshine: It's just always seemed to me like Charlie's death here could have been avoided...Why did Charlie close the door?

Sonshine: I have asked myself this same question and can never figure out why he had to die. As you say he had already done the job of turning off the jamming device. Why Charlie why! :(

Nikki: you were very smart to think it might be the future watching it the first time. I had absolutely no idea and kept trying to figure out where this fit into Jack's pre island life (Jack telling the doctor in charge to bring his father down there to see who was drunker only added to my confusion).

Nikki: You mention an inconistancy with the 1-2 months between Jack's talk with Locke in the hospital and Locke's funeral because Locke killed himself just a week after the talk with Jack. Do we know he killed himself that soon afterward for sure. I had assumed that Locke was around for a month or two either still trying to convice the others, or just sitting in his seady motel room feeling dispondent and depressed before he finally decided to kill himself.

Aww...Sawyer and Juliet's first adventure together!
I always liked the way these characters interacted with each other. I wasn't that surprised when they ended up together. They are both straight shotters, and they both have that sarcastic sense of humor.

Nikki: I totally agree with you about Naomi. As a matter a fact, I think that she would have become very dangerous for the losties if Locke had not killed her. I think things would have gone much differently if she had been the one to call the boat.

Unknown said...

@Questionmark: since last season I'm pretty darn sure it was Faraday who programmed the Looking Glass. It makes complete sense -- after all, he went to Ann Arbor for a few years to work with Dharma as a scientist... is probably the best musician of all of them... and very possibly knows what's going to happen in the future at the Looking Glass. Will be a great reveal if true.

@Pamalamb: I know a ton of fans who have the same complaint, that Charlie lets himself die for no reason... but disagree. Remember, at this point he has all the proof he needs that Desmond can see the future. And also that he thinks his death will guarantee that Claire and Aaron are rescued from the island (um...). And he loves Claire more than anyone and will do anything for her... including sacrifice himself. So while he was not only keeping Desmond safe... he was giving himself up to save Claire. Quite touching, actually.

crazyinlost said...

Nikki-Great post to one of my favorite season finales.

@SonshineMusic-Jack just seems overly worked up over Locke's death. imo.-I whole heartedly agree. Worked up enough to off himself? Or is he just not in his right mind with all the drugs/booze. Also, the little snuggie thing is called a Bjorn, and Charlie makes it for Claire at the end of S1 when they have to trek back to the caves to hide.

Bernard-"I am a dentist. I am not Rambo." hahaha

Mikhail-"You said the Looking Glass was inoperable"
Ben-"I lied."
Oh, Ben, you big kidder!

Bonnie @ TLG looks just like Sara! (and she acts like her too-good thing Jack didn't need to meet her)

The lady from the car accident looks like Sarah too! (after her car accident with all the bandages on). Is this a conspiracy??

What IS Sawyer's problem with Kate? Jack hasn't told him he lover her too, has he? hehehe

Taller Ghost Walt!

"Friend or family" "Neither" hahaha

crazyinlost said...

Jack's REAL beard has grey in it-the Jeard doesn't!

Charlie to Bonnie, "You have the opportunity to make Ben very, very angry. Why would you not take that?"

Jack on this trek reminds me of Gene Hackman's preacher role in "The Poisideon Adventure" which is my all time favorite movie. "I'm gonna get these people off this boat!" "I'm gonna get these people off this island!"

Alex to Rousseau, "What?"
Ben- "Alex, this is your mother"
Shock! Relief!

@Nikki-I remember going back and relistening to the voice on the phone after we see F.S. in S4, thinking, this totally is not the same voice!

Wow! Sawyer shooting Tom. "Dude, it was over..." "I didn't believe him."

The look on Danielle's face after she whacks Ben...she's been wanting to whak him for a long time!

This was one of the most heart-wrenching death scenes of all. Charlie giving up his life..."The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one" Sooo sad, and baby Aaron crying just at the time of death, deep sob filled sigh. I don't know how my daughter is gonna take this scene. Charlie is her no. 1 fav character, and at 15, she is VERY emotional. Oh well it will be awhile, she's still on season 2! (Swim season got in the way for her).

Ali Bags said...

I am SO jealous of people who saw this on TV the first time round and were amazed by the ending. I watched it on DVD and already knew it was a flashforward - that's why I am attempting to stay totally spoiler free for Season 6!

humanebean said...

Tremendous finale. When I stop to consider the arc that Charlie has followed from our first view of him, his death has a powerful resonance. From drug-addicted has-been to kicking the habit, from tentative friend and protector of Claire and Aaron to baby-napper, from selfish and vengeful Sun-attacker to selfless martyr for the greater good and particularly for the rescue of Claire and Aaron .. his character has seen a rich development and defining change that outshines even the turnabouts we have seen from Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet.

I love how we know now that Charlie kept his promise to Hurley from "Greatest Hits": "I'll catch up to you later, man. Just remember I love you".

Nik - At first I thought that Ben was just trying to manipulate Alex by telling her that he was going to turn her over to her "new family". However, the more I thought about how her 'betrayal' had directly led to the deaths of 7 Others, perhaps he felt she needed to be cast out as punishment - in the way that Juliet was judged and narrowly escaped being put to death after killing Danny Pickett.

As we continue with our Rewatch, I remain fascinated by a reevaluation of Locke's actions in light of the Season 5 revelations. Up until now, Locke's choices and pronouncements of 'destiny' and 'sacrifices demanded by the Island' have been more vague, as if he were rationalizing actions he felt compelled to take. Now, in light of recent events, he seems to be responding more directly to specific instructions.

He rises from the Dharma mass grave with 'work to do'; did Taller Ghost Walt tell him to march across the Island to the radio tower, intercept the parachuting stranger he knows nothing of, kill her if necessary to prevent her contacting the outside world and threaten to kill Jack if he attempted to do the same? Certainly, he now believes more than ever that the Island holds his destiny - Jacob needs his help and has saved him from certain death (for at least the second time, we know).

Things that Locke has done up until this moment - conking Sayid to prevent him triangulating a signal, dementedly tabbing poor Boone to induce his revelation, first compulsively pushing a button and then orchestrating events to prevent its being pushed, shoving Mikhail through the sonic fence, blowing up the sub, even manipulating Sawyer to kill Cooper so as to 'prove' himself to the Others - all pale before the sequence that ends this season.

THIS is the moment for me when Locke goes completely off the rails. These are the actions that will ultimately lead him into the coffin that Jack visits in the 'Hoffs-Drawlar" Funeral Home ('flash forward anagram ... HOOT) ... and out of it again upon returning to the Island via Ajira 316. Not that he has ever been adequately able to explain himself to Jack or anyone else up until now; from here forward he CAN'T explain whatever his visions have told him to do.

To think that this season finale came only a month or two after the series' most unfocused and universally disliked episodes. Wow. Way to reel your core audience back in, showrunners! Bravo!

Susan said...

Thank you Crazyinlost. I always scoff when Ben says how much Juliet resembles Sarah (why, just because she has blond hair???) and I think Bonnie is a dead ringer for Sarah.

scotminusT said...

Great recap as usual Nikki, and fantastic season 5 book! I picked it up last Saturday and spent the entire day in our seventies hoop chair absorbed in it.

Two small responses to comments above:
--I believe Sara was still listed as Jack's emergency contact, and that's why she was called (still somewhat contrived: I mean if I'd been in a plane crash and survived, I might think to update my ECs sometime in the intervening years).

--in terms of Charlie accepting his death, I always sort of figured that if he averted death in the Looking Glass that he'd just be in for another less heroic death a la course correction).

V said...

Nikki: You asked if the number of DI members had decreased by the time the Purge happens. The answer is Yes. We saw many more than 40 during the "Le Fleur" days, but the number decreased right before "The Incident" when they were evacuating all the women and children off the island. Remember adult Miles watching from the bushes as his father demanded his mother to get on the sub with baby Miles? There is also the possiblity that Ben was not the only DI to defect to the Others, we know Ethan did too. So Ben's claim of killing 40 is possible.

Austin Gorton said...

The first time I watched this episode I groaned "ANOTHER Jack flashback? Seriously? Ugh." :)

Regarding Charlie's death, I'm no physicist, but my understanding was always that he closed the door on Desmond so that the moon pool wouldn't flood the whole station. Once Mikhail busted that window, the pressure keeping the ocean water from filling the station via the moon pool would get thrown out of whack, destabilizing the moon pool.

So Charlie sealed the hatchway to prevent Desmond from drowning as well, as it is highly unlikely that he could have held his breath for as long as it took the station to fill with water and the pressure to equalize, allowing him to swim out the pool and up to the surface.

The time discrepancy between Locke's suicide and his funeral as suggested by the size of the Jeard is one of those nagging things that prevents me from fully enjoying the otherwise excellent "Bentham" episode. I really x infinity hope SOME kind of official explanation is put forward beyond "we screwed up" or "you weren't supposed to notice that".

Thankfully, I still fully adore this wonderful episode. :)

humanebean said...

@Teebore - you are no doubt right that Charlie may have closed the door because he thought that he was preventing the station from flooding. Alas, there appears to be a body of scientific thought that this would not have happened. As I understand it, the pressure would have forced air out the porthole first, before water began rushing in to fill the station up to the threshold of the porthole.

The remaining air should have had no place to go and thus given he and Desmond breathing space. Dramatic license prevailed and we instead witnessed Charlie's heroic death. Logic is a fickle bitch, ya know what I'm sayin'?

Austin Gorton said...

@humanebean- I hear ya. Like I said, I'm no scientist. And clearly, neither is Charlie. :)

Fred said...

@TeeBore & humanbean: Charlie still would have died. Sure a pocket of air would be created near the cieling, above the height of the porthole Mikhail blew open (think of a glass in an aquarium, if placed upsode down it contains a column of air, the size of which is dependent on the water pressure trying to enter the glass and the air pressure resisting the water--actually the water pressure is also dependent on the atmospheric pressure, think lots of vestors).

But even still, the air would be limited and there would be no refreshment. Charlie would have used up the available oxygen (turned into CO2) and he'd then suffocate. Actually, he'd probably drown as he slips under the water.

On the other hand, thank God they made Charlie's death so palatable and easy. If he had really drowned, it would not have been as pleasant, especially for us watching. It looked more like his soul/spirit/being just left him after he made the sign of the cross.

JS said...

@Nikki et al - Is it possible Ben brought her to her “new family” because he wanted her to be far away from him to keep her from getting caught/hurt? This flies in the face of my overarching theory that Ben (and Eloise, and Charles) has lived/seen a version of all this before and knows what will happen. The thing that throws him off his plan (he always has a plan) completely is Alex's murder. "He changed the rules". She didn't die the first time around. But protection is still a possibility.

Ditto on the amazingness of the episode, many poignant moments. I still got excited when Jack said, "We have to go back, Kate." This truly is the climax of the beginning of the second half of the story. That last sentence made sense in my head.

humanebean said...

@Fred - well, you know, I love a good quibble! The size of that moon pool room, not to mention the 4-6 foot space to the ceiling that would have remained just in the transmission room alone, should have supplied ample oxygen for a while - long enough for Des and Chahlie to make their way back out of the Looking Glass Station. And this is without them being able to take advantage of the diving equipment!

@JS - good point. Perhaps as long as Alex was with a group that was clearly anti-Ben, she might have been relatively safe. But then again, Ben had reason to believe (and later seemed prophetic) that every living person on the Island was in danger from the threat posed by these new arrivals. If Daniel and Charlotte were not later able to successfully render the poison gas inert, anyone outside of Ben's immediate protection might have suffered if he chose to weaponize it.

Fred said...

@humanbean: Sorry, I meant Charlie in the radio room, after he closed the door on Desmond. In the larger outer room, they'd have had some time to get the diving equipment and managed to surface. But let's be honest, where's the drama in that?

Pamalamb said...

@Teebore: I'm still not sure there is that big a time descrepancy between Locke's murder and the funeral. Remember Ben told Locke, when he was trying to talk Locke out of killing himself, that Jack had been making plane trips over the Pacific trying to crash. So the murder had to be at least a few weeks after Jack and Locke had seen each other in the hospital.

Previously I thought that Ben must have some foreknowlege of the future. But after watching this episode again I'm changing my mind. Ben is way too frantic and out of control (He is making decisions without thinking it through or having a definate plan), he has to be surprised by all this. Either he didn't know what would happen or something has changed things.

JW said...

This is my favorite season finale so far. It is a bit difficult for me to watch someone drowning, however. Especially when that someone knows he is going to drown long before it happens. I try to imagine myself letting a situation like that happen and it terrifies me; it's like finding myself in a chess game where I know I will end up checkmated no matter what choices I make for the remainder of the game. The worst thing about drowning is that at some point you know you must give up and try to breathe to avoid the pain and suffering of exhaustion, but you know breathing will only lead to the pain and suffering of drowning. Anyway, there's my happy post for today. :)

crazyinlost said...

Okay, with all the question about Jack and his beard growth with relation to when he saw Locke, I remembered something, so I did some research. In "There's No Place Like Home pt 3" in the last 10min or so, when Ben shows up at funeral parlor, he asks Jack, "So when did you see him", and Jack responds, "Oh, about a month ago"!
Hope this helps!

tiasabita said...

This was probably the fifth or sixth ep of LOST that I ever watched and although I was probably already hooked this ep sealed my addiction and made me spend every free second devouring all the previous shows! QuestionMark describes TtheLG the best - 'EPIC'! Like you say, QM, so many stories culminate here as well as new stories being introduced - it was almost too much info to process!! The radio tower is found, the cable on the beach is finally addressed and leads to a brand new station, Danielle meets her long-mourned daughter, Jack finally thinks he's going to get his people rescued, Hurley and Bernard finally get noticed as a valuable members of the team, Ben admits he's a liar, Charlie and Claire are shown as 100% a couple, that nagging looping French message is finally turned off and sadly Charlie does die.

As several of you have mentioned, the waterworks started here, too, with the Churley scene on the beach - the 'I love yous', the hug, the promise to catch up later. So touching. Dominic deserves a medal for this ep.

@Crazyinlost, yeah, the look Danielle gave Ben after she whacked him was priceless!! I laughed out loud!

Do we know if Charlie is slated to reappear in S6? It simply must happen!

Austin Gorton said...

@pamalamb: The thing that suggests to me that the Locke's death in "Bentham" occurred shortly after his hospital run-in w/Jack and thus long (a month to six weeks) before Jack visits his body in this episode is that the cuts and scrapes on Locke's face when he's about to kill himself are fresh and consistent with the accident he was in that brought him to Jack's hospital (Nikki points this out in her book).

If Locke's death occurred a month after his hospital run-in w/Jack, allowing for Jack to begin his flights and for his beard to take over his face, then those cuts should be more healed.

I forget Ben's exact line to Locke about Jack's flights, but I seem to recall there was something about it which suggested Jack had just begun taking the flights, once again suggesting that Locke's death occurred several weeks before the funeral in this episode. But I suppose we can get to that when re-watching "Bentham".

Anonymous said...

Too bad we never saw Jack meet his father-in-law - none other than Al Bundy!!!!

War Modern Family.

Juanita's Journal said...

re Jack instigating the lying, it was actually suggested to him by Locke (end of season 4).

It was Kate who had instigated the lie. Watch "The Little Prince". She wanted an excuse to keep Aaron for herself, out of pure selfishness. And Jack wanted to help Kate . . . out of pure selfishness. So, he remembered Locke's words about protecting the island and used it to convince the other Oceanic Six that protecting the island was a good excuse to lie about Kate being Aaron's mother.

It amazes me that so many fans go through such lengths to make excuses for Kate's crimes. However, she is not alone. They tend to do the same for Sawyer.

The Rush Blog said...

I have never forgiven Sawyer for Tom's murder. Never. He has never shown any remorse for his actions. And put all of the blame for Walt's kidnapping on Tom, so that he could have an excuse to commit murder. This is why Sawyer, to me, has never shown any real sign of character development.

RosieP said...

Matthew Fox should have received an Emmy nomination for his performance in this episode. This is why I considered him to be one of the few really good actors on the show.