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Lost: Through the Looking Glass

Charlie: "So much for fate."

Wow. Is it possible to be thrilled and disappointed at the same time?

This was a massively cool episode, even by Lost's high standards. There were some absolutely fabulous moments. Charlie's amazing sacrifice. Hurley saving the day with his hippie van. Danielle finally meeting her daughter. That final scene with Jack and Kate near the airport, of all places.

But I feel like they broke the rules of narrative, and took me somewhere I didn't want to go. They were rescued? Really?

The flashbacks had me totally fooled. They felt wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on why. I kept wondering, when did Jack hit bottom, and how can this possibly fit into his previous flashbacks? Dan recognized how new the cell phone was and thought they'd made an anachronistic mistake. Jack even told the new head of surgery to get his father down there. How could Christian still be alive? Alternate universe? Was Jack drunk and delusional?

Who was in that coffin? It was someone so disliked that no one showed up for the funeral. Someone whose death pushed Jack into nearly jumping off a bridge. And who was the "he" that Kate needed to get back to? Sawyer? Their child? Nathan Fillion? And why wasn't she in jail?

Hoffs/Drawlar, the name of the funeral parlor, is an anagram for "flash forward." I wonder if we just saw a flash forward to the end of the series. Maybe they're getting off the Island... but not quite yet. There were just so many unanswered questions and inconsistencies. The biggest was that Naomi wasn't working for Penny Widmore, after all, as Charlie told Desmond in his second to last act on earth.

Charlie had time to get out before the compartment flooded, but he chose not to. I think Charlie believed that he was going to die anyway, and decided to redeem himself in an act of total unselfishness. During all of his final scenes, even when vicious Bonnie was beating him, Charlie was actually happy. His last act was to cross himself, and the circle of the porthole over his head looked like a halo. It was like he died in a state of grace. It was very moving. (I cried, of course.)

I thought we'd get a season finale bloodbath, and we got one, but it wasn't what I expected. The Lostaways took out most of the Others. Ben said that he made a decision that killed forty people, the Dharma people, in a single day. Bizarre coincidence that the number of Dharma people was the same as the number of Lostaways. What about the Others? Were there forty of them as well?

I was sort of sorry to see Tom go. But Sawyer was right: Tom did kidnap Walt. Speaking of Walt, was he a vision, or the real thing? Did Walt and Michael end up back on the Island after all? Did Walt somehow heal Locke, or did Locke heal himself?

Sawyer is clearly in need of a shrink. (Too bad Libby is dead.) He's so freaked about what happened in the Brig that he has ceased to nickname. At least he still cares about Kate and is trying to protect her. And he did the same thing to Hurley that Charlie did: he insulted him in order to save him. Hurley didn't need saving, though, did he?

When they all left for the radio tower, it felt like we were leaving the beach forever. And I don't want them to leave the beach forever. Dan was worried that Lost just pulled an Alias. Did they just irrevocably change the show, and not for the better? Will they move us ahead several years without resolving the past?

How can we possibly wait until next February to find out?

Character bits:

I didn't think anything could make Matthew Fox look bad, but that scruffy black beard did the trick.

Jack was popping "oxycondone" like M&Ms. Is that like oxycontin, the hillbilly heroin of Rush Limbaugh fame?

Jack's ex-wife Sara was very pregnant.

Mikhail is turning into Kenny. He dies in every episode and keeps coming back. We got a look at what was under the eyepatch. Bleah.

Ben told Alex that he tried to brainwash Carl to keep him from getting Alex pregnant. That almost makes sense.

Sayid broke a man's neck using just his legs. Sayid is scary as well as cute.

Kate looked so odd in the flashback. Then I realized it was because she was clean, and wearing makeup.

Rob Hamill, new chief of surgery, said that Jack was a hero twice over. Once was on the bridge where Jack was going to kill himself, pulling the woman (Mrs. Arlin?) and her eight-year-old son out of a burning car. When was the other? Fixing Sara? The crash of 815 on the beach? Something else?

Jack told Kate that he loved her. I think it was as a friend, though, because he kissed Juliet.

We got a close look at a lot of the beach extras. That rarely happens.

Bits and pieces:

— Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney. Future Jack spends every weekend using his Oceanic golden pass looking for the Island. That had better not be next season's focus.

— The song Future Jack was listening to on the radio was by Nirvana. He was suicidal, so that fit. And the code to the jamming device, programmed by a musician, was "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys. Beach? Vibrations? A little tongue in cheek humor by the programmer?

— There was a rabbit head on the Looking Glass Hatch logo. I couldn't quite see it last week.

— Ben's map listed their campsite as "Pascal Flats."


Rose: "Say it, Bernard."
Bernard: "I am a dentist. I am not Rambo."
Rose: "And don't you forget it."

Naomi: "What did you do for a living before you became Moses?"
Jack: "I was a doctor."
Naomi: "Right. Of course you were."
She didn't believe him. In retrospect, I find that odd.

Richard: "We're going to the radio tower?"
Ben: "Not we, Richard. Me. You're going to take everyone to the Temple, as planned."
Temple? What Temple?

Mikhail: (to Bonnie and Greta) "I thought you two were on assignment in Canada."

Juliet: "We were building a runway."
Sawyer: "Runway? For what?"
Juliet: "The aliens."

Sawyer: "So. You screwing Jack yet?"
Juliet: "No. Are you?"

Funeral Director: "Friend or family?"
Jack: "Neither."

Ben: "Alex. This is your mother."
Danielle: (to Alex) "Want to help me tie him up?"

Season three has been the best so far, and despite my reservations, this was an excellent, crazy, thought-provoking season ender. Four out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. My head is spinning! For a show that keeps me guessing, this one was a doozy. And, for a season that I was so disappointed in that I very nearly gave up on the whole show, it went out like the shows of old. I loved it.

    My favourite bit, and one of my favourite bits of the series to date, was Hurley driving in and saving the day. My heart broke for him when first Charlie and then Sawyer turned him down. He looked so lost and sad. But, good on him, he comes (literally) roaring back.

    Although it was sad, Charlie's death was inevitable. We've all but been told it was going to happen, so it wasn't a surprise. I'm just pleased that such a great character got to go out on such a heroic note. What a different person from the Charlie we meet on the beach after the crash who hides in the bathroom to retrieve his drugs. The only quibble I had was that Charlie stuck in a room filling with water and Desmond pounding on the window with a fire extinguisher so reminded me of the season one finale of Alias that I was rather scolding the writers in my mind.

    The flash forward had me completely stumped until I saw Kate. First of all, that beard was horrible and I kept focusing on it -- probably not what the costume designer had in mind, but there you are. I couldn't believe that Jack had sunk so low as he didn't seem that bad in the Australian flashbacks. I spent far too much time trying to figure out where in the story this fit. I shouldn't have bothered and should have just trusted the writers.

    The end broke my heart. To watch Kate drive away from Jack, home to whomever, while he cries about wanting to go back just made me sad. I really, really hope this is not a sign of things to come.

    Finally, a massive thank you to Josie and Jess who kept me going through this season when I had all but given up. Glad I listened to you ladies and stuck with it. But, and it should now go without saying, Billie. Your reviews enhance the experience tenfold. Every time I think I have something, you have beaten me to the punch. It's fun! Thank you.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Chris! It is one of my favorites of the series, and I find it absolutely thrilling every time I watch it. What a way to turn the tables, defy expectations, and whet our appetites for what might be coming next. I'm somewhat jealous that you get to plunge right ahead instead of waiting that whole long stretch for S4 to begin.

    So much exciting goodness in this one, but my favorite aspect is the way they parallel Jack's efforts to save everyone, and his triumphant moment of thinking he's finally gotten everyone off the island, with the shattered mess his life has become since leaving and his desperation to go back. It certainly made me want to find out how he went from that moment on top the island to that sad moment at the airport. Brilliant!

  3. I still tear up just thinking about this episode.

    Chris, I'm so happy that Lost worked its magic on you again. Season Four is great, great, great. Like Jess, I'm jealous that you get to jump right in.

  4. This was a great season finale. I was horrified when I thought Ben just murdered Sayid, Jin, and Bernard. It was awesome to see they were still alive and then Hurley comes in with the hippie can to save the day (again).
    I was expecting a lot of survivors to die, but only Charlie did. The problem I have with that is it seemed like his death was completely unnecessary. He could have easily gotten out and closed the door. I guess he felt he would die anyways, but regardless, I would rather die almost any other way than by drowning. Overall, I was a lot less sad than I thought I would be after the episode.

  5. And another thing; why the hell would Jack wanna go back? And just because Locke doesn't wanna go back doesn't mean he needs to kill someone over it. He can stay there when they get rescued right?
    Survivors beat the assholes this time, 11-1 (10 at the beach + eyepatch

  6. One of the best TV episodes of all the times. Jack's desperation is so heartbreaking,a man who had all and lost all.
    Kate's and Jack's feelings are very evident at this moment,Kate so jealous and stunned by "Because I love you". She obviously cares to Sawyer,but she's in love with the doctor.
    Charlie's death is so moving,great Giacchino'score.

  7. Here are my thoughts on Season 3 from the re-watch:

    Season Grade: B+
    This is probably the most uneven season of Lost, and it led to a few folks dropping from our Lost recap lunches all those years ago. The first few episodes are a listless drift, centered around The Others, who have had their mysteriousness largely neutered, replaced mainly with just meanness and little originality. Thankfully we still had our deliciously evil Ben and the seemingly duplicitous new addition Juliet to tide us over until the story improved.

    And I do really wish I could have talked some of those folks from those years ago into staying with the show, because not only did it hit it’s stride around mid-season, I’d argue that the period from mid season 3 through the end of season 4 is the very best of Lost overall. Once we got everyone back to the main island, the twists, turns, shifting allegiances and the new source of contention with the freighter folks was just fantastic television, and still is.

    Worst Episode: I could see some voting for “Expose”, the only episode to center on the where-did-they-come-from-and-why-are-they-here Nikki and Paulo, but the resolution of those characters in that episode was too funny to hate. The answer is easy here: “Stranger From a Strange Land” which is just…so bad. (I admit that after 15 minutes we just skipped this one on the rewatch because it’s even worse today).

    Best Episode: You could choose from so many this season! “Flashes Before Your Eyes” is a fantastic Desmond centered episode that first reveals his conscious traveling symptom from the hatch implosion. But there are better Desmond episodes to come. “The Man From Tallahassee” and “The Brig” are both sensational Locke centric episodes, and “The Brig” especially gives us that rare moment of both answers and satisfaction that was always so elusive with Lost. And “Greatest Hits” is a very moving Charley episode, as we watch him come to terms with his upcoming sacrifice.

    But I think it has to be “Through the Looking Glass” - easily a Top 3 episode in the entire series. Ask any Lost fan to name an iconic moment in Lost, and there’s a good chance they will just say Not Penny’s Boat! And if not, they very likely will say it’s the flash forward episode. And the episode is relentless in its build up of tension and action. My teenage son said at the conclusion of this episode - I feel like I just watched a great movie in a theater! That is very high praise for an episode of television that is nearly 20 years old.


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