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Lost: The Last Recruit

Smokey: "Nice to have everyone back together again."

This episode felt like that big number near the end of West Side Story where the entire cast was tromping around singing in counterpoint. Everyone is coming together, and in both universes; there was so much going on that it felt choreographed (hence the West Side Story metaphor). Things are building toward a climax. It's about time, pun intended.

What I liked most about this episode was the way the story lines wove together. I think I'll have to do bullet points. (I'm tempted to make a graph, but that would be ridiculous.) (Maybe I'll make one later.)

— Jack and Claire and Jack and Claire finally met or met again, but this time, finally, as brother and sister.

— Kate acknowledged that she shouldn't have raised Aaron and apologized to Claire for taking him, just as alt-Claire was prevented from going to an adoption agency. (Seriously. If I were alt-Claire, I'd suspect Desmond was a stalker who was hot for pregnant blondes.)

— Sun and Jin were finally reunited on the Island (although as they ran into each other's arms, I expected them to get fried by the sonic fence). Alt-Sun, still with alt-Jin, didn't die or lose her baby.



— Alt-Jack was about to operate on Locke, exactly as Jack once operated on Ben.

— Ben murdered Locke, but alt-Ben was comforting alt-Locke in the ambulance.

— Sayid was Ben's enforcer. And now he's Smokey's.

— Alt-Kate has again insisted that she's innocent of murder. I wonder if that's why alt-Sawyer is a cop, so that he can prove her innocence? Sort of like Jack fixing Locke, it just feels like it's meant to be.

Anyway. Alt-Locke and alt-Sun being wheeled into St. Sebastian's together was hilarious. She recognized him. How? From flight 815? Or does she remember the Island now that she nearly died? Will both Suns start speaking English now that one of her does? It was nice that Jin and Sun reaffirmed their love in English (big honking symbolism again), but it's really too bad we couldn't have Jin translating for Sun. It would have been great symmetry.

Jack, no longer our man of science, has accepted his fate on the Island to the point of letting Sawyer literally dump him off Desmond's boat. Smokey thinks Jack belongs to him now, but you know, I don't think so. Claire was Smokey's for years, but now she's ready to leave the Island with Kate. Sayid was Smokey's, until Desmond talked him out of killing him. Okay, we didn't see it, but Desmond brought up the one thing that would influence Sayid: Nadia's disapproval.

I think Hurley's reference to Anakin Skywalker was a big hint that Claire and Sayid can be saved, and that Jack is in no danger of losing his soul. Maybe Smokey's magical vocal influence is a proximity thing. Three miles away and you're safe in international waters.

This episode began with a cliffhanger and ended with a cliffhanger. What's up with Widmore? Does he really think flinging mortars at Smokey will get Desmond back?

What have we learned?

— Smokey confirmed that he appeared to Jack as Christian Shephard in "White Rabbit." But Smokey can't leave the Island so that doesn't explain Jack seeing Christian at St. Sebastian's. It seems unlikely that all of the Walking Dead are Smokey. I wish they'd freaking explain this.

— Smokey also said Locke had to believe in the Island, had to die, and his body had to return in a box for Smokey to take on Locke's form. Pretty convoluted, if you ask me. Sort of a perfect storm.

Character bits:

Alt-Jack and his son David looked so great together, so simpatico. Walking the same way, David showing concern for Jack... ready to wait fourteen hours in the hallway while Jack performed a complex spinal operation...

Alt-Jack talked to his ex on the phone, and we still don't know who she is. What a tease.



Ilana may be dead, but she's still around in the alternate universe. And her last name is Verdansky. "Sweetzer and Verdansky, attorneys-at-law." Have we heard those names before?

Alt Sawyer offered an apple to Kate. This seemed like deliberate symbolism, but he's the cop and she's the criminal. Maybe Josh Holloway just needed something to do with his hands.

Alt Sawyer called Frank "Chesty." Chesty? Sawyer also called Hurley something early in the episode, but I couldn't make it out.

The official synopsis said this was a Jack-centered episode. I don't think it was anyone's episode. I think it was everyone's episode.

Bits and pieces:

— The title of this episode was "The Last Recruit." Meaning whom? Jack?

— The Western Pacific Adoption Agency was on the 15th floor.

— In the irony department (which actually is pretty much all the time on Lost, but still), Locke's wheelchair just saved his life.

— There's no new episode next week. That'll give me time to compile my "questions the Lost writers STILL haven't answered" list.

Quotes:

Smokey: "John Locke was not a believer. He was a sucker."
Gee. Nice way to talk about someone who gave you their body, Smokey.

Sawyer: "Sayid ain't invited. He's gone over to the Dark Side."
Hurley: "Yeah, but you can always bring people back from the Dark Side. I mean, Anakin."
Sawyer: "Who the hell's Anakin?"
Come on. Sawyer has referred to Star Wars way too many times to miss a reference like that.

Sawyer: "Of all the cars in Los Angeles, you smash into mine. Looks like someone's putting us together."
Kate: "Are you hitting on me?"
A little Casablanca there. And someone is putting them together. We just don't know who yet.

Claire: "What's going on?"
Hurley: "People are trying to kill us again."

Sawyer: "You, me, Jack, Hurley, Sun, and that pilot looks like he stepped off the set of a Burt Reynolds movie."
Was Jeff Fahey ever in a Burt Reynolds movie?

Jack: "I'm sorry that I got Juliet killed."

I really enjoyed this one. Then again, I've really enjoyed every episode this season. Three polar bears?

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

19 comments:

  1. Just a thought about Smokey appearing to Jack as Christian: this season we saw those outside the temple pouring gray-ash stuff on the ground to ward off Smokey. This was also seen surrounding Jacob's cabin in an earlier season. So Smokey shouldn't have been able to get inside the cabin, but Christian Shepard was sitting there. (if i'm remembering it correctly and the gray-ash and Christian inside the Cabin was at the same time). So was Smokey lying to Jack about impersonating Christian?

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  2. Agree with Shannon about the incongruity of smokey posing as Christian. The whole walking dead thing is really bugging me.

    Oh, BTW, the alt-Jack has spoken to the mother of his son on the cell phone twice now. I would bet anything that the mother in the alt-universre is Juliet.

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  3. i think the ash around the cabin was to KEEP smokey inside, not the other way

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  4. No mean to be disrespectful, but...

    How was Sun and Locke getting wheeled into the hospital hilarious? I was curious why Sun was saying "It's him!" but I didn't see anything funny about it.

    During the Sun/Jin reunion, I too expected blood to shoot out of their ears...was glad it didn't happen though.
    Jack didn't let Sawyer dump him off the boat, he willingly jumped. I highly doubt Jack belongs to Flocke, and I also think Jack is the last recruit...along with The Candidate (The name of the next episode).

    Flocke/Smokey's vocal influence can't be worth TOO much. Sawyer's been with him for like half the season and he seems to be his normal self. Also, Zoe was right up there next to him and she didn't seem affected.

    I got the feeling Flocke was lying about being Christian...I don't have any real reason for it, that's just what I felt.

    Jack and his son looked great together.

    Illana Verdansky, as in the Sweetzer/Verdansky thing...Penny and Dez made a date on the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer at a coffee shop. The guy that plays Hurley was also in a movie titled "Sweetzer."

    I'm not sure I understand when you say Sawyer offering Kate was symbolism...how so?

    I forget what Sawyer called Hurley, but I'm pretty sure he busted out the old reliable "Freckles" this week for Kate.

    Sorry if that was a tad longwinded...Billie, I've been following your reviews for a few years now, and felt I should finally contribute!

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  5. The cirle of ash was there the first time Locke entered the cabin and the mysterious figure asked for his help... The second time when he met Christian there was no ring of ash, it was definitely the smoke monster. Other things confirmed as the smoke monster are the medusa spiders, Yemi before he killed Eko and some images of Walt (although i dont know how!)

    Certain dead people are actual ghosts such as Charlie, Ana-Lucia and Christian n Libby on the frieghter since Smoky cant leave the Island. Other's are halucinations or visions, such as when yemi told locke to build a church, and Dave.

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  6. Zack: giving someone an apple is symbolism of temptation (like Eve in the garden of Eden) but as Billie says it does not fit with a cop giving it to a criminal.

    As for FLocke and his claim. That entirely depends if the real Locke knew that Christian showed them water, Smokey knew that so either he has Lockes memories or he's not lying.

    The funny thing is that when Christian appeared to Jack outside the island the smoke alarm went off. So either Jacob's rival can leave the island somehow or it was a wink from the writers to us.

    Much to ponder, will have to rewatch the entire series when it ends.

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  7. I think I finally worked out a hypothesis on the timeline puzzle of Lost; it has been haunting me since "Happily Ever After" - I'll just summarize it here and let it bake for a while.

    What most suspect: Sideways world is a real, alternate universe - most likely caused by The Incident. That implies Lost has jumped from a universe to a multiverse since 1977. Except if could only happen due to actions in 2007.

    The two prominent brooches worn by Eloise have been clues for this. In Season 5 she wore the Ouroboros - a symbol of circular time. Circular time loops were also featuring differently in season 5: the watch that went through the Locke-Richard-Locke timeloop. But: in "Happily Ever After" Eloise is wearing two brooches, symbolising two timelines.

    The most likely cause for the branching of timelines is The Incident - which probably has resulted in not one but two things: the branching of time and 2) sinking the island to the ocean's floor.

    A reset starting in 1977 will give all our Lost characters enough time to develop entirely new lives - the Sideways lives.

    There is one problem in this: the first, original, timeline can not be ceased all the sudden - this would mean a "violation", a paradox. Because: the Losties first had to crash, then go back in time, then cause The Incident and then segue into Sideways world where they never crash, can't go back in time and can't create the Incident. They can't eat the tail of their Ouroboros. Time paradox. Solution: two timelines.

    In the original timeline there is still Smokey (what happens to Smokey after The Incident I don't know).

    Therefore it actually seems that all is going well with "Jacob"'s plan so far. Jacob has actually "locked" Smokey inside another timeline. He does not seem to exist in the Sideways world. In other words: if Jacob makes sure that the Lost timeline is destroyed, Smokey will too. The rest of the world can go on for the better in the Sideways world.

    The only thing that needs to be done at this point is close the original timeline - the island timeline. That means either destroying the spacetime fabric and create an end of everything (releasing Smokey?). Or something other very crafty that kills Smokey and sets our Losties free of spacetime. They even could all die?

    And finally: if The Incident indeed caused the branching of timelines, the creation of a multiverse, there are only two people who are old and smart enough to realise what has happened: Eloise and Widmore. Eloise in Sideways world is aware of this. The question is: is Widmore in Lost world aware of it?

    And now I need some coffee.

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  8. I just realized this, and I'm not sure whether it's me getting something wrong or the writers messing something up (!!) or Sawyer being a liar for no apparent reason:

    When Sawyer talks to Hurley about taking the boat and meeting up at the dock, he says that Kate is informing Sun about that plan. Later on however, Kate obviously didn't know what he had been planning… what's up with that?

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  9. Hi, Billie,

    I'd say four polar bears. Amazing episode to me, second only to Mr. Linus. I agree Sayid did not kill Desmond. And Claire is no longer following Smokey. Love is the answer, Sayid does not want Nadia's disapproval, Claire wants her baby back.

    I didn't think about the apple symbolism. You are definitely right.

    A few points:

    Island:
    1) Claire tells Jack that FLocke is the only one who didn't abandon her. Wasn't she the one who disappeared?

    2) Why doesn't Sawyer 'invite' Miles to the boat jaunt? I mean: weren't they buddies in Dharmaville?

    3) What is Ben doing?

    Los Angeles

    1) Huge continuity error. Sun and Locke arrive at the hospital at the same time, but the shooting at the restaurant happens less than 24 hours after 815 lands at LAX, whereas Desmond runs over Locke a week after.

    Red

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  10. I liked the episode overall, but I disagree with you about the Sun and Jin reunion. Sun and Jin speaking English to each other after a three-year-separation didn't ring true for me. I speak Japanese as well as English--and when I was in Japan, I never spoke Japanese to another English-speaking foreigner, especially one who I was close with and with whom I spoke English normally. It was just weird.

    I got all sniffly and blubby at the scene between Kate and Claire. Kate had her mind set on bringing Claire back, and I think that's the only reason why she followed Flocke.

    I want to see Rose and Bernard. They rule.

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  11. "2) Why doesn't Sawyer 'invite' Miles to the boat jaunt? I mean: weren't they buddies in Dharmaville?

    3) What is Ben doing?"

    Ben, Richard and Miles went off in their own direction. Have a feeling that any major deaths in the last few episodes will come from their troop!

    Good spot on the timeline error though.

    Agree with an earlier poster, the ash was to keep MIB in the cabin. However it doesnt explain Christian on the boat with Michael, or appearing to Jack in the hospital. Unfortuanetly I think the writers have dug themselves a hole, and any 'Answer' will have inconsistencies.


    Anyway, heres to an exciting last few episodes. Ep 15 should be a blast.

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  12. Great comments, everyone.

    Patryk, I'd forgotten the smoke alarm. That's hilarious.

    Shannon, the line of ash was broken. I just don't remember when.

    Zack, thanks for the Melrose & Sweetzer. I'd forgotten.

    Anonymous, I think that for Sun and Jin, speaking English was a big part of her decision to leave him, and that may have been why he kept refusing to learn English on the Island. Now they both speak English -- they are back together again. It may not have made sense logically, but I think it worked symbolically. It's not like they're only going to speak English to each other forever.

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  14. First time poster but a long time lurker. What an episode it was, perhaps its the first time that a episode title did not quite fit.

    But Billie, you are doing an absolutely amazing job of reviewing lost and my lost experience is not complete till I've read your review and the comments posted by others.

    Today I came across an interview with the creators of Lost, posting the link here. I'm afraid we will be stuck with some questions still hanging. Here's the link: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/04/ff_lost/8/

    Cheers,
    Hiren

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  15. Just to add to my piece earlier. Ive been reading your reviews for years, so thought I would further add my thanks!

    I tend to read a few tv critic reviews, which are a bit basic. And I read the lost forum, where they over-analyse pretty much everything.

    You do a great job of being a happy medium between the two. And I hope the payoff at the end of lost rewards the effort you have spent covering it!

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  16. Hi Billie! Great review.
    Burt Reynolds played with Jeff Fahey in Arnold Hitchock presents episode ;)

    Patryk, you're from Poland? Me too.

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  17. I thought this epi was fab. I loved everyone coming together and how how well the different pieces fit. I loved Jack and Claire finally meeting as brother and sister (although i will be very annoyed if that's all we get) and Sun and Jin's reunion was just the sweetest thing. And I loved Jack preparing to save Locke's life in LA while fake Locke saved Jacks life on the island.

    Also, I've decided that Widmore is a good guy so if one/some/all the cast die at his hand i will not be happy. And i think that it's all about Jack.

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  18. My internet failed me and I lost al my post, that's the island! I'll be more concise now. I think it's ok Smokey was Christian, becuase the ash circle at surrounded the cabin was broken, and Ilana realized that when they went to search for jacob there and said He wasn't there anymore. As for Love being the answer it seems very true on both universes. Claire left Smokey, Sayid surely didn't kill Desmond. Hope that now Claire isn't under smokey's influence, THE HAIR will cease to be. And that we have good ol' tortured soul Sayd back, not that soulless thing that is around.
    I liked Ben's theory, only that I think the sideways universe isn't the real one, for Eloise told Desmond he wasn't ready for te truth yet.
    I was sure Widmore wouldn't fulfill his side of the bargain His ageda is a different one, he had his son killed, what do our losties mean to him? He wouldn't fret his fat over having everyone killed so that he can go back to the island and get rid of smokey.
    I liked the way everyone is converging on the alternate universe. I wonder if they'll take a plane together. That could be the key to the ending I always thought Lost would have: Jack opening his eye on the jungle. That doesn't seem crazy, does it?

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  19. Another great one.

    For a few seconds, I thought that Skyler Stone, who played the medic, was in fact Alan Tudyk. False alarm. But both stretchers at the same was (once again) brilliant.

    Felt almost like a 5th love story (Sawyer-Kate) and certainly a 6th (Sun-Jin) (FINALLY !). Sawyer catching Sayid with the hose was also a delightful moment. He really does a great cop.

    "There she blows !"

    *"You're with me now".

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