It’s almost time. Next week, Lost will be over. Tonight’s episode paved the way for the epic final episode we’ve been building up to since 2004. If last week’s history lesson divided opinions amongst fans, surely tonight’s reminded everyone of what is so good about this show. Full of references and memories from the last six seasons, packed with emotion, wit, action and full of surprises, it’s given me renewed confidence that Lost is going to go out on a high when the final episode airs at 5am on Monday morning on Sky1HD & Sky1.
The episode begins with the now-iconic shot of Jack’s eye opening. This time, he’s not waking up in the jungle, he’s on his bed. We’re in the flashsideways world, and as he goes to look in the bathroom mirror he sees exactly the same cut on the side of his neck that he first noticed on flight 815, in the opening scene of this season. He goes downstairs to have some breakfast that his son David has made for him (it’s cereal, but he is a teenager) and they’re joined by – we almost forgot – Claire, who Jack invited to stay. David reminds Jack that the concert is that evening and mentions that his mother is also coming (so we will get to find out who she is!) and that he shouldn’t act all weird when he’s around her. Jack’s phone rings, and the unsual-sounding voice on the other end says that it’s Oceanic Airlines and they have found the “missing cargo”, his dad’s coffin. But it wasn’t Oceanic, it was Desmond, doing a comedy accent, although I’m sure there’s a little more to it than a simple prank call.
Back at the school, John Locke returns after his spell in hospital, with Desmond looking on from his parked car. As Dessy is about to start his car, Dr Ben Linus jumps in the way and shouts out that it’s the same man who ran over Locke. Desmond gets out and punches him in the face, but Ben is feeling brave, saying that he won’t let him hurt Mr. Locke again. Desmond tells him that he is not there to hurt Locke, but to help him “let go”. When Ben asks who he is, Desmond shouts “Do you want to know who I am?” before punching Ben repeatedly. Ben suddenly recalls the time in the original timeline that he was being hit by Desmond after attempting to kill Penny at the marina. Amazing and quite brilliant that Ben gets his moment of “remembering” by being beaten to a pulp, in traditional Ben Linus fashion. As he is treated by the school nurse, Ben now looks the way we’re more used to seeing him – bloody and bruised, with his arm in a sling. Locke comes in and asked what happened, and Ben tells him everything, including the fact that he “saw” something. Locke calls the police but before he can say anything, Ben tells him that he “said he was trying to get you to let go, not to hurt you, and for some reason I believed him.”
In a rather nice segueway, on the other end of the phone is a cop who is in the very same police station as our favourite detective team who are surely destined for a spin-off series of their own. Miles reminds Sawyer about the concert that evening at his dad’s museum, but Sawyer decides against it when he realises Charlotte will be there. Desmond strolls in and admits being the person who ran over Locke and beat up Ben, with Sawyer happy that his time and taxpayer’s dollars have been saved. He’s taken into the cell, where he’s joined by Sayid and Kate. I love it when a plan comes together.
Back at the school, Alex spots the injured Dr. Linus struggling to carry his things home. She offers to give him a lift home, saying she’s sure her mother won’t mind. She takes him over to the car and her mother gets out. She is, of course, Danielle Rousseau, and a non-crazy, cleaned up, suburban Rousseau at that! They invite him to dinner and while Ben politely says that he couldn’t possibly, they insist, with Danielle oh-so-gloriously saying that he’ll come even if “they have to kidnap him”. After their meal, Danielle mentions that Alex’s father (Robert, right? I have to win geek points for that!) died when she was two years old and that he, her favourite teacher, is the closest thing to a father she’s has ever had. This comment deeply touches Ben, as it would anyone, but perhaps after Desmond’s intervention he feels fatherly to her too now. His eyes get teary and he blames the onions. Danielle says that she won’t use so many onions “next time.” Oooh!
Locke pays a visit to Jack’s hospital. In his office is a photo of Jack, his son David and his father, Christian. Locke notes the coincidence of them being on the same flight together and, after being run over, of all the doctors in LA, being treated by Jack. He uses very similar words to what he told Jack after his car accident when he was Jeremy Bentham. He then tells him about what happened to Ben, with Desmond saying that he wasn’t there to hurt Locke but to help him “let go” – exactly what Jack told him before. This is followed by a cracking reprise of that iconic scene from the Season One finale where Locke, this time in Jack’s office rather than the jungle, asks whether everything is happening for a reason. He says that maybe destiny is telling him that Jack is supposed to fix him but Jack, still the man of science in this reality, reminds him not to mistake coincidence for fate. Nonetheless, Locke says he’s ready for the operation.
Back at the police station, Sawyer arrives at the cells to bring Kate, Desmond and Sayid to the transfer van. As Desmond smiles away, Kate puts her best Freckles face and asks Detective James Ford to let her go but he resists the temptation. In the back of the van, a rather crazy-looking Desmond says that it’s almost time to leave. As Sayid and Kate look on in bemusement, he says that he can set them free, but they’ll have to make a promise to do something for him afterwards. They humour him and both make their promises, anything to shut up the loopy Scotsman they’re sharing a police van with. Suddenly, the van comes to a stop and the back doors are opened by… Ana Lucia! As the three prisoners get out onto a deserted dockyard, Hurley arrives with a big envelope of cash for the cop. He excitedly says that he didn’t realise that Ana Lucia was going to be there too before realising from her confused reaction that she hasn’t had her memories of the island return yet, so she has no idea who he is. Hurley asks if she’s coming with them but Desmond says that she’s not ready yet. Des says tells Sayid to go with Hurley while Kate has to come with him. He gives her a dress, from the back of Hurley’s beloved Camaro and says that they’re going to a concert.
So, what do we know about where the flashsideways are going? It looks like John Locke is going to have his operation and might be able to walk again, and this concert seems to be where everything is coming to a head, with at least Desmond, Kate, Jack, David, David’s mother, Miles, Pierre Chang and Charlotte attending, and given the fact that Daniel Faraday is a pianist, perhaps he, his parents Charles and Eloise and half-sister Penny will be there too. Exactly what will happen when they come to learn the full extent of their other lives we will have to see in the next episode, I guess.
While the flashsideways were fascinating, it was the on-island scenes in this episode that were truly brilliant. It all started on the beach, the morning after the submarine explosion, with Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley still in shock over the terrible events. Kate, looking very unwell after being shot in the shoulder, mentions Ji Yeon and the fact that Jin never even got to meet her. Jack stitches her wound, bringing back memories of the very first episode, when she stitched up his wound. Kate says reflects on what “Locke” has done, saying they have to kill him and Jack agrees. Saywer is now concious, and sits on the beach with Hurley, looking desperately sad as he watches the waves mournfully crash on the shore, bringing debris from the submarine. Jack reveals what Sayid told him about Desmond, saying he agrees that if the Man in Black wants him, then they’ll have to go and find him first.
As they trek through the jungle, Sawyer reveals to Jack his guilt over the bomb, conceding that Jack was probably right, and nothing would have happened if he didn’t try to defuse it. Jack tells him not to think like that, because the only person responsible was the Man in Black. Hurley spots the boy we now know to be the young Jacob, who asks him to give him back the bag of ashes he was still carrying. Before Hurley can get a question in, young Jacob grabs the bag and runs away. Hurley chases and comes across the adult Jacob, sitting by a fire. He says that he has thrown his ashes into the fire and that when the fire goes out, he’ll never see him again, so he’ll need to hurry and get his friends, adding that they’re close to “the end.”
We finally catch up with Miles, Ben and Richard who have been making their way across the across the island towards the barracks. Ben is taking a shortcut and when Miles thinks they’re lost, Ben tells him that he’s lived in those houses for a long time. Miles reminds him that he also spent three years living there 30 years earlier, “otherwise known as last week.” When they get there, Miles gets the strange feeling of a dead body being nearby and Richard confirms that it is the spot where he buried Alex after Ben had left. Ben appreciates the gesture. They go inside Ben’s house to get some C4 from a safe in his secret room behind the bookshelf. Miles asks about the old door with the hieroglyphs, Ben says that he used to think he was summoning the smoke monster, but now he realises it was summoning him. Ben takes all of the C4 from his safe at Richard’s request when they hear a noise outside.
It’s Zoe and Charles Widmore, in Ben’s kitchen. Widmore sends Zoe to sink the boat they arrived in and, when he sees the C4, says he’s already rigged the Ajira plane with explosives. He says that Jacob visited him and told him to go to the island, when Ben disbelieves. Widmore says that he was enlightened when Jacob came to him and told him everything he needed to do to perform his purpose. Zoe radios to say that the Man in Black has arrived at the dock and Widmore tells her to quickly come back while they hide. Miles decides to make a run for it and dashes into the jungle, while Ben says that rather than run and hide, he’ll face up to what’s coming, knowing that he can’t run forever. He takes one of Widmore’s Walkie Talkies and gives the other to Miles. As Widmore and Zoe hide themselves in Ben’s secret room, Richard says that he knows him and so he will talk to him and buy some time for everyone else.
Unfortunately, Richard did not recall the Man in Black’s last words to him, when he asked him to join him and said that he wouldn’t offer another chance. Richard steps outside, the Smoke Monster rushes in and BANG! Richard is sent flying out of shot.
Scenes between Ben and Locke have always been incredible, but what follows is up there alongside the very best. Ben slowly sits down on a chair on his porch. His face betrays a feeling of sheer terror below the serene surface and he does not turn his head when the Man in Black turns the corner. He sits down beside Ben and takes out his knife, with Ben still able to crack one of his dry lines, asking if he’d want a glass of lemonade. The Man in Black says that he will need Ben to kill some people for him. In return, when the he leaves, Ben will be given the island all to himself. He asks about Widmore and Ben tells him exactly where he’s hiding. Together they go inside, with the Man in Black telling Ben that he can stay outside as he doesn’t have to see what’s about to happen. Ben tells him that he wants to see and they walk into the secret room together. Ben asks Zoe who she is but as she’s about to speak, Widmore tells her not to say anything. The Man in Black ruthlessly slits her throat, saying that if she won’t speak, she’s now “pointless”. Spending a couple of thousand years on the island has clearly shaped his views of life and death. He asks Widmore to tell him what he is doing on the island, saying that he will kill Penny if he doesn’t speak and will promise to leave her alone if he talks. Widmore says that Desmond is a “measure of last resort”, brought to the back to the island because of his resistance to electromagnetism. He whispers into his ear because he’d rather not speak in front of Ben, when three bullets are unloaded into his chest. Ben is standing in the doorway, holding a pistol, saying that “he doesn’t get to save his daughter.” The Man in Black wipes his knife on a towel which he casually flings onto Widmore’s body, saying that Ben never ceases to amaze him, but Widmore had told him all he needs to know, so “no harm done.”
I don’t think that Ben is motivated by the Man in Black’s offer to have the island all to himself. What certainly did motivate him was a need for revenge and a decades-old hatred of Charles Widmore. I don’t think he has quite the same need with anyone else, so I still hold out hope that he’ll be one of the “good guys” in the end.
Back with the candidates, and Hurley is surprised to find that Jack, Kate and Sawyer can also see Jacob. Kate demands to know what Sun, Jin and Sayid died for (does nobody care about poor old Frank Lapidus any more?) and Jacob tells them that a long time ago he made a mistake – creating the Smoke Monster. He knew that one day he would find a way to kill him, so he has been looking for a replacement. Sawyer says that they were doing just fine before they were brought to the island but Jacob says that they were not – they were all flawed, unhappy and looking for meaning in their lives. Basically, they were lost. He says he chose them because they all needed the island as much as the island needed them. Kate asks why her name was crossed off and Jacob gives her a straight answer – because she’s a mother now. But he adds that it’s only a line of chalk and she can take the job if she wants it. He tells them about the light that needs protecting, and adds that they will need to do what he couldn’t – kill the Man in Black.
Jacob says that he will allow them to have what he didn’t – a choice. Naturally, Jack steps forward. When he was taking painkillers and grew a beard, when he arrived in 1977 and became a janitor, when he sat by the Lighthouse looking out to sea, he had been waiting for his purpose. It has now come. They go to the river and Jacob tells Jack that he will find the light not far from the bamboo where he first woke up on the island all those years ago. He makes him drink water from the river, incanting quietly before speaking the words his mother had used 2,000 years earlier – “Now you are like me.” So, it will be Jack versus Locke once more.
We end at the well where we last saw Desmond. He is no longer there, and the Man in Black isn’t unhappy, because he now knows what Desmond’s purpose is and thinks he can use him too. He says that Desmond is the failsafe, to be used as a last resort in case all of the candidates die, and that he will get Desmond to do the one thing he cannot – destroy the island!
That was a great set-up episode for the finale. Just what’s at stake has now been made clear, paving the way for an epic finale, with a resolution for the flashsideways also surely on the cards. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be up at 5am on Monday morning for what looks like an incredible television experience.