submitted on March 19, 2009, 7:29 AM
I'm not gonna lie, the week off wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It was actually a very appropriate time for a break, with everyone back up to speed and all squared away three years from when the Six got off the island, now back on the island. Perfect time to take the week off, then start moving forward with the next part of our story.
Slower episode this week, as the primary focus was on integrating the Six back into island society. We had the story fleshed out a little for us, and I feel like the show is in kind of an interesting spot at the moment.
The driving force of this season was the Oceanic Six trying to get back to the island, and on the island, Locke was trying to stop the island from moving, and also leave to bring back the Six. Well, here we are now, with the Six back on the island (albeit in two different times). So...what now? Locke is back on the island, so he can lead his people. Sawyer, Juliet, Miles and Jin have all moved on with their lives as a part of the Dharma Initiative. Kate, Hurley and Jack have all started to integrate themselves into the Initiative as well. Sayid is in a bit of a pickle right now, but he too is integrating into the island's society. Sun and Frank seem to be on a mission to reach everyone else in 1977.
But where do we go from here? What's the ultimate point of the show? I mean, I love that we're learning more about the island's past in 1977, but what is it building to? Dharma's going to die in the purge, and that would be quite the anticlimactic way for our friends to go, wouldn't it? Are they ultimately going to try and get back to the present? Are they going to try and leave the island again?
It just seems to me that, at this moment, the show has lost (no pun intended) its identity. That's not to say that everything won't change next week, but when we hit our one week break, the survivors had generally accomplished what they had set out to do, and now seem to be without an ultimate goal, save for Sun and Frank. I think it's very important for the writers to reveal the next (or last?) chapter in the show, so that it doesn't lose any of its momentum.
But I'll get off my soap box now. The writers were kind enough this week to fill us in on what exactly happened on Ajira flight 316. As we all know, Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Sayid all disappeared off the plane, at seemingly the same time the plane itself and everyone else on it, went from wherever they were in the Pacific, to the island(s). Frank managed to land the plane on a runway on the secondary island, and then Sun knocked Ben out and went with Frank over to the main island. Nothing really surprising there, but still it's nice to actually see first hand.
Meanwhile, in 1977, the every crafty Sawyer devises a plan to sneak Jack, Kate and Hurley into the Dharma Initiative. Sayid, on the other hand, was wandering around on his own, and was discovered by Dharma and is being treated as a hostile.
So there's a quick synopsis of what happened, let's talk about some of it in a little more detail:
-I talked to my friend Justin about this a little bit, but I loved the scene with Lapidus and Cesar right after everyone got off the plane. Frank was channeling his inner Jack when talking about sticking together, and staying on the beach so that everyone remains safe, while Cesar wanted to go off into the jungle, and check out some buildings he saw off in the distance. Great parallels to Season One with Oceanic 815.
-Did you like the runway they landed on? Convenient that the Others had Kate & Sawyer working on that very same runway three years ago. It's almost like Ben knew he was going to need one for a plane that was going to try and land on the island down the road...
-So, it's been three years, and apparently the Others have completely abandoned the Dharma complex? Why? Where did they all go? Did they go back to the Temple?
-Rose & Bernard? Anyone?
-I like the idea of Christian Shepard just hanging out in an abandoned village by himself. Interesting though, that Sun and Frank can both see him. So that's Jack, Locke, Claire, Sun, and Frank that have all seen and talked to Christian. Quite a few people.
-I wonder what this journey involves. Does accomplishing this journey mean they'll go back to join everyone else, or will everyone else end up joining them?
-Back in '77, we see Mr. Radzinsky, the guy who worked in the Swan prior to Desmond arriving and ultimately took a shotgun and blew his head off...or at least that's the story we heard. Only apparently the Swan didn't exist yet, and it looks like Radzinsky was instrumental in designing it. In 1977 he worked in the communications facility. The introduction of this previously talked about character actually opens up a lot of questions.
Was he the first person to man the Swan?
Why did they want to keep the Swan's location a secret from the Others?
How did Radzinsky survive the purge? Was he in the Swan at the time?
If he used to work for Dharma, what was his purpose in creating the map of the stations on the blast wall in the Swan?
-I hope it was Sawyer's idea to make Jack a custodian, because that is quite hilarious. It would certainly seem like it was, because Hurley's a chef, and Kate appears to be a mechanic, probably so Juliet can keep an eye on her.
-Speaking of Juliet, I'm significantly less concerned about Kate screwing things up between her and Sawyer now. Juliet's not stupid, there is no way that she isn't completely aware of what's going on, and I guarantee that she put the smack down on Kate if she tries anything. At the same time, Sawyer isn't exactly thrilled to see everyone back, Kate included. So try as she might, I don't think Kate has a chance.
-My favorite part of the whole episode had to be Sawyer putting Jack in his place. The whole scene really illustrated the dynamic shift of everything on the island from the last time they were all together. I've mentioned this before, but I'm really just amazed at how differently Jack, Kate, and Hurley's lives have all progressed over the past three years compared to Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, and Miles. The first three, they come back to the island, and they seem to be exactly the same, nothing is really different about their lives, despite the fact that they've been off the island for three years and have had a chance to re-integrate with society. On the other hand, Jack, Juliet, Jin and Miles have all moved on with their lives, and they really seem at peace with what they're doing. Now that's not to say they haven't been keeping an eye out for the return of Locke & Co., because they have, but I don't really think they care if they see them again, because they already have what they need, the Six don't fill a void in their lives anymore.
And now, three years down the road, Sawyer has become a very respected individual among the Dharma community, a leader of sorts. And when Jack comes back, he immediately wants to take control of the situation, know what's going on, what the plan is, who's doing what, busy busy busy. But that boat has sailed. This is Sawyer's house now, he's in charge, and not only does he not want Jack's help, he doesn't need it. Jack is a doctor, and used to being in a position of power. But not anymore. Now he's just a janitor, while Sawyer is Head of Security, and a force to be reckoned with. The tables have turned, and it will be interesting to see how Jack handles that situation going forward.
-Any thoughts on what happened to Daniel? Is he dead? Did he go crazy? Did he leave Dharma and go with the Others? Does that mean when we saw him in the season premiere it was at some point in time between now and three years ago?
-Hey look, it's mini-Ben! While we don't know for sure, I think it's a safe bet to say that the flashbacks we saw of Ben seeing his mother in the jungle, and meeting Richard when he tried to run away, have already happened. It would explain Ben's fascination with a hostile being captured, which is why he brought Sayid a sandwich. I bet Sayid has a general clue of what's going on, as well. No one has told him what year it is, but Sayid's a pretty observant guy, the fact that the Dharma Initiative is up and running, and they're driving around in a VW bus among other things probably led him to believe something is up, and this kid introducing himself as Ben probably raises some red flags as well.
Alright, that's all I can think of for this week. Next week looks like we'll see lots of explosions, I'm guessing they're probably Kate's fault.
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