The overall design of Season 4 has been genius, as the introduction of flash forwards have set us up for a most unique of season finales. We’re building to a climax from both the past and the future, and the energy seems fittingly magnified. Yet for all the tension coming to a head on the island, two off-island scenes tonight really stood out for me: the reunification of the Oceanic 6 and their families on the tarmac here in Honolulu, and Claire’s mom revealing to Jack that he had (or has) a sister. The latter because it’s a reveal that we knew was inevitable, but was still so pitch perfect it had me holding my breath. Matthew Fox was fantastic, showing the brutal impact of the devastating news in his face, and still again we know things that Claire’s mom and Kate so far don’t. As for their arrival in Hawaii, it was a powerful reminder of how “LOST” defies expectations. Here’s a scene we all had in our heads as the last scene of the entire series: some, but not all, of the crash survivors make it off the island. Yet we still have two more seasons to go.
Jen, perhaps hardened after catching up on a week’s worth of e-mail, wasn’t about to cut the show too much slack. Who would ever believe Aaron is five weeks old? (Though babies on TV or in movies are always absurdly huge.) How is it that no one, Michael in particular, found all that C4 on the freighter until now? How can Kate, so muddled in everything else she does, still be such an expert jungle tracker? How is she not taken into custody the moment she stepped off the Coast Guard plane? And hadn’t we given up on “The Numbers”? But still, Jen cheered when Sun stood up to and undermined her father. And laughed when Hurley learned the vintage of the DHARMA crackers.
The last episode before the season finale always has it rough, usually packed full of disconnected setup for the big show to come. But apart from the musical montage where we visited each of the Oceanic 6 on the island yes, indeed, they’re all over the place, and somehow need to end up together to escape I thought “There’s No Place Like Home” was great.
I enjoyed Alpert’s on-island return, in yet another “you’re surrounded” jungle ambush with a surprisingly large crowd of surviving Others. Others that were again dressed in their grimy Season 2 rags, rather than suburban dwellers. Looks like they’re ready to rumble, the biggest island showdown since “The Purge.” And Ben’s mirror-flashing message and assertion that he always has a plan yanks us back to the world in which he’s always three steps ahead. I guess he hasn’t given up just yet.
And good ol’ fun-time Hurley, still holding his own between two Emmy winners, machine-gunning through questions that any sane person (or “LOST” fan) would ask. How do you move an island? Wouldn’t moving it bring the bad guys too? And the scene in the mansion where he finds a coconut and hears whispers was clever as hell. He escaped that freak-out opportunity only to end up staring at a cursed odometer. I’d begun to suspect “The Numbers” were a relic of the show’s tapdancing days, but with The Orchid and a moving island looming large, I guess they’re finding new life.
I’m more eager to see how Season 4 ends than I think I’ve been for any season prior… even Season 1, as we had nary an inkling about what was going on back then. My primary complaint is that we have to wait two weeks for it all to come together. And my biggest question is what the next act might bring.
Notes and Notions:
- I loved that the Oceanic 6 arrived in Honolulu (and the cheesy luau theme for Hurley’s birthday party). A pity the view of Diamond Head was washed out a bit by the volcanic haze that’s been hanging over the islands for weeks.
- Looks like Keamy’s last resort will take out the freighter, but whether that C4 is what torches the island, I’m not sure. It also looks like it’s still an extraction mission, as Frank says as much to Jack and Sawyer and the episode ends with Ben taking a gun butt to the head, not a bullet.
- Who else does Sun blame for Jin’s death, apart from her father. Herself? Widmore? (Taking over a large company might be the first step in corporate warfare.) Jack? (She didn’t attend Christian Shephard’s funeral, though the rest of the Oceanic 6 did.)
- I guess Jack learning that Claire is his sister is not what pushes him over the edge, or makes him want to go back. Because his brief bliss with Kate and long decline into madness has yet to happen. Unless Jack, like Sun, believes everyone else on the island is dead, only to later learn that they’re not?
- Once again, the Oceanic 6 survival story includes two others who survived the crash but didn’t make it to rescue. Your guess is as good as mine as to who those two might be.
- Speaking of the Oceanic 6 survival story, all season I’ve wondered how the world would react to finding out the wreckage at the bottom of the Sunda Trench was faked. Turns out it fits neatly into the lie being perpetrated off the island. Who crafted that lie is the question. In the cargo hold, it seemed Jack was most familiar with the story.
- Speaking of the cargo hold, when Oceanic publicist Karen Decker goes back there, she smiles at someone toward the front of the plane before approaching Jack and friends. Who? Maybe Ben? Or someone else we know who’s not a crash survivor? Or am I imagining things?
- It was nice to see Sayid and Nadia reunite, and apparently have some quality couple time. The glow is all the more bittersweet since we know things don’t turn out well for them.
- Lucky rabbits feet turned up both in the cockpit of the Coast Guard plane and on the keys to Hurley’s Camaro. Again, the Orchid Station may bring with it some more rabbit folklore.
- How did Claire’s mom come out of her coma? Will we see her, I wonder, visited by a ghostly Claire in a vision?
- Favorite Lines: Hurley’s mom, “Jesus Christ is not a weapon.” Sawyer, “You don’t get to die alone.” And spoken like a true PR person, “That’s not the best branding as far as we’re concerned, but it’s catchy!”
- Locations: The Oceanic 6 arrival was filmed out at Hangar 111 at Barber’s Point. Hurley’s Mansion was along Farmers Road in Kahala. Christian Shephard’s funeral was held at St. Patrick in Kaimuki.
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