Getting Lost: The Package

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

So, could you figure out who “the package” was before it was revealed? I think anyone who watched could have figured out, as soon as Charles Widmore said the package wasn’t “a what” but “a who,” that A) the package’s identity wouldn’t be revealed until the end of the episode; and B) that the package was almost certainly Desmond Hume. There was even a good chance it was Desmond before Widmore declared that his package was a person. After all, we pretty much know where all the other characters are and what they are doing at this point in the season, whereas Desmond showed up for about eight seconds in the season premiere and then disappeared.

Well, it could have been someone like Walt, or Jack’s ex-wife, or someone new, or someone coming back from the dead. Oh come on. As Sawyer would put it, “That would be ridiculous.” Desmond actually makes sense for a few reasons: A) Widmore and Desmond know each other, so it’s reasonable that it would be Charles who brings Desmond back. B) We know from Faraday that he is “special” and that he therefore probably fits into Jacob’s plans. In fact, Ms. Hawking even said last season—in Desmond’s last real appearance—“the Island isn’t done with you yet.” C) We know that Desmond didn’t WANT to go back, so he’d have to be brought back by force, which was evidently what Widmore was doing.

I, for one, am grateful to have Desmond back, even if the “reveal” was obvious. He’s a great character that has been gone for far too long.

But why would Jin care about Desmond’s return? That I can’t really figure out. Widmore dangled “the package” in front of Jin a lot like Ben dangled “the man from Tallahassee” in front of Locke back in Season Three, but I don’t know why Jin would care about Desmond’s return the same way Locke cared about seeing his dad again.

What does Widmore even NEED Jin for anyway? Well, apparently it has something to do with Jin’s work with Dharma on those plans that Zoe was asking him about, having to do with more pockets of electromagnetism on the Island. My guess is that these pockets have to do with the Evil that Jacob and Island are containing, and that the Man in Black appears to be harnessing.

But, if I remember correctly, this is the first we’re hearing of Jin’s work with that aspect of the Island. I suppose he could have been out charting when he stumbled across Jack, Hurley, and Kate in last season’s “316,” but that was never made clear—in fact, the show heavily implied that Sawyer sent him there.

This episode actually reminded me of how little Jin and Sun seem to be integrated into the Island’s mythology. Both of them, particularly Sun, kept insisting that they didn’t care one bit about Jacob, or about being a candidate; each only cared about finding the other one. It even surprised me slightly that Jin knew enough about the Island to know who Charles Widmore was. It almost feels inappropriate for either of them to be candidates, since imagining one of them without the other, or even both of them without their daughter, would feel like a defeat for the Kwon family.

Not as bad for the Kwon family as running into Martin Keamy, am I right? One of the “big” mysteries of the alternate reality sequences was how Jin ended up in the freezer that Sayid found him in at the end of “Sundown.” The answer: Keamy put him there!

This alternate-reality story was actually the worst in a long time, if you ask me, and largely it was because of this anticlimax. When we got that tease at the end of “Sundown,” I figured the producers were hinting at how the characters’ off-Island stories would eventually intersect in a substantive, plot-oriented way. Instead, we find out that this was just another in a long line of coincidences, and Sayid ends up leaving almost as soon as he enters Jin’s story.

As for the rest of that story, it was another rehash of a generic “Jin and Sun have a forbidden romance” story that we’ve seen before. The twist that they weren’t married was surprising, but ultimately meaningless, and the fact that Sun was pregnant when she got shot just reminded me how bad I feel for this daughter that Sun abandoned in the normal timeline.

But seeing Mikhail with two eyes was pretty cool, wasn’t it? Not surprisingly, he looks much better with both eyes.

Too bad he lost it anyway… Yeah, seeing Jin shoot Bakhunin in the eye was a nice touch.

What did you make of Sun refusing to go with Locke? Well, I liked that some characters on this show are finally starting to wise up and be a little skeptical of who they talk to: First Sawyer in “Recon” and now this. Locke 2.0, after all, probably doesn’t deserve trust from Sun. Nevertheless, it was kind of surprising to see her refuse the one connection she might have to Jin, even if she thinks there is a good chance Locke is lying.

And what about her loss of English? Yeah, I didn’t really get that. It seems like a pretty heavy-handed symbol for something, but I can’t figure out what exactly. It could just be meant to emphasize her loneliness and alienation from the rest of her group. It could also have been a way to refer back to the early days of the show, before Sun revealed her English-speaking ability (although, that would have to be the really early days, since I believe she revealed that around episode six). It could also be a blending of her reality with the alternate 2004 reality, in which she seems to not know English either. There’s also probably a bunch of allusive meanings that I’m missing, but I can’t figure everything out.

The payoff for that, though, was the very good scene between Sun and Jack at the end of the episode, in which Sun declares her faith in Jack and Jack declares his intent to find Jin and get them off the Island. That scene reminded me of the Jack/Sun relationship, which was somewhat strong back in Season One—it was Sun who was Jack’s nurse while Jack tried, and failed, to save Boone in “Do No Harm.” The trust Sun has in Jack doesn’t come from nowhere, but was actually richly deserved. That scene also gave Jack a nice balance of New and Old: He was making perhaps ill-advised promises to get people off the Island again, but he was also reiterating his faith in the Island’s plan. I like this new, balanced Jack.

Any other thoughts? While this wasn’t a particularly satisfying episode in terms of story, it was a rather funny episode. It had Sawyer’s response to Locke 2.0’s insistence that some things on the Island were inconceivable: “No, that would be ridiculous.” It also had Miles making fun of Hurley, and Ben’s incredulity that nobody believed his story about finding Sun with her head already bruised.

On the mythology end, it was interesting that Widmore clearly knew that the electromagnetic pylons were used to keep the Smoke Monster/Locke 2.0 away, and yet he claimed not to know anything specific about who the Smoke Monster was. I’d be curious to find out if he actually knows much more than Ben does in this regard.

Sayid also revealed that he “can’t feel anything” now: Not joy or fear or pain. This seems at odds with the darkness in Claire, as she quite clearly feels things like anger, given her attempt to kill Kate.

Also, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse revealed the name of the final episode of the series on their last podcast. In case you were wondering, it will be called: “The End.” Pretty clever, huh?

Predictions for next week? Well, this may be wishful thinking, but I certainly think we’re getting a Desmond story next week. It may be a standard flashsideways and show what happened after Desmond, who was on the plane for some reason, got off the plane, in addition to showing what, exactly, Widmore needs him for on the Island. Part of me, though, hopes that we get to see him and Penny living happily ever after, not in a flashsideways but in the legitimate reality. Even if it’s just a flashback to Penny getting out of the hospital (which she was last seen in “The Variable”) and them in blissful harmony until Widmore takes him away. Either way, next week will almost certainly be about Desmond, and it will almost certainly be awesome.

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