From friend of Hammervision and special guest columnist, Matt Campobasso:
I'll admit it, I expected to be let down following last week's opus, "Ab Aeterno." How could I not be? A full hour dedicated to Richard Alpert and his journey from devoted husband to island consigliore. That's the stuff that television dreams are made of - well at least the dreams of someone who has obsessed over every hour of Lost (numerous times, I might add) since it premiered in 2004. Heading into last night's episode, I wasn't sure what to expect. Especially from an episode generically entitled "The Package." Sitting here thinking about it the day after, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. It was a good episode and nothing really jumped out as bad - well aside from the V countdown clock that hijacked the lower right hand corner of my television screen. Let's never do that again ABC.
The episode, centered around Jin and Sun, moved quickly and left me with the impression that the characters and the viewers are hurdling unknowingly toward something big. Perhaps, towards the "war" that Charles Widmore so mysteriously referenced during his discussion with Fake Locke ("Flocke"). In my humble opinion, the episode was more than a sum of its parts, because nothing extraordinary happened. We found out Jin and Sun weren't married in the sideways universe, but then we found out they were together but keeping it on the down low. Keamy made an appearance, as did Mikhail. In the end, we found out that Sun's father, Mr. Paik, knew of their romance and tried to have Jin killed. True love prevailed and Jin and Sun were together in the end. Due to Sun and Jin not being married, Sun not feeling trapped, and not having to plan on escaping from Jin, we find out that Sun doesn't speak English. Did this have anything to do with the fact that the on-island Sun hit her head and could no longer speak English? Something tells me that's no a coincidence, and that it was the writers way of telling us that these universes are more closely connected than one would think at first glance.
While it was nice to see Jin and Sun on screen together for the first time since the end of season four, I found the on-island storyline to be much more interesting. From the attack on Flocke's camp to the Flocke/Widmore face off on the Hydra island beach, one thing was clear. A war is coming and it doesn't appear as though there is anything to stop it. Flocke wants off the island (or so he says) and Widmore, Alpert, Jack and their gangs stand in the way. The episode ended with a "reveal" which showed us that Desmond was the package that Widmore referenced earlier in the episode. He also indicated that the package was the key to defeating Flocke and saving mankind. How Desmond fits into the equation remains to be seen, but I have my ideas. Which brings us to the ramblings/theories portion of my recap:
- Widmore mentioned that Desmond was important to making sure that Flocke did cause mankind to "cease to exist." Why? Perhaps he is a candidate that Jacob brought to the island during Desmond's race around the world (which was sponsored by Widmore Industries). Widmore also told Jin that he (like Jin) had a daughter that he hadn't seen for sometime. What if Widmore bringing Desmond to the island was intended to provide a replacement for Jacob, and to get Desmond out of the picture once and for all so that Widmore could repaid his relationship with his daughter Penny and his grandson Charlie? Jacob is replaced, Flocke can't leave the island, and Widmore gets his daughter back. All the while punishing Desmond with an eternal life on the island away from Penny. Widmore seems like the kind of guy that might put his own interests ahead of the greater good. What Desmond's role is here remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure...it was nice to see Henry Ian Cusick back on screen last night.
- Only now do I see the double meaning of the episode title "The Package." First, we had Jin's package for Keamy - the watch and $25,000. Then we had Desmond, the package referenced by Widmore. Clever.
- I can't help but think that Kate is more important to the overall story here than we are being led to believe. First, it's undeniable that Kate was one of the central characters of the first five seasons, yet she has been relegated to nothing more than supporting cast at this point. Perhaps both the writers and Jacob have the same plan in mind. First, we have evidence that Kate is more important to the impending war in the form of her name not being crossed out on the wheel in the lighthouse, yet her name was crossed out on the cave wall. Is it possible that Jacob had a back-up plan, and crossed Kate's name out in the cave on purpose so as to throw Flocke's scent off of her? Flocke all but gave crazy Claire the okay last night to kill Kate once he and the candidates are on the plane. So if Claire or Flocke do something to kill Kate, that might violate the rule that Flocke can't kill a candidate himself. How amazing would it be if Flocke was on the verge of seeing his vision realized, only to have Claire kill Kate arbitrarily and to somehow prevent him from reaching his goal. If this is Jacob's plan, the writers have every reason to keep Kate on the back burner while we and Flocke focus on the other candidates.
- In last week's episode, Jacob told the Man in Black (pre-taking Locke's form) that even if he was successful in killing Jacob that a candidate would take his place. Man in Black made it clear that he'd kill them too, to which the Man in Black responded he'd kill them too. So if the Man in Black wants to leave the island or to win this war, he'd have to effectively have Jacob killed (done), and make sure every last candidate was dead (only six remain, or so we're told). Because young Jacob (little boy, blond hair) told Flock earlier in the season that he couldn't kill Sawyer, it seems as though the Man in Black can't kill a candidate himself or directly. This got me thinking about the season one episode in which Jack followed his dad (the Man in Black in Christian's form?) so deep into the jungle that he almost died falling from the cliff (until Locke stepped in to save the day). Also, we have the Hurley episode "Dave" in which Hurley is nearly convinced by his imaginary friend Dave to jump off the cliff. I can't help but think that Christian and Dave were the Man in Black in another form trying to convince these candidates to jump and end their lives. Thus reducing the number of people left that could take Jacob's place once he was murdered (damn you, Ben) and bringing Man in Black even closer to his goal. What might the Man in Black/Flocke have in mind for the remaining candidates? My theory is that he is going to have them all board the Ajira flight and then he will cause it to crash somehow thus killing the remaining candidates and achieving his ultimate goal - all without breaking Jacob's precious rules. Far fetched? Maybe, but I'm taking a shot.
- Lastly, this doesn't relate directly to last night's episode, but I really think that the island is the Garden of Eden. Flocke is Satan, and Jacob was God/Jesus. The religious overtones are clear as they have been made more and more obvious as the season wears on, but I wanted to make sure I threw this in here so if it turns out I am right - then there is proof!
I hope you enjoyed this week's recap and my ramblings. Thanks for reading and remember, only six new episodes of Lost remain until the Finale airs on Sunday, May 23.
Matt Campobasso is a Chicago attorney and the most thoughtful LOST philosopher we know.