The group of Lost fans happiest with this episode will undoubtedly be those who enjoy seeing every thread of the vast canon of mysteries touched upon – from the smoke monster, to the temple, to the strangely recurrent Christian Shephard, almost no Lost stone went unturned over the course of the episode. Of all the ongoing motifs, only the numbers didn’t make any significant appearance, and that means a lot of points worth picking over for the coming weeks.
Of course – whether the inclusion of all these elements makes for something dramatically satisfying is another matter. Viewers can no doubt rejoice that the episodes have dropped their rigid flashback structure, but there’s a slight concern that no structure has replaced it. What we get are several concurrent stories running, Heroes-style, towards their inevitable conclusion without any unifying narrative. While I’ll take this over what we used to have, it does leave the series with a slightly more workmanlike feeling than Lost viewers are used to. The beats are predictable.
And speaking of predictable – once again, the episode ends with a reveal that the audience has already figured out. There’s barely a Lost fan around hasn’t made the connection that Ms. Hawking is Daniel’s mother, and we’re treated to that revelation in the final scene when Desmond turns up, out of nowhere but simultaneously right on cue, as the plan to return to the island is prepared. There’s a worrying inevitability developing with regards to how each episode of Lost is ending this season. Leftfield twists followed by predictable reveals. It feels almost as if it’s been calculated to try and ensure that viewers are a step ahead of the programme for a change! As long as it continues to makes sense, it is, at least, forgivable.
Jin’s brief time with Danielle does, however, once again give viewers a chance to see some of the more interesting parts of the island’s past, including retroactive confirmation that Danielle’s murder of her fellow crewmates was, apparently, justified, as Robert turns his (useless) rifle on her, seconds before discovering that she had removed the firing pin. Whether they were genuinely sick, or his babbling about security systems and temples was just interpreted as sickness by Rousseau is left to our interpretation, but at least now we can be sure she did have something to be afraid of.
Back in the present, though, there’s something else to be afraid of, and that’s the devastating consequences that time-travel are having on the remaining Losties. Charlotte’s death in this episode is lamentable largely because she was only just beginning to come into her own as a character, though her insistence that she became an anthropologist “to find the island” is frankly baffling. Was that really the best way she could come up with?
Likewise for stupid moments, we’re once again witness to Locke having a severe leg injury. By this point, the amount of times this has happened is beginning to stretch credibility, and I’m surprised he didn’t laugh himself when it happened this time. Nonetheless, he manages to exit the island and we’re left with the question – where does he go next? As the character most connected to the island, the idea of Locke being back in the ‘real’ world is an intriguing one, and leaves the others somewhat in headless chicken mode. Whether we see Locke hit the ground next episode or not, it’s certain that, with his disappearance, the main act of Lost Season 5 has only just begun…
Check out a review of episode 4 here.