The tantalising glimpse of the giant statue is enough to whip any Lost fan into a near-frenzy, and together with several hints over the course of a few seasons, there’s a new historial period emerging where the island was apparently colonised by Egyptians – or their predecessors. It’s bound to be a while before we get any proper answers about this, but just knowing that the plot thread hasn’t been completely forgotten is enough to make us keep the faith.
However, there was another historical period far more in focus for this episode, and that’s the period during which Dharma was active on the island, in its original incarnation. Even discarding the immediately amusing hippy-dialect and attitudes the characters have, viewers still find themselves confronted with a cast of scientists immediately realised convincingly enough that they could almost carry their own episode.
The episode’s opening twist finally saw a return to the unpredictability Lost was famed for, and that had previously seemed lacking in this season. The reveal of LaFleur’s identity ticked all the right boxes – it made sense the moment you saw it, but there’s no way it could’ve been reasonably predicted before that. As Lost becomes increasingly concerned with neatly resolving its own plot threads and themes, it’s nice to be reminded that the show can still serve up a twist or two that startles even the most jaded viewer.
One thing this entirely logical repositioning of the islanders does is present a wealth of intriguing story material. While the Oceanic 6 currently have nothing more interesting to tell us except how they ended up on the plane, the islanders have a wealth of unanswered questions far more entertaining. How do they manage to ingratiate themselves into Dharma? What has become of Daniel? How did Sawyer and Juliet end up together? As ever, the mythology of Lost serves to enhance the questions surrounding the characters.
And speaking of characters – Sawyer’s the one who finally gets his due in this episode. Lost has apparently taken three episodes out to concentrate on its three leading men, and Sawyer’s instalment rivals last week’s Locke episode for top spot. Sawyers ability to think on his feet is perfectly showcased, whether spinning a con to the Dharma scientists or facing down a brilliantly menacing Richard, while the chemistry in the apparently mismatched Juliet/Sawyer relationship is far more convincing than her attraction to Jack ever was. Kate’s return – while clearly signposted and dramatically predictable – does undeniably make that a love-triangle worth keeping an eye on.
The only other question that demands an immediate answer is what happened to Sun and Sayid, both of whom are presently unaccounted for on the island. It’s logical to assume that the two disappeared into the past with the other three members of the Oceanic Six that were on the crashing plane, but beyond that, who can say? My personal theory is that they’ve ended up with the presumably active group of Alpert’s Hostiles/proto-Others.
After a rather stuttering start to Season 5, the show has finally hit its stride in the last couple of episodes, so naturally it’s been scheduled to skip a week. Lovely. Be back here in 14 days for a review of the teasingly-named episode, Namaste.
Check out a review of episode 7 here.