Good morning, LOST fans and friends! I am relieved that this episode was so good, because expectations were high following Alpert's Ab Aeterno last week.
When I first heard that the title of this episode was The Package, my first thought was that it referred to The Backpack. You know, the pack(age) that the Man in Black/Smokey has had on since taking over Locke's body. Oh well. I'm sure that the ladies were hoping the title meant that Josh Holloway would be in some stage of undress yet again.
Here is my one criticism of The Package: I have been as patient as you with regard to the inevitable and long overdue Jin and Sun reunion on the island. Although I loved their flash sideways and the many parallels to earlier seasons, I am frustrated that it didn't happen during their centric episode.
Flash Sideways and Island Convergence Clue?
Before we delve into this week's analysis, I want to see if the rest of you heard what I thought I heard Keamy say to Jin. Because IF in fact he did state the following, I believe we have our very first solid indication that they are interweaving the island experience with the flash sideways:
"I'm going to strap you in, just in case you figure out what's about to happen to the island. I can't have you freaking out."
I replayed that sentence and scene about 10 times. I can't figure out what Keamy might have said instead...
If Keamy was referring to "what's about to happen on the island" in real time, he may have been alluding to the war between Team Jacob/Good Guys vs. Team Man in Black/Darkness...and the later prevailing or leaving the island. So I have to consider Widmore's intriguing statement to Jin that "your wife, your daughter, my daughter, everyone we know and love would simply CEASE TO BE" if "that thing masquerading as John Locke ever got off this island."
Fate vs. Free Will
Fate versus Free Will is one of the many concepts hammered into our consciousness week after week, along with Good versus Evil. Add notLocke's latest speech to the overflowing bucket:
"Any one of them could have CHOSEN to come with me. And I am giving you that CHOICE, Sun, right now. I would never make you do anything against your WILL. I'm asking you, please, come with me."
Head Like a Hole
We've been told that the entire story of Lost will not be revealed to have been inside of one character's head, i.e. Hurley's. And yet I can't help but consider that what we're witnessing will wind up being a giant experiment stemming from something that was implanted inside the heads of these characters. There have been very tiny and subtle clues to support this crazy theory along the way, and tonight in particular two stood out to me.
First, Jack's diagnosis of aphasia following Sun's head injury that resulted in her loss of ability to speak English stood out to me. Aphasia impairs a person's ability to speak, but does not affect their intelligence. This communication disorder is usually associated with a stroke.
While I do not believe that the final scene of the series will feature someone who know in that state, one of experimental treatments for aphasia is transcranial magnetic stimulation (a non-evasive way to monitor brain activity)...which is also used to treat psychiatric conditions.
Second, Sawyer's casual conversation with Kate when he asked where she went because "your brain took a little stroll" after she was staring off into space caught my attention. The look on her face resembled those that the characters are experiencing when they look in the mirror during their flash sideways.
In addition, I thought it was strange that Sun received an accidental head injury on the island while Jin received an accidental head injury during the flash sideways (when Omar rammed him into the door).
I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me
In July of 2008, I wrote an article about how the real Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon prison design relates to the island. Ignoring the character questions I presented back then which have since been answered or resolved, I was reminded once again during tonight's episode that the Panopticon is still one of the valid possibilities to explain what we've been watching for six years. In their hotel room, Sun jokingly reassures Jin that "no one is watching us." I beg to differ...
Man of Science, Man of Faith Role Reversal
We have witnessed Jack's slow (but not subtle) shift into more of a philosophical man of faith like Locke; thus, his attempt to convince Sun "there is a reason why we were brought..." On the opposite side of the coin, Locke (as the Man in Black) has now taken on Jack's role, heading out on missions to rescue his people.
Adding to the very interesting list of Mirror Moments occurring during the flash sideways of each character in S6 thus far (6.01 Jack, 6.03 Kate, 6.04 Locke, 6.05 Jack, 6.06 Ben, 6.07 Sawyer), Sun experienced her moment of reflection and/or deja vu while looking in the mirror in her hotel room. Of course this took place moments after asking Jin to run away with her and right before their plans and lives would change forever when Keamy showed up.
Parallels from Seasons Past
Sun's garden chat w/Jack: In S1 (Hearts & Minds), Jack brings Sun some seeds for her garden, and in S3 (D.O.C.) he chats with here there about her pregnancy.
Sun's sweater: In S1 (Pilot, Pt 2), Jin insists that Sun button up her sweater on the beach after the crash...the very sweater that she unbuttons while seducing him in the hotel during their flash sideways.
Sun's plan: In S2 (The Whole Truth), Sun made plans to escape from Jin in America. In the flash sideways, Sun made plans to escape with Jin in America.
Sun's head: In S2 (The Long Con), Sun hit her head and was knocked unconscious when Charlie dragged her out of her garden. In this episode, Sun hit her head and was knocked unconscious after running away from notLocke and into a tree.
Sun's loss of language: In S3 (Further Instructions), Locke is unable to speak at all after being knocked out from the Swan hatch implosion. In this episode, Sun is unable to speak English after running into a tree and knocking herself out.
Sun's shot: In S3 (Glass Ballerina), Sun shoots and kills Other Colleen on the sailboat. In the flash sideways, Sun gets shot by Mikhail.
Room 23: In S3 (Not in Portland), Alex took Kate and Sawyer to rescue Karl from being brainwashed in Room 23 on Hydra Island. In this episode, Jin was merely placed there after being taken by Widmore's team. [sidenote: I am still mildly interested in this room for one reason only - the phrase in past tense in the brainwashing video that says "God loves you as he LOVED Jacob.]
Jin and Keamy: In S3 (There's No Place Like Home), Keamy attaches a device to himself that blows up the freighter [with Jin on it] after his heart stops. In the flash sideways, Keamy tells Jin that "the heart wants what the heart wants" right before getting killed by Sayid.
Jin and Mikahil: In S3 (D.O.C.), Jin chases down and fights Mikhail after he stole Naomi's satellite phone. In the flash sideways, Jin fights and then kills Mikhail, who was working with Keamy.
Twitchy to the Rescue?
When notLocke uttered "whatever happens, happens" - I stood up off of the couch and was very happy, because I feel that it was our hint that Faraday will show up again soon.
Before tonight and aside from the actual S5 episode title, only Faraday had used the significant catchphrase:
- To Miles (LaFleur): "It doesn't matter what we do; whatever happened, happened."
- To Kate and Jack (The Variable): "We can't change the past, can't do it. Whatever happened, happened."
- To Sawyer (Because You Left): "If we try to do anything different, we fail every time. Whatever happened, happened."
The Writing on the Wall
We all know that notLocke is not the most honest...thing. Both Littleton and Austen are on the cave wall and crossed out.
When notLocke told Crazy Hair Claire that Kate's number was not on the wall anymore, I interpreted that as confirmation the cave was really his abode rather than Jacob's.
When Ben discovered and then helped an unconscious Sun with a head wound in tonight's episode, I wrote "Irony Alert!" because she was the one who had knocked him out cold with an oar rather recently (as days go, on the island).
Widmore wants to prevent the Man in Black from ever leaving the island, which is why he probably ordered Keamy to torch it (S4). What I don't understand is why he would put his son Daniel Faraday in danger by sending him on that freighter.
So if Widmore is telling the truth, it would appear he is on Team Jacob & the Good Guys. As is Ben. The entire Ben vs. Widmore rivalry now appears to be a mere schoolyard tiff compared to the pending war between Jacob and the Man in Black. But I seriously doubt that they would spend three seasons building up that battle, only to have it wind up insignificant to the bigger picture. I just can't picture Ben and Widmore working together against notLocke.
I have a strong suspicion that Widmore took Jin for two reasons. First, because he knows that Jin is the Kwon Candidate and notLocke needs him to leave the island.
Second, because he met and made some kind of deal with Sun off island before she returned via Ajira 316.
Best line of the night, courtesy of Widmore describing what he knows about notLocke: "Everything else I know is a combination of myth, ghost stories and jungle noises in the night."
It was striking to hear Widmore use the phrase "what's done is done," especially when you look at who has said it in the past:
- Yemi to Eko (S2, ?)
- Jack to Locke (S2, Lockdown)
- Sawyer to Juliet (S5, The Little Prince)
- Uncle Ford to young Saywer (S5, The Incident)
- Sawyer to Jack (S5, The Incident)
It certainly appears as if Grandpa Widmore does not give two schillings about the father of his only grandchild. He clearly brought Desmond back to the island drugged and against his will, further damaging an already horrible relationship with his daughter by kidnapping her husband and robbing his grandson Charlie of a father. Way to add to the long list of those with Daddy Issues, Charles.
Finally! I am hoping that his arrival designates the pending answer to one of the most fascinating unsolved mysteries - why the rules do not apply to Desmond and why he is "uniquely and miraculously special." Widmore is clearly aware of that fact, probably from Eloise Hawking and his son Faraday, and brought Desmond to use as his secret weapon in the pending war. I'm just hoping that whatever notLocke has in that backpack is not a counteragent to the great Scot.
I immediately assumed, after seeing Desmond, that Zoe was asking Jin about locating the electromagnetic pockets on the island because Widmore has plans for Desmond to possibly deactivate or negate that energy (with his special powers and/or instructed by Faraday). Doing so would allow the island to be found with ease, prevent further crashes and incidents, etc.
Like many of you, after Lighthouse I speculated that Wallace (the crossed out name connected to number 108 on the lighthouse wheel) might be Desmond because Sir William Wallace was a Scottish hero. Although I am unable to explain why Hume is neither on the cave wall or the lighthouse wheel, perhaps his 'special' status is the reason why he able to was listed under a different last name.
I found myself stuck on Ilana's statement that "Jacob has never lied to me before," because I am convinced that her role and their relationship will prove to be salient in the end. In the last episode (Ab Aeterno), Richard told her that "everything he ever said is a lie." So either Ilana is extremely naive or will wind up being the most sane voice left on that damn island.
I like Ilana for a variety of reasons, one of which is that although she'll "have" Ben (Dr. Linus), she still doesn't trust him. Case in point:
Ben: "Why won't you believe me?"
Ilana: "Because you're speaking."
I believe it was Damon or Carlton who confirmed in recent interview that Austen was indeed on the cave wall but crossed out. However, Austen was also on the lighthouse wheel but was not crossed out there. So if we believe that the cave belongs to the Man in Black, it seems he really is through with Kate and notLocke may allow Claire to go after her before leaving the island. If that cave is Jacob's, however, I'm not sure what disqualified her as one of his Candidates.
That discrepancy also throws an interesting twist into notLocke's assertion that "the only way we can leave the island is if all the names that haven't been crossed off go together."
I will reiterate that we should not be at all surprised to find out that Kate is the variable in the grand scheme of things, the one that notLocke underestimated and the one who may wind up helping to save them all.
I have learned to shield my eyes from the bottom of the screen during the opening credits, because it drives me crazy that we are spoiled at the beginning of episodes when they list guest stars. Thus, I was not expecting to see Patchy and loved that Mikhail appeared in the flash sideways.
Much like Jack's appendix scar in Lighthouse (which many of us thought was a clue that the flash sideways world co-existed with the island timeline because Juliet had removed Jack's appendix in S4), it was exciting to see that Mikhail lost his eye in the fight with Jin during the flash sideways. If this Mikhail is anything like the one we know from the island, he is going to survive those gunshot wounds. I'll bet you $8.
In the S4 finale (There's No Place Like Home), it was established during Sun's confrontation with Widmore that he and Paik are business associates. In the flash sideways, Jin is delivering a watch and cash for Mr. Paik to Martin Keamy, who worked for Widmore in the original island timeline. I am simply pondering whether or not they are business associates in the flash sideways, and if that is at all relevant to the end game.
I laughed out loud when notLocke told Widmore's crew on Hydra Island that "I come in peace" because some fans actually fear an alien reveal on Lost. And, of course, he uttered that phrase during an episode that happened to be cross-promoting V on screen.
[sidenote: I know that the promotional V countdown clock during this episode of Lost bothered many of you. But don't blame the new show; keep in mind that the ABC marketing dept. has a job to do - they are responsible for promoting their shows, and the network is counting on the Lost audience to embrace V. Thus, I understood their placement.]
When notLocke stated that "I don't like secrets," I found myself yelling at the TV, "neither do I - WTF is in your backpack?" Seriously. Remind me to get some sleep after this show ends in May.
I wonder if Naveen Andrews was thinking "kill me now" while filming every episode following Sundown. Because that's the look on Sayid's face, and most of the fans are predicting that he will not make it out alive. I have loved this character from day one, and it is actually painful to see what he has been reduced to. To be frank, I feel that they should have killed Sayid off when his story appeared to come full circle a few episodes ago. But I do hope that I am dead wrong (pun intended) about his fate.
So because Sayid was virtually injected with 2 cc's of The Dark Side earlier this season, he doesn't feel anything, such as "anger, happiness, pain." Obvious the same goes for Darth notLocke, who tells him that it "will help you get through what's coming." How is it that Claire, who was probably also dipped in the hot tub time machine of healing horrors in the Temple, has resisted a full transformation? She is clearly still angry, among other emotions.
Let me get this straight...after getting Touched by an Angel (Jacob) at their wedding, then struggling in their marriage and to conceive, Jin and Sun finally get pregnant after crashing on a magical island. In the flash sideways, however, they fall in love and then Sun gets shot. While pregnant. And a suddenly sensitive thug-for-hire delivers the unfortunate newsflash to Jin that, just as Sawyer had said, "some people just aren't meant to be together."
File under: Destiny IS a fickle bitch.
Zoe is Widmore's Juliet. Ben employed/used a very smart woman on the front lines, and Widmore does the same.
That Zoe is a geophysicist gives me hope that they may finally address one of my long standing Lost obsessions, the island's dormant volcano (click here to read my updated ash & volcano theory, as it relates to the Spring in the Temple). In addition to vast knowledge about the earth's magnetic field, geophysicists tend to also be quite versed in the areas of volcanos and springs...
That wraps up my initial analysis of The Package. While I always have the best intentions to post a follow-up article every week, I will stop promising one because I my schedule has prevented me from having the time to do so.
As some of you may have read on Facebook or Twitter yesterday, I announced that I have joined the team at AOL TV and will be covering a variety of shows for that site. It is a very exciting step in my career, but I want to reassure you that I will be multi-tasking and that this site is my number one priority until the end of May. I will continue to post Lost episode analysis and news here every week, as well as contests.
Speaking of contests, have you entered to win a Lost tee yet? I am giving one away in conjunction with the CafePress Lost T-Shirt store. And in case you missed it - I posted the unedited audio of my interview with Elizabeth Mitchell for your listening pleasure.
Thank you once again for your time, incredibly supportive words and thought-provoking comments. As always, I encourage and appreciate constructive feedback, and look forward to reading what you thought about this episode.