Friday, February 19, 2010

Lost - The Substitute

I’m kind of at a lost when it comes to discussing this week’s episode of Lost, “The Substitute.” It was an awesome episode (and we did get some answers), but really I’m just left with more and more questions. Then again, isn’t that par for the course when discussing Lost? I mentioned this on Twitter, but this week’s episode felt like the official start of the show’s final season. It was the type of episode Lost fans have been craving and I think it quieted a lot of the negative feelings.

It’s really too bad “The Substitute” couldn’t have been the season premiere’s 2nd hour or replaced “What Kate Does” in the order of episodes, because I think it would have really excited the fan base earlier in the season. “The Substitute” was the first episode where I thoroughly enjoyed the Flash Sideways. I never realized until this season how much I disliked Kate-centric stories while really enjoying all things Locke. I’ve never been a huge Locke fan, but I find myself wanting to return to his storylines constantly (and caring less and less about Jack, Sayid and the temple Others).

Lost - The Substitute - Terry O'Quinn as John Locke
The question of whether or not Locke was able to go on his walkabout in the Flash Sideways was answered quickly, and even though he was still unable to go, it didn’t seem to crush him as much as the first time. Locke really does seem to be at peace with his life, and I’m sure still being in a relationship with Helen is a large part of that. Anyone notice she mentioned having Locke’s father at the wedding!?! Seems like that’s a huge change in his life from prior to the nuclear explosion! That little change begs the question, if Locke’s father is still in his life then who or what caused Locke’s paralysis?

It was cool to see Hurley enter Locke’s life so quickly and a little shocking to find out Rose works for Hurley. That little tidbit makes me wonder what both Hurley and Rose were doing in Australia at the same time and on the same flight home. There must be more to that story I’m sure. To be honest, I had no idea where this job storyline was going, and half expected Locke to run into Walt or Faraday at the school. But to find Ben working at the school as a teacher completely threw me off! As soon as you hear Michael Emerson’s voice you know it was Ben! And how great were his glasses!?! Now I’m actually interested in finding out where this Flash Sideways storyline is going!

Lost - The Substitute - Terry O'Quinn as John Locke and Michael Emerson as Ben Linus
Now let’s get to the really good stuff, this week’s island action. So many of the scenes in “The Substitute” on their own don’t explain much, but together we’re starting to get a feeling of what’s really going on between Jacob and FLocke. To say I have any real idea what’s going on would be a lie, but we’re starting to get a feel at least. I’m starting to guess the numbers were created by Jacob since “he has a thing for numbers,” but who knows. And what was up with the little boy in the woods? Is that a newly reborn Jacob or maybe it’s Jacob as a little boy raised from the dead (similar to Christian Shephard)?

Like I said earlier, I really have no idea what’s going on other than it was an exciting episode. I loved seeing the island through the Smoke Monster’s eyes and its transformation into FLocke. And I thought the look on Sawyer’s face, when he learned another Lostie had returned from the dead, was pretty killer. He must really be at his boiling point after seeing two friends resurrected while Juliette remains dead. It was also cool to learn how Sawyer’s mind works when he dissected Locke and explained how he knew right away Locke wasn’t Locke. Sawyer’s a conman through and through, and unlike his island mates, is rarely fooled. While it looks like the MIB/Flocke found his first follower in Sawyer, I’ve got a feeling James won’t be blindly following anyone for very long.

Lost - The Substitute - Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, Yunjin Kim as Sun Kwon & Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana
It was also interesting to see Richard legitimately afraid of FLocke while he was trying to convince Sawyer to go to with him to the temple. I’m pretty sure that was the first time we’ve ever seen Richard show any emotion, and for typically such a cool character fear was the one emotion I never thought he’d show! One last thing before go into my question to ponder, how great was Locke’s funeral!?! Ben’s eulogy was priceless, but it was Frank Lapidus’ response that really blew me away. I don’t know what role Frank will ultimately play in the Lost saga, but I really enjoy every scene he appears in. Something tells me Ilana knows his role and will guide him, Sun and Ben to their destinies.

Lost - The Substitute - Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, Yunjin Kim as Sun Kwon, Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana & Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus
I don’t have many theories from watching this week’s show, mainly because it seems like the storylines are all still building, but I know there is lots and lots of speculation on the MIB/FLocke’s cave and the names/numbers Jacob wrote on its walls. My only question to ponder this week is why is Jacob sexist? I know the name Kwon could reference Jin or Sun, but since I didn’t see Kate or Clair’s names on the walls either I’ll just assume Jacob was referring to Jin as a potential candidate. That also might explain why Sun was the only member of the Oceanic 6 not to jump back in time when Ajira Airways Flight 316 crashed to the island. Don’t these things just make you go hmmmm?
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