Peggy Hailey and Mark Finn wrap their fragile little minds around the latest episode of Lost. Peggy Hailey is italics. Mark is the other one.
PH: Holy WTF, Batman, what just happened?
So, so many things open to questions and interpretation (and thanks, ABC, for finally dropping that "All the Answers" promo. We all know that promo monkeys are lying liars who lie).
MF: I too am glad that they have stopped telling us we'll get all of the answers. Just shut up and make with the "Next Week on LOST" trailer.
What just happened, indeed? Okay, we've just made that inevitable Lord of the Flies leap where the battle lines are officially drawn. Nice to see the "rescue squad" show up in the middle of the chaos, and PLEASE, don't show us their trek through the jungle unless it's an info-dump. If you're not going to tell us anything through Sun and Frank's conversation, then let's just move along, please.
PH: If we explore your Buddhist-y theories, every character has a chance to confront their flaws and make a choice to deal with them and move beyond them or to make the same mistakes over and over again. Jack, seemingly cured of the notion that he can fix everyone and everything, moves on. Confronted with the notion that he is just as sucky a father in his way as Christian was, he makes a breakthrough and changes that dynamic in our alt-verse. Sayid, bless his tormented little heart, still turns to violence when pushed, so in our alt-verse, he still doesn't have Nadia, even though she's alive. Jacob believes people can grow and change, Esau doesn't.
MF: That's right, and I think that there's something to the idea of one's own nature. Sayid, always attempting to move away from violence, is constantly put back in violence's path. So, maybe he is the bad ass torturer for better or worse. Maybe in BEING that instrument of destruction, he's fulfilling his own purpose and thus doing the right thing for HIM.
Nothing I've seen invalidates my theory. Not yet, anyway.
PH: Or if, as you suspect, the alt-verse is an extended epilogue for the series, then maybe we're seeing that those who made the right choices have a better/more stable life, while those who continue to choose incorrectly continue to have the same problems. And if that's true, then Ben must make the right choice.
MF: That's right. Whatever Ben is supposed to do, he will eventually do. Notice that in the classroom setting, he gets to be a leader and an influencer. So, it's a much better application of his natural persuasive gifts.
Speaking of the alt-verse, I really liked the Jin and Sayid intersection. This implies, at least to me, that Jin doesn't make the right choice. But we'll have to wait that out.
PH: Did Dogen send Sayid out to die? If the reason he couldn't kill Sayid himself was that Sayid was still a candidate, then he knew that un-Locke couldn't kill him either. Maybe the test was to see if Sayid could make the choice NOT to kill.
MF: I'm more inclined to buy Smokey-Locke's interpretation of the events: Sayid was sent out, in the hopes that he'd get killed trying to kill Locke. Murder by Smokey.
But if Sayid is still a candidate, he can't be killed by Smokey (we still don't know if it's possible and not allowed or not possible at all). Remember what Claire said to Dogen when he refused to go outside and meet with un-Locke? "Then why don't you send someone who can't be killed?" His first thought was Jack or Hurley, then he went with Sayid.
PH: Jacob and Esau both offer their followers choices. Jacob's are tough, but fair: I will save the son that your bad decision killed, but you can never see him again and you have to work for me. Esau's are classic Satan tempting Jesus in the desert: If I could give you your heart's desire, would you do anything I ask? Although if you notice, he never actually says that's what he can do. He always says "What if"?
There were other Esau = Lucifer parallels in this episode, too, not the least of which is the song "Catch a Falling Star" = the fallen star of heaven. It better not be that simple, or I may have to cut some bitches.
MF: Yeah, I caught that whole temptation thing, as well. Not the "Falling Star" reference, though: genius. It seems that Jacob's choices are usually tit for tat. You don't get everything. Compromise is a part of the deal. Esau's promises, if he keeps them, are pretty all-encompassing.
PH: Why is Esau going to kill everyone on the island before he goes? Is it just his nature? Is it petulance? We've been told numerous times that he's angry. At who? Did someone specifically piss him off, or is anger just his nature? Could our dichotomy be chaos vs. control? If a long-haired albino with a sword shows up, we've got our answer (and I just might wet myself).
MF: If Esau represents anything, it's the seven deadly sins. We've seen most of those played out on the island, and most notably from the Losties he's drawn to his side. Maybe, instead of killing everyone, his goal was to desecrate the temple by knocking everything over. Otherwise, why warn the Others that he's coming? Sure, he's recruiting troops from the looks of it, but does he really need to?
PH: Once you go black, can you, in fact, go back? Is it possible to still make the right decision and no one does, or are you doomed once you're infected? I ask this not because BadSeed! Sayid breaks my heart (although he does), but because I still hold out hope that there's enough John left in un-Locke to make a difference when it counts.
MF: I think that once you choose a side, that's it. For Sawyer, Locke, and even Sayid, it was the end of the line for them. They were at wit's end. So, in that sense, they were all pushed to the edge, out of the light and into the dark. Poetic metaphor, but you know what I mean.
PH: Is it my imagination, or is Kate increasingly important to whatever endgame they're playing? Not one of the major players (at least by numbers), yet always in the middle of everything. What was with that look that un-Locke gave her at the temple? It sure as heck wasn't a "Hey, glad to see ya, glad you joined up" look. Yet he could have killed her in the temple and didn't. Is she, all evidence to the contrary, a candidate?
MF: Boy, I sure hope not. That "What the Filk are YOU doing here?" look will, hopefully, be the start of Kate's episode long death scene. She's gone over to Team Locke because of Claire, and she'll stay because of Sawyer, and if she serves any purpose in this cosmic opera, she'll betray Team Locke because, unlike the rest of them, her heart is not in joining up.
Here's what I think. Kate saves the day not by heroics but by virtue of the fact that she ruins every man she hangs out with. And she happens to be hanging with Smokey.