Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Substitute

The beauty of contributing to a Lost blog is being able to write about a show in which we're completely impassioned. The beast of contributing to a Lost blog is being so flummoxed in regard to a particular episode that, despite our best efforts and intentions, a general recap sometimes falls short.

Such is the case with last week's The Substitute.

Having watched Lost from the very beginning, and having seen each episode twice (at least), I say with certainty...The Substitute ranks in my top five favorite episodes of the past five years. It's generally a given that any Locke-centric hour will be exemplary. Season 1's brilliant Walkabout, in which we gather that prior to flight 815, John Locke was confined to a wheelchair. (That show closing image of his chair, illuminated by the fire on the beach? Genius.) Or how 'bout Season 3's The Man from Tallahassee, when we learned the reason for Locke's wheelchair captivity:
Like most, I gasped loudly upon seeing Anthony Cooper shove his son out of the window.

But as delicious as Locke-based episodes are, they're also rather difficult to digest. While watching The Substitute, three points plagued me:

1. The "reveal" of the numbers.
More specifically, that "Shephard" (Jack? Christian? Claire?) was written next to "23."
Psalm 23? "The Lord is my shepherd."
It's honestly the very first thought I had upon seeing that name & number together.
(I'm a Bible college graduate--work with me here!)

2. "Jacob's" ladder.
Both the Biblical reference (Genesis 28)
and the song by Huey Lewis,
which I sang all night long after seeing this scene.
(Also...I was relieved Sawyer didn't plummet to his death. Whew!)
In the Bible, Jacob's ladder represents the ladder between Heaven and earth,
It has also been interpreted by scholars to be
the manner in which angels descended Heaven for earth.
Angels. Heaven. Earth. Good. Evil. White. Black.
See how my mind works?

3. In Locke's alterna-timeline, he is actually with his lady love.
Helen (yay, it's Helen!) was wearing a t-shirt which read "Peace & Karma."
Peace and karma, people.

I immediately texted Cara with, "Her shirt reads 'karma!'"
Cara's reply? "Awesome."

Awesome, indeed.

With these three bullet points--the number 23, the ladder, and karma--I attempted to suss out their underlying meanings. The spiritual aspect? Mythological? Relevance to our story?

This is Lost, y'all. Nothing is coincidence, and everything is steeped in myth, literature, psychology, religion, and pathos.

This morning the great Doc Jensen, of Entertainment Weekly, and the world's greatest Lost susser (in my estimation, at least) posted part two of his thoughts on The Substitute. He mentioned Huey Lewis, and I started singing again..."Step by step, rung by rung..." He also mentioned Severus Snape, my most favorite character from the Harry Potter series. And I had a "VOILA!" moment.

I highly recommend you taking a few minutes--ok, 20--to read Jensen's post. It's available here.

Honestly, I found myself nodding along, muttering, "whoa!' and "dude--he's a genius," while reading.

Also, let's discuss a few particulars of The Substitute:

Why is James "Sawyer" Ford
so smokin' hot in plain ol', Dharma-issued boxers & a wife beater?
Buzzed on Dharma whiskey, no less.
Have mercy!

Why is Ilana scrounging around Jacob's ashes?
The following day (February 17) was Ash Wednesday, in our 2010 timeline.
I'm certain that was a rare coincidence, but still.
What is the significance of the ashes?

Creepy Child Alert, Creepy Child Alert!

Creepy Child Alert, Creepy Child Alert!
(The Shining has ruined me forever. Creepy kids. Yeesh.)

Back to our show...
who was the creepy, blood-covered child? I've read many theories, including Jacob (reborn?), Aaron (aged), and Sawyer (???). Creepy child warns Flocke (Fake Locke, that is), "You know the rules, you can't kill him..."
Say whaaaaat? Can't kill whom? Jacob? Richard? Sawyer? Vincent?
Where is that dog? And Rose and Bernard, for that matter? '

Let's discuss. What jumped out at you while watching this episode? Did you love it as much as me? Are you satisfied with Flocke's "explanation" of the numbers? (I'm not.) Why was Kate's name not visible on Jacob's cave wall? Do you want to see Sawyer in his skivvies again? (Please. Of course you do.)

Homework before tonight's episode: seriously, go read Doc Jensen's brilliance.
That is all.

that is not all.
I forgot to mention my most favorite moment of this episode:
Mr. Ben Linus, teacher of European history.
Best. Ever.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Kate Does

At the heart of Lost has always been a focus on cause and effect, actions and their consequences. Each of the Losties made a series of choices that led them to the island. To a man, they are deeply flawed individuals. Most are self-inflicted, like Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Some seem to be on the bad side of fate, like Locke and his loser of a daddy or Rose and her cancer. But they are all people with scars.

In this episode, we spend time both on the island and off, following two very different paths. But as so often happens, all roads lead to the same place and we see the same people irresistibly drawn together in the alternate timeline. Cause and effect.

The Island

The show opens with Spectacles shuffling down the hallway, paranoid and harried. He rushes into a room and says with great import: He's ALIVE.

Who else could he be talking about, but Sayid, who is back from the dead after a not-so-refreshing dip in the temple spring. Now Sayid may be back, but he is more confused by what's going on than the rest of us. Hurley explains in his usually succinct way, we been captured by the Others...again.

But the Others aren't through with Sayid. Not by a long shot. They ask him to come with them, they have a few questions for him. Jack, who just can't let anything happen without sticking that nose in, says no. A scuffle ensues and a shot rings out. Everyone freezes and we see Sawyer. "I don't care what you do with any of these guys, but I'm leaving," he says. Dogen (formerly known as Mr. Miyagi) tells him he has to stay (implying that our Losties must stay together?), to which Sawyer says, "No, I don't" and sets off into the jungle.

After he leaves, Kate offers to track him down and bring him back. As she and Jin are getting their stuff together, Jack and Kate have a moment as she is turning to go where he grabs her arm and looks down into her eyes and tells her to be careful. I thought he was going to kiss her. Wanted him to. But no. Will these two star-crossed lovers get back together? I know there is a strong anti-Jack and Kate sentiment, but I always liked the two of them together.

Remember when I said the Others weren't done with Sayid, well, here's where that gets ugly. It seems that "just a few questions" actually means "shoot electricity through your body" and "stick a red hot poker on your chest."

When Jack sees Sayid's condition, he storms in to see Dogen, where he demands to know what they did to Sayid. Dogen tells him, through Spectacles, that they were testing him and that the tests proved that he was "infected." Dogen tells Jack that he must get Sayid to take a pill he has just finished making. Doing so will give Jack a chance to redeem himself for all of the people who were hurt or killed trying to help him. Action/consequence at play.

When Jack walks back into the spring room, Miles and Hurley are quizzing Sayid about the afterlife: was there a white light, angels singing, dead relatives, are you a zombie? (Oh, how I love Miles and Hurley!) Jack asks them to leave, which they do, but not without protest, and then tells Sayid that he is supposed to get him to take the pill. Sayid says, "I don't know anything but who I trust, and if you want me to take that pill, I will."

Jack walks back into Dogen's room. He asks who he is. Dogen says he was "brought" to the island just like everyone else. Dogen asks about the pill and Jack says he didn't give it to him because he didn't know what was in it. You just have to trust me, Dogen says. "Trust?" Jack says, "Let's see where trust gets us" and tosses the pill into his mouth. Dogen dives for him, punching him in the stomach and doing a little Heimlich action, finally getting Jack to marf up the pill. "What was in that?" Jack rasps. The answer: Poison.

Meanwhile, Kate and Jin have been having quite the rumble in the jungle. After escaping from Aldo and Justin, the Others sent to keep an eye on them, Jin turns back for the temple and Kate continues on after Sawyer. She finds him in his old cabin in the other Other compound as he is tearing up floorboards in search of a box. A box which contains a small, black, velvet bag.

Kate and Sawyer sit on a dock, looking out over the water. Kate tries to apologize, to take the blame for Juliet's death, but Sawyer stops her. "It was my fault," he says, "We sat in this very spot and I talked her into staying because I didn't want to be alone. But I guess some of us are just meant to be alone." He pulls out an engagement ring and says, "I was going to ask her to marry me." And with that he stands up and throws it out into the water. As he walks away, he tells Kate that she can probably make it back to the temple by nightfall. Were you crying here. I was. Each of the three times I watched this episode.

Back in the temple, Dogen and Jack sit at a table sharing a cup of tea. Jack asks why they want to kill Sayid. "Because he has been claimed. There is a darkness growing within him and once it reaches his heart, everything that was once your friend will be gone." "How can you be sure?" Jack asks. "Because it happened to your sister." Dunh, dunh, dunh.

In the jungle, Jin is leaning over a stream to refill his canteen when he is attacked by Aldo and Justin. As he attempts to escape, his foot gets caught in a bear (um, hello, BEAR?!) trap. Just as things look terribly dire for our dear Jin, Aldo is thrown back by three shots to the chest. A moment later more shots ring out and Justin goes down, too. Wondering who his savior could be, Jin looks in the direction of the gunfire and sees crazy hair CLAIRE.


At the airport, Kate brushes past Hurley and jumps into a cab with a customer…Claire! She orders the cabbie to go and he floors it, almost hitting poor Arzt, whose luggage is strewn all over the place just like, well... Poor Arzt.

From the back seat, Kate scans the crowd looking for Marshall Edward. She sees Jack standing on the sidewalk talking on the phone and makes a face. Like so many other situations in this alternate timeline, she seems to recognize him.

Once away from the airport, the cabbie takes off and a frazzled Kate dumps a sobbing Claire on the side of the road. Kate careens into a dingy garage. After a brief showdown at gunpoint, a mechanic, who clearly is no stranger to "bracelets," helps Kate extricate herself from them. For the bargain price of $200. He laughs ironically when she asks for a spot to change her clothes.

In the bathroom, she goes through Claire’s bag, no doubt looking for something to change into. No luck, it's a diaper bag. Underneath a picture of a very pregnant Claire, the bag is full of baby stuff.

Kate gets back on the road and finds Claire sitting at a bus stop. She offers her a ride to the home of the couple that are adopting her baby. As they approach the house, Claire asks Kate to come in with her. When they knock, a teary-eyed woman comes to the door. Clair identifies herself and Mrs. Baskim (the adoptive mommy-not-to-be) tells her that her husband (Who might this fellow be, pray tell? Methinks he might be someone we know!) just left her and that she wouldn’t be any good for the baby now. Kate says “this girl came all the way from Australia and you couldn’t call?” Claire starts screaming and says “ITS COMING!!”

At the hospital, Claire lies in a bed while Kate charges out in to the corridor looking for a doctor. Of the several that seem to be standing around, she steers toward one. As he turns around, we see it is ETHAN! Aka Dr. Goodspeed. Is it just me or does he make you feel just a teensy bit uneasy about the quality of health care he is going to provide?

Ethan comes into the room and says that all signs point to her having a baby tout de suite. But Claire says she isn’t ready and just as Ethan orders a something-something medicine drip, the baby’s heart monitor flatlines. Ethan calls for an ultrasound saying that it is possible the baby just moved out of position, but Claire is freaking out, screaming “is Aaron okay??!!” (Aaron??) Ethan uses the ultrasound wand and shows that the baby is fine and says that Aaron (Again, Aaron??) is going to be a handful.

Claire is laying in the hospital bed looking at the sonogram picture (dated 10/22/04?) when two cops walk in asking for Joan Hart. Claire said she was just the cab driver and she had already left. The cops leave and Kate comes out of a storage room. Claire asks why they’re after her and Kate says "would you believe me if I said I was innocent?" “Yeah” Claire says.

When Kate compliments the name Aaron, Claire says "I don’t know why I said that, it was like I knew it." Kate tells her she should keep him and they wish each other luck.

They're all going to need it. Whew.

Okay, Sussers, what thought you of this ep?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LA X {Part 2}

Since I've procrastinated in getting the recap for hour 2 done (and a new episode airs tonight), I'm just going to hit the high points.

Well, the high points according to me. I've only been able to re-watch the 2nd hour in spurts, so I may have probably missed a thing or two.

But here we go! Starting with the events of the "flash sideways":

  • Did anyone else notice Artz giving a weird look to Sayid, as the two of them waited for their luggage?

  • I can't decide if this look is "This guy looks familiar, somehow" ...kind of how Jack was to Desmond on the plane. OR is Artz suspicious of Sayid being a terrorist, which is what Shannon accused Sayid of being on the original Flight 815. Hmmmm...
  • Kate manages to escape from Marshall Edward (he has a name!), taking his gun in the process. Another interaction with Sawyer on an elevator... then she's outside trying to take Frogurt's cab but he's not having it. "There's a line!"

  • With the Marshall hot on her heels, Kate jumps in the nearest cab and tells the driver to go. The cabbie tries telling Kate he already has a passenger, but she points the gun at him and we see the passenger is... CLAIRE!!!

  • We don't see if Claire is preggers or not... if she is, do we assume she's in LA for the same reason she was on the original Flight 815? To give her baby up for adoption?
  • Jack is called to Oceanic's courtesy desk... where he's told there's been a problem with his "cargo". Apparently the coffin containing Jack's dad never made it on the plane. Sounds to me like Christian was never meant to be buried. Again, hmmm...
  • Jin is also having issues with his baggage. Apparently he didn't claim a big wad o' cash. (What's the deal with the watch, though? I don't remember it...) I did catch Sun being called "Miss Paik"... does this mean Sun and Jin are NOT married? And I do not like this Jin. At. All. What a jerk.
  • The final scene in the airport involves another encounter between Jack and Locke. Both are filling out paperwork in an Oceanic office. Jack, because the airline lost his father's coffin (and his father). Locke because the airline lost his knives. (Again... I don't remember the significance of the knives...???). I admit I was tearing up right along with Jack, when Locke was explaining to him the airline just lost his "father's body".
  • Jack tells Locke he's a spinal surgeon and asks what happened... only to be told by Locke that surgery can't fix him. Jack gives Locke his card and tells Locke, "Nothing is irreversible."

  • Are we to believe this bit of advice, too? That somehow things in the past can be changed?

As for what happened on the island:

  • Miles stays behind with Sawyer to help him bury Juliet, while Jin, Jack, Kate and Hurley take Sayid to the temple.

  • Hurley is wearing a RED SHIRT!!!! NNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!
  • After burying Juliet, Sawyer forces Miles to "listen" to her. What Juliet wanted to tell Sawyer before she died? "It worked."
  • What we can assume from this is that somehow Juliet (or her conscious?) was able to see the "flash sideways" and that Flight 815 doesn't crash on the island. Right?
  • Jin, Hurley, Jack and Kate make it to the temple wall with Sayid. While making their way inside, Kate wanders off and then doesn't respond when Jack calls for her... why? I didn't catch the whispers the first time around but heard them when I re-watched. The gang is attacked by the "Others" and we get our first look at the actual Temple (of Doom?)...

  • Meanwhile, back at the beach... Ben and MIB/Fake Locke are still inside the statue. MIB/Fake Locke tells Ben that the real Locke was confused when Ben killed him, and his last thoughts were "I don't understand." MIB also says Locke was the only one who realized how special the Island is, the only one who didn't want to go back to his pathetic pre-Island life. And how this is ironic... because MIB only wants to go "home".
  • Just exactly where is "home"???
  • We're back at the Temple... and so are Cindy and the children from Flight 815 are at the temple?! WTF?!

  • The leader of the Others, Mr. Miyagi, gives the order to shoot Jack et al. But Hurley comes to the rescue, saying Jacob sent them and gave him the guitar case. I don't know what I was expecting to find in the case, but it certainly wasn't an ankh.

  • Seeing the way these Others are dressed makes me wonder if this was the reason Tom and the "Others" who attacked the Losties wore fake beards and shabby clothes. To somehow blend in with these Temple "Others"???
  • They take Sayid to the spring inside the Temple (where Miyagi and Hippie are stunned to see the water isn't clear). A few of the Others hold an unconscious Sayid in the muddied water, where he apparently drowns.
  • Sawyer and Miles have been captured by the Others and brought to the Temple... Hippie takes Hurley to have a talk with Mr. Miyagi. It's here where Hurley drops the bomb that Jacob is dead... and all heck breaks loose. Miyagi and Hippie are yelling for everyone to "get to your posts! ring the bell! prepare the ash!" They also set off a flare...

  • Which is seen by Richard. And he looks pretty freaked out. I wish I could find a screencap of this look, because it's awesome.
  • Also awesome are the reactions when MIB/Fake Locke comes walking out from the statue.

  • Lapidus: "I'm seeing it. But I'm still not believing it."
  • MIB confronts Richard, saying it's nice to see him out of those chains. Could this mean Richard was a slave on the Black Rock? Richard obviously knows who MIB is. MIB knocks Richard out, hoists him onto his shoulder and shouts that he's "very disappointed with all of you," then walks right past the real John Locke's body.

  • The final scene of the final season premiere happens back at the Temple. Hippie asks to speak to Jack in private, but Jack argues and starts to fight with a few Others. The fighting abruptly stops when everyone sees Sayid sit up! A confused Sayid asks, "What happened?" (And let me tell you, he wasn't the only one confused.)

So what did you think of the 2nd hour? Where is "home" to the MIB? What did you think the guitar case was holding? Do you think Jacob is now inhabiting Sayid's body? Any other thoughts? Suss it out!

Because You Simply Can't Get Too Much Sawyer...

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Admit it...how many times did you utter, "WTF?" or an actual expletive during Tuesday's season premiere? My fellow Lost Sussers received many incredulous texts from me, some of which are not fitting to reprint here. Ahem.

But really...WTF? It was 2 hours of almost non-stop "Are you kidding me?" moments. Also, many "Wait, WHAT?" gasps. Let's try to discuss* the first hour for a bit, shall we?

A bit of explanation--the show is clearly employing an "alternate reality" timeline, so we'll review it first before delving into the "Did Juliet reset everything?" timeline.

Confused? Me, too. Let's just go with it...we'll greet our cast of characters, one at at time...

Hey, look! Oceanic 815's in the air again. There's Cindy the "We're here to watch, Jack" flight attendant, offering little bottles to Dr. Unsatisfied Imbiber. Now...I've viewed this scene enough times to know that Cindy sneaks two bottles to Jack, not one. Is this Oceanic Flight 815? 'Cause I'm feeling kinda gipped...for Jack...I mean, he needs two bottles!

Hey, look! It's Rose! (The heart & soul of Lost, no doubt.) But why is Rose comforting Jack, instead of the other way around? "You can let go now," she gently submits.

OK...this is clearly alterna-world. This can't be Oceanic 815.

Jack takes a potty break and discovers a cut on his neck. I'm not even going to pretend to understand what this means, because I'm already bug-eyed (much like Ben) over these few opening minutes. Just go back to your seat, Dr. Shephard. Oh, look! It's Desmond.

Jack senses familiarity with the Scotsman. The Scotsman is oblivious to this familiarity. And did anyone notice the wedding band on Desmond's left hand? (Unable to find a screencap of it, but trust me--it's there.) Yeah. I'm with Jack. Perplexed, looking out the plane's window...

Are. You. Kidding. Me?
Why is Dharmaville/New Otherton underwater? And let's discuss the Dharma symbol on this shark. I didn't catch it upon first viewing, but it lept off my screen the second time. Clearly he's better down waaaaay where it's wetter.

Growing more nervous by the second and fearing the show had jumped the shark (literally & figuratively) in the first 5 minutes, I realized...um, y'all? We are no longer in Kansas anymore.
I echo our dearly departed Drive Shafter, Charlie: "Guys...where are we?" 'Cause it's kinda looking like Atlantis. I don't want it to be Atlantis. Did Jughead explode, thereby calmly sinking the island and sustaining minor damage to it, under the sea? Did it really go "Bloop!" as we saw at the end of Season 4, when Ben turned the wheel? My head is spinning. Thank God for a commercial break.

In a span of about 30 seconds, Kate (oh hey, Mr. Marshall!) meets Jack...
And Sawyer...
Typical. This Bermuda Triangle of a "love" triangle is really getting on my nerves. But I digress...

My second shout of the night goes to ARZT! No, I didn't get "some Arzt on me," (still my favorite line from season 1) but seeing him made me happy. Thank you, writers of Lost. It's the little things which keep this audience satisfied.
And why is Hurley so cheerful? "I'm the luckiest man in the world!" Again, we're clearly not in Kansas anymore. Or in Oz, for that matter. (Yes, Sawyer is reading. As per usual. Brilliant.)

Meanwhile Sun's enjoying the love affair that is Rose & Bernard (told y'all they're the heart and soul of the show) and Jin's enjoying her boobs. Ah, but as usual, these boobs are just for him. Button it up, Sun!

Hey, look--it's Frogurt! He's all safe and snuggled between Boone and Lock. But please love that he's wearing a red shirt. It's almost guaranteed that a flaming spear will find its way to Frogurt's heart, somehow, somewhere. Rest in Peace, Frogurt. Or continue napping in peace...whatever...

At first I was all, "No way would Boone ever be sitting in coach--Shannon wouldn't allow it." Then I realized..."Whoa...where's Shannon?" Boone explains her absence, but still...Boone without Shannon is like step-incest without...ok, ewwww...I can't even go there. Boone tells Locke (hey, John!), "If this plane goes down, I'm sticking with you!" Of course you are, Boone. Some things never change. (Except now Boone's a deliciously hot, evil brother on another network, but that's a vampire of a different color.)

Moving on...
The doctor on board is summonsed to help Cindy with a passenger locked in the restroom. Of course it's Charlie. And of course Jack is always fixing things.
Charlie, dude...there's no hope in dope. In your throat.

Let's not forget who broke down the bathroom door. Only my favorite ninja in the world, Sayid! Now that's what I'm talking 'bout! Finally! Someone who seems their usual, "normal" self. Or as normal as this lot can be.

After Jack has commenced with the fixing, he returns to his seat to find that Desmond is gone. When Jack questions Rose about Desmond's disappearance, she lies to him..."We were asleep." Uh, no Rose...you weren't. I know this because I rewound this scene and watched it three times. You and Bernard were not asleep, so why the fib? I still love you, Rose...you're my girl.

Captain Norris alerts the passengers of their impending arrival to Los Angeles, offering ground details such as the 72 degree temperature, 6 miles of visibility, and winds out of the southwest at 5 miles per hour.

Let's go over that again...72 degrees...6 miles visibility...winds at 5 MPH.

Notice the lack of the numbers? This might be reaaaaaaaally reaching, but we've spent the past five years having those numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) ingrained into our Lost consciousness, so it seems rather odd to have no reference to them here. OK, yes...2, 5, and 6 are all part of the ground details, and part of the numbers. Yet methinks that since we're obviously in a completely variant reality, the numbers must not be "in play" anymore. Hmmmm...

We see Ocean Flight ___ land in Los Angeles, and we catch Charlie shooting an eyeful of daggers at Jack. We also learn that, as in the "other" reality, John Locke is once again confined to his wheelchair.
The look of resignation on his face simply slayed me. I've never felt sorry for John, because he's never given me any reason to. (Well, there was that one time his Dad stole his kidney...and pushed him out of a building window...) "Don't tell me what I can't do!" has been his mantra, and he's proven over the past 5 years that he can do a whole darn lot. But I did feel sorry for him in this scene.

As the plane emptied, I wondered...where are...
Walt and Michael? (And Vincent? I refuse to accept a show that doesn't have the dog!)
Ana Lucia?
Nikki and Paulo?

We'll leave the new flash-sideways behind, as the producers are calling it. What shall we call it? Flash-sideways? Alternate reality? Y'all Better Not Be Jumping The Shark With This New Storytelling Device? This Is So Confusing? Exactly.

I'm holding my judgement on this new tactic of narrative because it is a little intriguing to see both sides of the "Did they or did they not reset time?" speculation. I'll enjoy this "what if" scenario to a point. And then I would really like the writers to pick a path and end our Lost journey on the straight and narrow. Even though Lost is never straight and narrow. Even though the writers aren't listening to me. (Why aren't you listening to me, writers? Kidding.)

This is Kate's eye. Not Jack's, as we've come to know and love over the years. Kate's up in a tree. But not for long. She finds Miles, they sort out their hearing disorder (why do they sound as if they're underwater?), and it's back to the hatch we go!

This is my boyfriend. I mean, James "Sawyer" Ford. Also, my boyfriend.
"She's dead, you son-of-a-bitch, 'cause you were wrong!"

Dude, I've been telling Jack he's been wrong for the past two seasons, so you're preaching to the choir. Kick his ass, James! Oh wait...you did kick his ass, just a few moments ago. (Remember the Great Jungle Smackdown of the Season 5 Finale? That was good times.)

Not far from the imploded hatch, Sayid bleeds, Hurley brandishes a rifle, and Jacob saunters out with a very concerned expression on his face. As if he'd have another expression.

Concurrently, we return to New Locke and Ben, underneath the shadow of the statue, following the murder of Jacob. And this is Ben as we've never seen him before. 'Member when Ben was all badass and calling the shots and being the island's de facto leader? Yeah, he doesn't either.

Then we have Sun & Lapidus talking about some shiz...
And Richard and Ilana talking about some shiz...
But all that was kinda boring, so let's move on.

Well...lookie there, Ben. 'Member how you killed Locke, aka Jeremy Bentham? Still not feeling badass at all, are we?

Back at the ranch hatch, Kate hears the faint voice of Juliet. JULIET! She's ALIVE!!!! Because he's a manly man and because he's awesome, Sawyer springs into action. This involves ordering Jin around and a mad scramble to remove the debris surrounding the imploded area of the hatch.

Simultaneously, Jacob is dropping bombshells and instructions all over Hurley, who is, as usual, completely nonplussed to be talking with a dead dude. Jacob tells Hurley that he needs Charlie's guitar case to save Sayid. Ok, there's more to it than that, but my mind is still focused on JULIET!

Sawyer trips over Desmond's exercise bike and makes it to Juliet's battered and bloody side. "It didn't work," she moans. She reveals to Sawyer that she hit the bomb. "We're still on the island."

Above ground Kate is calling, "Sawyer!" and I still hate her.

Jack tells Hurley that he's unable to fix Sayid (wow--Mr. Fixer's not so fixy now, is he?), so Hurley grows a pair. And I applauded.

Across town the beach, Bram drags Ben to visit Fake Locke. Locke tells Bram, essentially, "Peace out!" Bram's not happy with this dismissal so he starts shooting. The Smoke Monster whirs. Destroys. Bram is staked through the heart. Ew.
Let's stop for a moment to discuss...not the ash (yes, we all saw Bram's protective barrier of ash--and we also saw him flung from said protection, and then staked.)...but the fact that a character named Bram was killed via a stake through the heart. Awesome. I love this show.

Upon Ben's utter breakdown, Fake Locke calmly retorts, "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." Dun-Dun-Duuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This opens up a new can of worms. So Fake Locke is the Smoke Monster? This means the Man in Black has been the Smoke Monster all along? How did Ben summon the Monster if he was unaware of Jacob's nemesis? Was he (Man in Black) being held captive by the ash around that dilapidated cabin? Was he the one eerily crying out, "Help me!" to the real John Locke back in season three's, "The Man Behind the Curtain?" (And not Jacob, as Ben falsely referred to him.) Click here for reference.

My head's hurting.

Let's return to the tragedy of my life. I mean, of this episode.
"Love is a smoke raised with the fumes of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes..." --from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

I really didn't watch to watch Juliet die. Again. Why the pain? Why the torture? Oh, for plot purposes, naturally.

Just before she passes, Juliet asks James if he'd like to "get coffee," offering to make it a dutch treat. Instantly I thought of Charlotte as she was dying..."I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner." Was Juliet seeing her alternate reality? One that included a java date with her James? Oh puh-lease can this be the case? I'd feel much better knowing that these two are destined to be together...eventually. (I hate Kate.)

Before the moment of supreme agony, Juliet also whispers to Sawyer that she must tell him "something really important."

And then she dies and I don't wanna discuss it anymore because I'm still not over it.

Neither is he...

This brings us to the end of the first hour. Hey, I never said brevity was my strongest trait.

Let's chat about the first 60 minutes of the final season of Lost. Suss it out in the comments, and we'll post the 2nd chapter of LA X very soon.

Aren't we so glad Lost is back? Amen!

*None of us here at Sussing Out Lost claim to be island geniuses. That's why we list our favorite Lost smarty pants over there on our sidebar. If you want to graduate from the Head of the Lost Class, be sure to read Entertainment Weekly's Jeff "Doc" Jensen. His analyses of each episode continue to astound and confound us. Seriously.