In the spirit of Lost, let's flash forward. To the last five minutes of the March 2 episode.
What an ending, right? Tense and action-packed, it also managed to pack a wallop in plot production. The smoke monster, i.e., fake-Locke, i.e., "evil incarnate" (according to Dogen), invades the sacred temple, killing nearly everybody in its path. Miles is almost a casualty of war (which would have been a serious shame, given that sardonic quips on the island are in such short supply). But trekkers Ilana, Ben, Lapedus and Sun find him just in time and they all take cover in a Scooby Doo-like secret hiding place.
Then, the final chilling moment: A possessed-looking Sayid and Claire emerge from the Temple unscathed and give a knowing nod to fake-Locke and his followers. Right behind them...Kate, with an "oh-crap-what-have-I-got-myself-into" look on her face. Last week, Claire nonchalantly told Jin that if Kate really had taken her baby Aaron, she'd kill her. And since the criminal and the impressionable mom have been connected in every era, the writing is on the wall (er, cave?) that Kate's comeuppance is coming.
Side observation/theory: That's quite an army fake-Locke has amassed. Perhaps he can't truly destroy Jacob's power without the power of numbers.
The big climax couldn't have come at a better point in the season. Even before the monster's appearance, those temple scenes starring Dogen and Lennon were downright deadly. Neither memorable heroes nor frightening villains, their sole function on the series seemed to be delivering cryptic observations and predictions. Stand in line.
True, the elder Dogen tried to humanize himself by telling Sayid a sob story about his son and a near-fatal car accident. (Said son briefly appeared in a Jack flashback last week). But when Sayid kills him (along with his horn-rimmed sidekick), it was actually a relief. Two fewer characters to care about in this wonderfully convoluted series!
Fake-Locke aside, it was Sayid who dominated this episode. In his flash-sideways, it's revealed that his underachieving brother wed his beloved Nadia. Things get even more complicated when his buried-in-debt brother asks him to go all professional torturer on some goons. He begs off at first, but eventually comes around when the bro is attacked and clings to life. One of the goons? Keamy! As menacing as ever! Yep, the same guy whom Charles Widmore sent to the island to murder Ben wants to ax Sayid too. Turns out the man is a killer when it comes to making poached eggs too.
Just like the other castaways‚ post-Ocean 815 arcs, Sayid seeks redemption. But unlike Kate, Locke and Jack, he doesn't quite find it. But maybe things will change now that he has discovered a strange man bound and gagged in a kitchen closet. Spoiler alert: His name is Jin.
--By Mara Reinstein for UsMagazine.com