Lost's Penultimate Show: RIP Widmore, Long Live Jack
The Lost finale is Sunday. Re-read that sentence. With that in mind, you don't really want to read my late-night ramblings about the second-to-last episode, right? It's like dissecting the appetizer just before the main course is about to arrive.
Still, the wait staff is a little backed up right now. (Sorry, I took the metaphor too far.) So let's just sum up what we just learned. And in a nice twist, this outing was info-packed.
Once upon a time, Jacob crashed Oceanic 815 because the plane was chock-full of broken people who needed the island experience to make them whole. In doing so, he found potential contenders to replace him should his evil twin bro ever find a way to kill him and plot an escape. Not a mind-blowing reveal, but it was still awfully therapeutic to hear Jacob spell it out to Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley. Just one quibble: Kate's name was crossed off on his list because she became a mother? First of all, she didn't. And are viewers really supposed to believe that Jacob meticulously sought out these castaways, only to just non-chalantly cross their names off with chalk for such mundane reasons? I lied: second quibble: I was surprised none of the remaining candidates ever pieced together the fact that Jacob visited them off the island at such crucial points in their lives.
Anyhoo, Charles Widmore is dead. Ben shot him. It was maddening. Obviously, the old man had it coming -- this is the guy who sent a freighter to the island with the sole purpose of killing Ben, and his recruit, scary Keamy, kill Ben's daughter. But it was a bit anti-climatic to see the stand-off between Widmore -- who spent decades getting back to the island -- and fake Locke end so abruptly. For that matter, even though it was Ben who finally (and appropriately) got his revenge, I was hoping for more of a verbal smackdown. Even though Widmore was clear about his intentions on the island, I just assumed he had a special motive that would become clear in the finale.
Zoe was killed too. Raise your hand if you care. I repeat: the new characters this season were a waste of time and mental energy. They served almost no purpose and just detracted from the central characters whom we have grown to love over the past six years.
And finally, Jack stepped up to take over Jacob's role as island caretaker. He drank some holy Jacob-blessed water, and immediately started craving his mother's affection. Actually, he headed for the glowy cave, as seen in last week's debacle (er, last week's episode). His goal: To stop fake Locke from his ultimately plan to liberate himself and destroy the island. Perhaps not in that order.
So what to expect in Lost's hurrah? I think viewers should take a deep breath and come to the realization that several plots threads will be left twisting in the island winds forever. After all, Law & Order, this is not. (RIP, Law & Order). But here are some fail-safe predictions:
- Despite his promise, Ben is not going to turn into Fake Locke's killing machine. Just don't buy it. His redemption arc was so moving and authentic, I find it such a stretch that Ben would revert to his evil ways. Yes, Miles brought up a sore subject when he heard Danielle‚s voice in the Others barracks, but that‚s still not enough of an explanation for the about-face. Fake Locke played him in last season's finale by having him kill Jacob for duplicitous reasons. I suspect that Ben is repaying the favor.
- Despite his promise, Jack is not going to end up as the island's new guardian. It all seemed a little too cut-and-dry, no? When Hurley off-handedly mentioned to Sawyer how glad he was about not being The Chosen One, it reeked of foreshadowing. And speaking of Sawyer, it's not out of the realm of possibility to imagine the former scoundrel as the caretaker. Keep in mind: He's the only candidate to have never left the island.
- Desmond will live. Count on it, bruthah. In the sideways world, he is tantalizing close to bringing the Oceanic 815 passengers together and, in his words, "show them something." Thus far, he has rounded up Kate, Sayid and Hurley. They're going to Farraday and Charlie's concert -- which Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Jack and Miles‚ dad (ahem, Dr. Chang) are scheduled to attend. (And don't forget about Jack's ex wife -- who could it be?) With his electromagnetic powers, perhaps Desmond will conceive a way for the passengers to save the island. (He pulled off a similar feat in the classic episode "The Constant."). Either way, Desmond is not going to die. That love story with Penny is just too epic to squander. (Sorry Sun and Jin fans...you know it's true).
- Lapedus will appear. Is this guy really dead? Seems inconceivable that nobody has mourned him. Or even taken a time out to say, "Hey, where's the wise-cracking pilot who landed the plane and has those awesome sideburns?" Lapedus had so little to do this season, I truly can't fathom that his pilot skills will not be used before the end credits. Same goes for Richard. Smokey took him out of the game temporarily, but the ageless wonder needs to play out his purpose.
- A person who has not been seen all season will play a crucial role. His name is Aaron. Remember -- he was not supposed to be born on the island, let alone survive. Where was Claire in this episode, anyway? Surely she will lose the crazy gene (and, fingers crossed, the bad wig and smelly flannel shirt) and get to raise her son.
- Kate will get her man. I know, that Sawyer-Jack-Kate triangle is so 2006, but this puppy is going to be resolved, whether viewers still care or not. And it's not going to be Sawyer. He needs to end up with Juliet. Lest we forget about that promised cup of coffee!
So there you have it. It's been a strange and polarizing season (one word: temple), but in the spirit of redemption, here's hoping that show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse will offer up a beautiful, tense and fulfilling send-off that's worthy of this series. Namaste, everybody!