Good episode, huh? I think it was just what was required at this stage in the show. Fast-paced and full of revelations, with at least 3 big huge WTF moments that satisfy even casual viewers. Talking of which, Sawyer seems to represent the casual viewer each week these days. “Isn’t Michael that character we haven’t seen since the end of Season 2?” a couple of weeks ago, and now every week helping out those who aren’t lucky enough to be on this mailing list keep abreast of current events on island.
Things that were good:
Ben appearing out of nowhere in a fucking Dharma Parka (‘Dharka’ is the name being bandied around on the intersnetz currently) in the middle of the fucking desert. Then showing how he has +8 fighting skills taking out some locals on horseback. I believe when he set the co-ordinates for that particular teleporting adventure he just typed in ‘awesometown’. The un-subtitled dialogue between the two has been translated as being something along the lines of “But there are no tracks?”, just to further the excitement. More speculation on that later.
The purge of all the bad actors and actresses of Lost. Awesome. I don’t think I was alone in actually belly laughing at how ridiculously short the parts played by redshirts 1 – 3 were. Out the door, bang. Next! Bang. Next! Bang. Okay, we get the point, they’re baaaaadddd. Then the killing of Alex. Brilliant. Totally unexpected. I noticed they never actually showed her being shot, even with the shows later US timeslot, which just goes to remind us how shocking an execution by bullet to the head is to audiences, and was intended to be to father-figure Benry Gale. For the first time in the show he genuinely seemed to have run out of ideas, and the whole way her death affected him seemed we’re now well on our way to witnessing Benry Gale: Actual put upon Good Guy. I also really liked the way his last-ditch attempt at saving her, by revealing that he stole her from a mad woman when she was an infant, totally undermines everything Rousseau said about her crew, the sickness, being French even. The writers must have been thinking about quite how to get out of that plot hole during their 3 months strike.
Then, finding out Ben had this one last trick up his sleeve the whole time, and getting the smoke monster to attack the bad guys. Very nice sequence. The monster now has elements of light in it, which makes it a little prettier. Or possibly it’s more any missions carried out at night, so it doesn’t get lost or bang into something/kill something it shouldn’t. I think Ben does not know how to control it, but does know how to turn off the Magic Sonar Fence and possibly attract it to him. Then, seeing as it has been alluded to before that it can ‘judge’ people and only kills those who aren’t ‘good’, just let it do it’s things on the morally questionable soldier-types.
Things that weren’t good:
Sayid married that Iraqi woman. Rubbish. As I’ve said about Jack before, you can only fall in love with so many people before everyone stops giving a fuck. Pick one and stick with her, as seems to work with Desmond’s morally pure episodes. What the fuck was Shannon now? And that woman he will fall in love with in the further future? I know one-dimensional characters are not normally a good idea, but when a show is as complicated as Lost, you really need characters to do one thing really really well and stick to it. Jack is a hero, and in the future he’s not, which is why we care. Sawyer is a crook but is now quite nice. Sayid tortures people and then stops for a bit and then goes back to torturing. Leave it at that.
Ben meets Jim Robinson. I think I’m alone in not really liking this bit though. It was quite good in a way. He’s there drinking whole bottles of Desmond’s career from his nightstand and discussing probably the. Whole. Point. Of. The. Show. To his arch enemy. There’s tension. Ben reveals he’s going to get Sayid to kill Penny. All very exciting. But the whole “You changed the rules” thing is what I can’t swallow. I can’t help worry that in fact the whole show is going to be explained away as a gentlemens bet about Time Travel or something. That’s not to say stealing plots from Trading Places is always a bad idea, but I’d rather they’d taken the bit where Jamie Lee flashes her boobs if anything.
Things to think about:
Ben appeared from no-where in the desert, wearing a Parka and breathing as if he’d come from somewhere very cold. The name on the jacket is Halliwax, one of the names Marvin Candle of the Orchid Station goes by. In case you’re unaware of this, here is his Lostpedia page: http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/Candle. He’s gone by Wickman too, all Candle related names. I am very much in the dark why this is. Also, he appears to have a fake arm, which goes in line with Ben arriving in the desert with a cut on his. So many theories as to how he got there. Did he come from the Listening Station, a very cold environment that the two Brazillian chaps live in and report to Penny from? Or did he come from the Orchid Station, only yet seen in this 2007 Comic Con video: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4bTvAUVPyLI. There seems to be some kind of teleportation going on there... One thing is clear though. He lied to Sayid about how he got there, so it’s certainly not the method by which The Oceanic 6 will leave/left the island.