Thursday, April 22, 2010

'Lost:' 'The Last Recruit'

*Warning: Spoilers from the latest episode of Lost ahead.*

Well, not every episode can be a homerun. "The Last Recruit" felt really rushed and superficial, as the “answer” to at least one outstanding question came too easily and didn’t jive with other things we’ve previously seen.

The Man in Black/Smoky Locke told Jack Shephard, in a matter of fact fashion, that he had used the body of Jack’s father Christian to run around the island after Oceanic 815 crashed. So Man in Black's a puppeteer who uses dead bodies at will to run around? What if there were no more bodies for him to inhabit?

Last week, Michael told Hurley that there were dead people who were “stuck” on the island, not counting the people whose bodies the Man in Black was using for fun. Where does that leave someone like Walt who was alive when he appeared to more than one person?

Why have people who did not die on the island appeared before our Losties? Like Ben's mother, who died while giving birth to him in the United States? Or Richard's wife who appeared to Hurley a few episodes ago but never set foot on the island when she was alive?

Aside from the questions about the appearances of the deceased, this warfare stuff, Widmore’s people sending bombs raining down on Man in Black and the people who are “with” him because they won’t give back “The Package” (Desmond who’s likely still alive because I don’t believe Sayid killed him), I'm not fond of this storyline. We've had plenty of wars with The Others and the Losties, with the freighter people and our Losties. It feels old.
The Jack-Sawyer face-off – where Jack got all wishy-washy about whether they should stay and Sawyer acted all keep-that-crazy-talk-to-yourself-or-get-the-hell-off-my-damn-boat – eh, it really did not move me either. Didn’t like this twist, even though it reminded me of the helicopter trip to the freighter where Sawyer jumped into the ocean as the copter was losing fuel, however Sawyer jumped to save the copter from crashing. Did Jack’s jumping from the boat also save our Losties in some way? Also, should we give any weight to Sawyer’s quip, “We’re done going back Kate?” (The Lost Untangled video below had a funny take on this.)

Things I did like from "The Last Recruit:"

Liked that there seems to be a reunion of sorts going on at the LA hospital in the sideways-flashing existence, with Jack being called away from the reading of his father’s will (where he learned Claire was his half-sister after Desmond manipulated her into going to his attorney Ilana's office which happened to be in the same building as the adoption agency) to operate on Locke’s back, while Sun was recovering from a gunshot wound (and her baby’s okay).

Was intrigued by the fact that Man in Black/Smoky Locke called the original John Locke “stupid” because he believed “he’d been brought here for a reason” and “pursued that belief until it got him killed.” “John Locke was not a believer Jack,” Smoky Locke said, “he was a sucker.”

But isn’t the reason why Jack abandoned the boat and returned to the island because Jack believed he’d been called back to the island for something, to finish something? Does that make Jack a sucker too?

The Sun-Jin reunion was sweet, brought tears to my eyes, but it was spoiled when the Widmore zombies raised their weapons a second time. (The whole bit with Sun losing her ability to speak English but suddenly regaining it when she saw Jin was unnecessary, messy madness. Again, I'm right on with what Dr. Chang says in Lost Untangled.)

Overall, I was seeking a little more depth to this episode coming on the heels of two really strong episodes. I wanted emotional resonance instead of the taking sides/“war”/”You’re with me now” thread which just seems like an excuse to have big explosions and gunfire.

The reason I was so drawn to the previous two episodes with Desmond and Hurley was because they seemed meaningful, touched on weighty issues like fate, destiny, free will and bonds between people. They'd started to draw larger issues and questions together as though they might've been slowly closing a larger loop. But then they dropped the string and went astray with the shallow “war” storyline between Widmore and Man in Black/Smoky Locke. If this is how we’re going to spend the last few hours of one of the most intriguing, maddening and clever television shows in history, I’m going to be peeved, I tell you that much.

What did you think of “The Last Recruit?”

Image credit: Mario Perez/ABC.


Cooley Horner said...

I liked the episode. Rather than by focusing on one character, it had the ensemble feel of older seasons. I agree that this was a setup episode, so I'm hoping big things will happen in the next new episode. I just mainly want someone to take out that Liz-Lemon-doppelganger who's got Sawyer & Co. at gunpoint. She really grates on me.

I was happy to see Sun and Jin together--they're cute, and now Sun can do something other than ask about Jin all the time.

Interesting that you note how people saw dead folks who did not die on the island and/or are not dead to begin with. Perhaps Jacob inhabits those people? After all, Ben's mom and Richard's wife were the ones who led Ben and Richard back to the side of good rather than to the Man in Black...

Erick said...

Hi Meredith
LOVE your blog!
Wanted to you thinik we'll see Rose and Bernard on the island again?

amy said...

Ok, here's my take. I don't believe that Locke really did inhabit Jack's father's body. His dad's body was not in the coffin, remember Jack was so pissed when he saw it was empty? Everyone clearly saw Locke's dead body; either on the mainland or on the beach after Locke took over. I think Fauke was telling Jack what he wanted to hear.

Jack and Claire's reunion--I could care less about this storyline. It means nothing; holds no resonance for me. Does it matter in any way that they are half-siblings? Kate has more connection to Aaron and she's not even his aunt. If there had been some buildup or reason that Jack and Claire's sibling status had some weight to it than I'd buy into it, but for now it does nothing for me.

I agree that the bomb thing was stupid, i hate the woman playing Widmore's lacky--i still think of her as Gwen from LA Law--her glasses look fake. Claire's hair looks fake. Sun regaining her voice when she sees Jin is a cheat for this show.

The writers can and have done better than this episode.