SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, fill it with lead, encase it in concrete and bury it until you watch last night’s Lost.
So first we landed on an Island. It seemed pretty small. But it turned out you could cram a lot of locations on it. There was a tower. A wrecked boat. A system of hatches buried underneath it. And offshore. And there was another island. So, yeah, it turns out it was kind of roomy.
Now take that same Island, and stretch it out in time so you can visit it a year ago, or ten, or 50—or more. That Island is huge.
And where I had been concerned that this season might involve a lot of time-filling—stretching out the process of getting the Oceanic Six back—clearly the time-flashing means that there is a tremendous amount of Island history we could explore; here, our first direct vision of the Island before Dharma.
In terms of character exploration, we have a lot left to discover too. I give thanks every episode that Jeremy Davies was cast as Daniel. This episode, we got a glimpse of his nebbishy tenderness (conffessing his love for Charlotte) and his leadership (as he took command of the bomb incident and turned it to his advantage); meanwhile, we also got a suggestion of a dark, cold side, as we saw what he was willing to do in the name of his science—not to mention who was willing to fund it.
In the meantime, Desmond’s brief U.K. jaunt led us to a conclusion that a lot of people had already guessed, here and elsewhere—that Daniel’s mom is in L.A., which is to say, she is (or could likely be) Ms. Hawking. What I didn’t get was why we needed, narratively, the initial scene of Penny giving birth. Don’t get me wrong—it’s nice to know and all, but following so close on their tearful reunion it didn’t have much cathartic purpose. (Whereas it was moving to see the couple on the deck of the boat with their child.) If we saw Des and Penny with their son, we’d pretty much infer that time had passed and she’d had a baby. I can’t see what we gained from the scene—which didn’t have much suspense or emotional payoff either—but all that leads me to suspect that it will for some reason prove to be very important.
In any case, Des is now off to join the O6 in L.A. I hope he plans to fly.
I was more intrigued by Des’ showdown with Charles Widmore—that Desmond had the strength, in this encounter, to set the terms, demand answers and refuse to answer questions, and that Widmore would urge him to flee for his and Penny’s safety. (Not a bad idea. Recall that Ben has pledged to kill Penny, after Widmore “changed the rules.” Say, who else is in L.A.?)
But it didn’t have quite the impact of Locke’s meeting with Widmore, half a century earlier. “What’s it to you?” “Nothing. Nice to meet you.”) Which apparently set into motion Richard Alpert’s visit to child Locke—several years later, after Locke had been born—and perhaps the initiation of the “process” by which the Others choose their leader.
By the way, I didn’t even miss the Oceanic Six, did you? On to the hail of H-bombs:
* Why has Charlotte—and only Charlotte—so far fallen to nosebleed disease? I’ve heard the theory that it has to do with the implication that she was born on the Island. But as far as we know Minkowski, and anyone else who succumbed to it before, was born on the Island. If there is any significance to Charlotte’s having been born there (if she was), are we going to discover that any other characters were? Say, Penny?
* Conversely, how did Daniel’s experiment subject, Theresa, manage to come down with Constant sickness and yet not die?
* Sweet that Charlie lives, at least as Des and Penny’s baby.
* At some point, will more redshirts have died than actual people survived the plane crash?
* We’ve now met young Mr. Widmore. Any chance the short-haired soldier woman is Ms. Hawking–and, thus, Daniel’s mom? (Although—I couldn’t quite tell—her accent did sound a little more Australian than British.) Still—”You look so much like someone I used to know.” Yes, the reference overtly seemed to be the girl whose brain he fried at Oxford. But who knows?
* The Others speak Latin? Qui-TF? Not that we haven’t asked this question before, but between this and Richard’s intimation that they’ve had a succession of leaders before him (chosen, Dalai Lama-style, as children)—and given that Richard does not seem to, er, age that quickly himself… how the hell long have these people been on this island?
* So there’s a hydrogen bomb buried on the island. A once-leaky hydrogen bomb. Buried. Underground. The same underground that apparently contains a source of energy with the potential to alter time. That’s… a little dicey, right? Any connection to the cataclysm that pushing the numbers in the hatch was meant to forestall? I don’t know. But I’d walk lightly. And avoid sneezing.