SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, grab the gun stashed in your box of chocolates and watch last night’s Lost.
With “The Little Prince,” you can tell how much Lost has been affected, for the better, by the decision to set a series end date. For much of the series, every episode, no matter what the focus, would emphasize a particular character (in flashback or flash-forward) to give the episode a narrative thread and an emotional core. This episode didn’t really have that. I suppose it was nominally Kate-centric, but really her arc wasn’t much more significant than any others. (At this point, I don’t really know whether to blame Evangeline Lilly or the writers for Kate’s lack of emotional impact—what did this episode say about her, except to confirm that she really is attached to Aaron?—but I’m just glad they didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time on it.)
Compared with Lost episodes from last season—even compared with last week’s “Jughead,” which focused on Daniel Faraday—this episode didn’t really have a center: there was a little of this and a little of that, half Island, half L.A. And yet despite that—and despite the fact that, at this point, I’m not half as interested in the Oceanic 6 as the Island folk—there was so much story going on (because, with less than two seasons left, there has to be) that it almost didn’t matter.
I mean, good God: Jin! Alive! And not in the way that we probably always expected he’d turn up alive, but rescued by… Rousseau’s freaking French science boat! Miles—probably Marvin Candle’s baby! (Right? What else could the nosebleed have implied?) Season 5 characters coming across season 1 characters! (Dare we hope to see Boone and Shannon?) Time-travel nosebleeds for everybody! Oh, yeah, and: the beach abandoned, and what’s this? Signs of yet another plane crash?
Back in L.A., meanwhile, the major shock was that there wasn’t one: that is, to borrow a phrase from Lost Discussion Group, for once the Reverse Occam’s Razor rule of Lost did not apply. The simplest explanation actually was true, and it really was Ben who sent the lawyer after Aaron. And Sun really is, apparently, out to pop a cap into Ben. (Hasn’t she reached the level where she can hire people to do the job for her, like her dad would have?) One open question—so who did send the goons after Sayid? (Who, incidentally, should get to fight with his bare hands in every episode.) Was there an obvious answer I’m just missing? Is it—by Reverse Reverse Occam’s Razor—also Ben?
But what I’ll be puzzling over most in this episode is the Island, and all those damn boats. The (octagonal, a la Dharma/Buddhist) boat of the French crew, who pick up Jin: if he’s separated in the past with them, what possibly becomes of him? (Incidentally, very glad we’re getting more of their backstory, which I’d doubted we’d ever see.)
And those long boats on shore at the abandoned camp. This is interesting, since it suggests another, yet unknown, group reaching the Island at a point when the camp existed. (Perhaps in the “future”—that is, at a point after the escape of the Oceanic Six?) Who are these people, why are they shooting, and what is their connection to Ajira Airways? Those of you who delved into the Ajira website, which appeared before the start of season 5, are welcome to weigh in here, because I’ve got nothin’.
On to the hail of bullets:
* In earlier discussions, some of you said you’d be disappointed if it turned out Miles was the Dharma baby, because there’s a little too much everyone’s-related-to-everyone going on here. Do you still feel that way?
* So if Jin was picked up by Rousseau and Co., and Locke’s group has come upon their wreckage, does that mean that Jin—floating about in wreckage on the water—has been bouncing around in time in tandem with them, all this time? Will he get picked up by the Locke group on the way to the Orchid? Will Locke and company do something (at the Orchid, perhaps) that precipitates the “sickness” that claims the rest of Rousseau’s group?
* For that matter, what was the sickness? From what I recall, it involved people somehow going “mad,” which sounds more like Desmond’s unsticking-in-time (and, maybe, whatever Faraday has or once had) than Island Nosebleed Syndrome.
* Miles and Sawyer are now neck and neck in the snarky/sarcastic remark sweeepstakes.
* I don’t have a season one set of DVDs handy, so can anyone tell me: were we seeing the original Claire birth scene from “Do No Harm,” or did it look as if the scene were re-created for this episode?
* “42 Panorama Crest”? Wouldn’t the Oceanic 6 ask their real estate agents to avoid addresses involving the Numbers?