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Lost – “The Last Recruit” – Recap

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I’m new here, and there’s only about a month left until the finale, but I’m a huge Lost fan so I want to try to post a recap each week until the series is done. Next week’s will be up much sooner than this one is, this is my first attempt at a recap of the show so I’m just getting my feet wet. I’d appreciate any feedback you have.

Anyway, on with it…

Last week’s episode really put the pieces in place for the final run to the finish line. Hurley made the decision to stop listening to Richard, take his destiny into his own hands, and go see Flocke personally. Jack, Sun, and Lapidus followed along behind while Miles, Richard, and Ben went their separate way. This week, we pick up right where we left off with Hurley’s posse running into Flocke’s camp. Hurley immediately becomes an afterthought, as Jack and Flocke get down to business and have a pow-wow.

This chat is one of the main problems I’ve been having with this season so far. The actual dialogue and acting is fine, for the most part. The issue I have is with the way that the writers are revealing their secrets now. If you read any of the bajillion Lost message boards out there, you’ve probably familiarized yourself with the variety of theories for some of the show’s big mysteries. Judging by the season so far, so have the writers. I see one of two scenarios here:

1. They’ve had this planned out all along and people just made some very on-the-nose guesses, in which case kudos are warranted.

-OR-

2. They’ve come to the realization that if they want to solve these mysteries with the most minimal amount of backlash from the fanbase, they’ll ride out the most popular theories and hope for the best.

Honestly, I think scenario 1 is much more likely and number 2 is for conspiracy theorists. Either way, my issue is with the execution. After watching this show for six seasons, almost every mystery is a big one to me. I feel like this season, the writers have lost sight of that. They’re solving just about everything, which hey, they get credit for in my book. But the way they’re doing the reveals makes them seem less important and, in effect, less interesting. One of the lesser reveals, the history behind the Black Rock, was given its own episode. It was beautifully done and, although I think the episode itself was a bit overrated by fans, it satisfactorily gave the mystery some closure. The thing is, I just didn’t care too much about the damn thing to begin with. Yes, it was odd that there was a big pirate ship in the middle of the island, but the most interesting part of it to me was always the “why” and not the “how.” The Richard episode mostly addressed the latter. In the meantime, some of the bigger mysteries of the island have been revealed in ways that if you sneezed over a second of dialogue, you’d never know you missed them. Last week’s explanation of the whispers was one of these moments. Yes, everyone came to the general conclusion that they were from the dead people on the island, but there HAD to be a more interesting way to reveal it. We have a definitive answer now, but after years of whispers, we got a five second payoff. It makes me feel like all of that time I spent thinking over the possible reasons for the whispers was for naught. Going back and viewing all of the early episodes of the series a few months from now, I think they’ll be cheapened as a result.

Which finally brings me back to this week. During Flocke and Jack’s conversation, the reveal of whether all the apparitions of dead people on the island were indeed singularly the Smoke Monster’s doing was handled in a similarly cheap way. It pretty much went like this:

Flocke: I’m Locke because he’s dead.
Jack: So you can only turn into dead people?
Flocke: Yep.
Jack: My dad?
Flocke: Yep.

REVEALED. C’mon, we’ve come to expect so much more from this show. They found really cool ways to make us wonder about all of these things in the past six seasons, they could have done so much better. At this rate, they’ll tell us the story between Jacob and the Man In Black with a soliloquy from a resurrected Nikki and Paolo.

The stuff in the alternate timeline is finally picking up steam. Desmond is putting everyone into place to meet each other and remember their lives on the island. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess, but since the stuff in the ALT has sharply divided the fanbase as much as it has, hopefully it delivers. Sun’s recognizing of Locke has been made a huge deal on the forums, but I think it was a red herring. It wouldn’t make any sense for Sun to be the only one who is aware of what Locke has become in the current timeline. Unless, of course, it’s based on something that has yet to take place. I think instead that Sun and Locke had some kind of interaction in the ALT that we haven’t seen. I love the way it’s tying all together.

The rest of the episode brought the awesome sauce. The interactions between Jack and Kate, Claire, Locke, and Sawyer were all a lot of fun. Seeing Claire almost like her old self when she was talking to Jack was refreshing, and reminded us why we care about her. Jack apologizing to Sawyer for causing Juliet’s death was well done, and showed how much Jack has grown as a character. No longer is he willing to blindly lead his friends into their demise without taking it onto his conscience.

This episode, the almost-killed Zoe returns as a spokesperson for Widmore to tell Flocke that he better give Desmond back to them or they’ll make him go all kablooey. Thoughts about why they bothered keeping her around aside, I’m left wondering a few things. If they can blow up Smokey, then why not just do it? The only possible loss for them is that they’d sacrifice Desmond with him, but if Flocke were in pieces, why would they need him? Maybe they know that an explosion won’t really kill him, but that would make the bombing threat an empty one. Unless they think his followers are that essential to him that he’d want to protect them…

Flocke and crew decide to head over to the downed plane instead of giving in to the demands, but Sawyer and Jack have different plans. They break off and take the boat to try to get out of there, making the probably unwise mistake of purposely leaving Claire behind. This should be the final nail in the coffin of Claire as we knew her, because it completely severs any feelings of loyalty she had to them. This could backfire in a big way. I don’t see the season ending without her killing at least one of the Losties, and then possibly herself.

Finally, someone has some sense, and Jack realizes that hey, if Flocke is all-knowing and omniscient, he would know they took a detour. And if he’s not trying to stop them, then there must be a reason and maybe he wants them out of the way. Sawyer doesn’t take too kindly to it and still has pent-up anger from Juliet’s death, so he tells Jack to jump ship if he wants off so badly. I’d have to side with Jack here. I think he’s catching on to the mind games in play now, and he’s there to play too and not be a pawn. You can sense the heat between he and Sawyer, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see another donnybrook between the two in the next couple episodes.

Sun and Jin’s reunion was unexpected, at least to me. I thought that they’d hang onto that for a later episode, but what we got was short and sweet. Frank’s line about her finding her voice again, though… ::Cue face in palm::

Widmore makes good on his threat and bombs the hell out of Flocke and company. Conveniently, all the no-named members of his followers are casualties. I’m getting pretty sick of this running gag of knocking off the extras unceremoniously. We all know they’re only there to be mowed over off in some dramatic way, but just as any good joke becomes stale after hearing it ten times, so is this. At least now we’re whittled down to the main cast members. Every death from here on out will have gravity, and I have faith that no one will be Illana’d out in a casual way. We’re down to the end here, and things are about to get ugly.

Flocke’s gesture to Jack at the end can be interpreted in a handful of different ways. The most outlandish theories I’ve seen are that Flocke is now back to being Locke, but come on… If it’s gonna happen, it’ll be more significantly than that. Does it mean that Jack is now Flocke’s “chosen one?” Hmm, maybe. Either way, it’ll be interesting to watch the dynamic next week.

Hopefully next week we also learn what’s up with Richard, Ben, and Miles. After Tuesday’s episode, we have to suffer through two weeks until the next new one. I smell a cliffhanger, and most likely a huge one. After farting around a bit during the beginning of the season, the action is kicking into gear. Here’s hoping that the conclusions to the mysteries we get in the remaining episodes are as satisfying and mind-blowing as we’re all hoping they will be.

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  • Scott

    Nice recap for your first go around. One small piece of advice, try avoiding the use of words like “bajillion”, they lessen the impact of your thoughtful words.

    Also, a note to the web designer: grey on black is really hard to read.

  • James Martin

    Not been aired yet here in the UK and I don’t watch it anymore as I have no idea what is going on. But after skimming over your recap you’ve gone into some detail and even I can somehow work out what’s happened. Though I’ve never heard of Flocke before.

  • Gemini Ace

    Whatever happens, it’s been a helluva ride!

  • Steve

    I think we have just seen Jack killed at the end of the episode, but he hasn’t realised it yet, this is what Flocke meant at the end of the episode when he said, ‘you’re with me now’