Normally at the end of a season of Lost, there's an acceleration for the final few episodes. If you've watched from Season 1, you'll know what I'm talking about...that feeling of as if it's a hockey game, you're down a goal, and there's under a minute left. You've got no choice to pull the goaltender and go full throttle in an effort to catch up. Tonight's episode felt a lot like that, sensory overload coupled with an ongoing effort to just "catch up."
So on that note, it's time to pull the goalie and put the pedal to the medal for "The Last Recruit."
Please keep in mind that I write this recap immediately following the episode, and as I'm sitting down, my head is still kind of muddled from everything I just watched...and there was definitely a lot to take in. If I miss anything that I think of later, I'll add it in the Comments section. (And don't forget to mouse over pics for captions.)
I had heard some theories that the Flash Sideways world was heading for a big culmination at the hospital where Jack would be operating on Locke. Right from the opening moments of 'Previously on Lost", it was clear that's where this episode was heading. I'm not sure why, but it still makes me smirk every time I see Desmond's visible "grunt" as he plows into Locke with his car.
The opening scene with Jack and Flocke maintained the tension from the closing scene last week. As the two stepped aside for a private conversation, Flocke explained to Jack that John Locke was stupid to think that he had been brought to this Island for a reason. And since we had a wrap-up answer to the Whispers last week, why not answer another long-standing mystery in this episode before the opening credits roll?
So we now have confirmation that Christian was the Man In Black (MIB) all these times we've seen him in the past. On the beach, in the woods, down by the Frozen Donkey Wheel, in Jacob's Cabin, with Claire... Apparently, all MIB needed to take someone's form was for the body to be brought to the Island "in a wooden box." I did like that this answer came as a result of a direct question from Jack, as opposed to another "Hey, by the way..." explanation.
Jack also asked why MIB as Christian led Jack to follow him through the jungle. Flocke answered that it was "because you needed to find water", since he was trying to help them leave. As seductive as Flocke was here, I didn't buy it for a second. Partially because it goes against what my gut is telling me about Flocke and his motives, and also because if Flocke really wanted the Lostaways to be able to leave the Island, I'm pretty sure his first order of business wouldn't have been to kill the pilot of Oceanic 815.
Flocke: "John Locke was not a believer, Jack. He was a sucker."
In the Flash Sideways (FS) World, we see Ben and Locke in the ambulance immediately after Desmond's hit and run on our favourite bald substitute teacher. When Locke mentioned Helen's name as a contact, he said "I was gonna marry her", which I'm sure led many people to believe that he was saying it as if he knew he was dying, especially after Ben corrected him on using the past tense (teachers are SO picky.) But my thoughts on this line were that his Island consciousness was speaking, flashing back to an off-Island time when he was going to marry Helen. If I'm right, then Desmond indeed caused a near-death experience that triggered Locke's connection to his alternate consciousness.
As Sun was being wheeled into the hospital right beside Locke, she panicked when she saw him, and started shouting "him!" in Korean. Clearly this was another instance of both worlds connecting, as Sun had yet to meet Locke in the FS World, and was sufficiently scared and intimidated by Flocke in the Island World.
Back on the Island, we got a reunion that I think a lot of people had forgotten about: Jack and Claire. The first meeting between the now-aware brother and sister was a little awkward, but did confirm for us that Flocke/MIB was honest with Claire about who he was when he appeared to her as Christian. So her choice to be working alongside him has been made with her being fully aware of the situation. Interesting.
Her closing line to Jack was sufficiently creepy: "You decided the moment you let him talk to you, like the rest of us. Whether you like it or not, you're with him now."
After a standout performance last week as the emotional soul of the show, Hurley was once again back to his comfortable role of comic relief. My favourite two lines this episode:
"You can always bring people back from the dark side. I mean, Anakin?"
And after an inexplicable switch from nightime to daytime at Flocke's camp, Flocke said what every viewer was thinking at that moment..."It's so nice to have everyone back together again."
Sawyer sat down with Kate in the FS World and flat out answered a question that I posed in my recap to Recon, why did he allow Kate to escape from the airport in LAX? As much as he tried to deny seeing the handcuffs on Kate in the elevator, she was on to him and astutely pointed out that the reason he let her go is beause he had something to hide himself. This scene didn't seem to serve much of a purpose otherwise, except to establish Miles and Sawyer as the cops assigned to the Sayid restaurant shooting.
Back at Flocke's camp, Zoe just strolled on in with a two-way radio and a threat in what was one of the least intimidating scenes I've ever seen on this show. Her threats to Flocke seemd idle and not intimidating in any way, whatsoever. I wasn't buying her 'tough girl' face as she asked to see the man in charge, and then demanded that Flocke return what he took (Desmond). It was a completely lame scene, and it was almost laughable. I would have enjoyed the scene more if Flocke actually laughed in her face instead of stick-spearing the radio.
Back in the FS World, Claire was heading into her meeting at the adoption agency when Desmond showed up for his next 'pushing' assignment. Knowing what we know about his intentions, and ultimate goals, we were all rooting for Claire to go with him, right? But let's look at what it would have appeared like to Claire:
Strange guy who I had a one-time conversation with at the airport and predicted I would be having a boy, just happens to show up at the adoption agency. Now he wants to know my name, so he looks over my shoulder as I'm signing in to the building and gets it off the sheet. Next, he follows me up the escalator and starts asking why I'm alone. Then he follows me into the elevator and says he is going to the same floor as me. Now he wants me to go with him.
Ok, if I was Claire, I couldn't have ran fast enough away from this creep, but let's remember that this is the same woman who got back into the cab with Claire after she carjacked it, dumped in the middle of nowhere, and stole her stuff. On paper, FS Claire isn't really the best decision-maker, is she? Yes, you and I know that it is all for the ideal end goal, but if you were a father, and your daughter was doing that, how would you feel?
Desmond did explain to her that there was a chance her situation could become "irreversible", which was a very interesting choice of words used specifically to echo jack's words from the season premiere..."nothing is irreversible." And it was a nice surprise to see Ilana as the lawyer in the FS World. I knew we hadn't seen the last of her.
On the Island, Flocke sent Sawyer off to retrieve the sailboat to meet them and go over to Hydra Island. So off he went with Kate, splintering from the rest of the group as they marched off. This was a mirror of what happened at the end of Season 2, as Hurley, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer went off to confront The Others, and Sayid, Sun, and Jin took the sailboat to try and meet up with them.
This was the first of many images and situations that mirrored previous moments in Lost season-ending stories. Not all of them took place in the actual Season Finale, but in the final arc leading to it. I'll call this one Mirror Image #1, and continue with the others throughout this recap. The names and characters are different, but the situations seem the same.
Sayid was sent to kill Desmond, and as he expressed trepidation when instructed to do so, Flocke appeared to become angry. Which Flocke do you, as a viewer, believe in? The one who told Jack at the beginning of this episode that he was trying to lead him to water? Or the one who told Sayid in this scene, "Go do what I said!"
What ensued was a scene between Sayid and Desmond in a shockingly shallow well. Des knew somehow (how?) that Flocke's recruitment was based on promises, but when he learned what Sayid was promised, he asked what Sayid would tell Nadia he did to get her back. As we saw in the FS, Sayid can't tell Nadi the bad things he's done, and I don't think Island Sayid could either. I don't believe for a second that he killed Desmond. But he ran a pretty serious bluff on Flocke telling him to go and check if he didn't believe him.
In the FS world, Miles showed up at Nadia's door looking for Sayid, but as he tried to sneak out the back door, crafty Sawyer tripped him up and cuffed him. Mirror Image #2: from Season 1's "Confidence Man" where Sayid had Sawyer as his prisoner before torturing him...now the roles are reversed.
Sawyer: "We're gonna ditch Locke. You, Me, Jack, Hurley, Sun, and that pilot who looks like he stepped off the set of a Burt Reynolds movie."
Mirror Image #3: Sawyer steps ino the water to swim out to the sailboat, and the scene is shot almost exactly the same as in the Season 5 Finale "The Incident", when we first saw Jacob wading out into the water to get a fish out of his trap.
As Flocke's team trods through the jungle, he asks Sun a question and is surprised when she can't respond. When she writes "You did this to me", Flocke confirms (believably) that he did nothing, debunking the theory that Flocke took away Sun's ability to speak in "The Package." As I suggested in my recap to that episode, this is a confirmation that the link between the FS and Island Worlds caused her language problems.
Immediately after this scene between Sun and Flocke, Claire explains to Jack that the reason she joined Flocke is beacuse he was the only one who didn't abandon her. And Jack responds to a clearly bitter and angry Claire by sidling off with Sun, Hurley, and Frank...and abandoning her again. Look, I'm no genius, but when the crazy lady tells you she has issues because you abandoned her, I can't think that it's the best idea to abandon her again mere seconds later!
As the mutineers headed off to meet Sawyer and Kate at the sailboat, all seemed peachy and super-keen until the tell-tale "click-click" of a gun revealed an angry Claire. As she and Kate talked on the dock, I flipped and flopped in anticipation of what was going to happen. Claire is going to shoot Kate! Now she's trying to trick Claire! No...she really wants her to come! No, she's definitely trying to trick her...damn, Claire really is going to shoot her...wait, a single tear just streaked down Kate's cheek...maybe she is sincere.
Claire: "If he finds out we're gone, he's gonna be mad."
Side note: don't you find it funny that the Evangeline Lilly commercials for L'Oreal air during Lost. Here's dirty and grubby Kate on the Island...and here's Glamour Shots Kate!
In the FS World, Jack and David entered the same building Claire entered earlier in the episode. As Jack answered his phone call from David's mother, I hollered along with all of you "who is it???", but alas, no answer once again. Interesting that David made that face at Jack when he heard he was going back to mom's at 5:00. Was it because he didn't want to be with mom, or just that he's having so much fun with dad in the last week since they re-connected? It wouldn't matter as Jack got an emergency surgery call that would take him away to the hospital anyways. So much for Father and Son Boys' Night. And then Jack just left David while he went in to operate? Father of the year.
The reveal of Claire to Jack in Ilana's office was interesting, but I was expecting there to be a "flash" once they re-connected. I guess the a) love or b) near-death options are the only ones that trigger it...not c) meeting your long-lost sister who was also on the Island?
On the sailboat, Jack is getting all pensive looking out at the ocean once again, when Sawyer comes up for the 'punch-in-the-arm' pep talk. As he tells Jack that "taking orders isn't your strong suit," I chuckled. But when Jack said "It doesn't feel right", I knew immediately that he wasn't talking about Sawyer's comment. As Sawyer got angry and told Jack he was with them or "get of my damn boat" (people with entitlement issues...tsk, tsk, tsk), we all knew with 100% certainty that Jack would indeed take a "Leap of Faith."
Jack: "If that thing wants us to leave, maybe it's afraid of what happens if we stay?"
And as Jack jumped off the side of the sailboat into the water, we saw Mirror Image #4: from Season 4's finale, when Sawyer sacrificed himself and jumped out of the helicopter and into the water below. Again...a role reversal in a similarly shot scene.
Which was immediately followed by Mirror Image #5: from Season 3's finale, only now instead of Jack yelling after Kate, "We have to go back!", Kate is now yelling at Sawyer about Jack..."We have to go back!"
When Sun woke up in the FS hospital and asked what happened, Jin told her, "you were shot", which I have to admit, is a hell of a lot smarter than saying "I shot you."
And then we got the long-awaited Jin and Sun reunion on the beach at Hydra Island. It was nicely done...rather unexpected...and I was surprisingly moved by it, considering how little I cared if these two ever found each other again. And as Sun embraced Jin, her ability to speak English returned, which I have to think symbolizes harmony between her consciousness in each World.
But that harmony would be short-lived as Widmore's team seemingly turned on our Lostaways under the orders of Charles himself...and after confirming that they were all there on Hydra Island, set off a barrage of explosives at Flocke (and Jack). Were they trying to just get the Lostaways away from Flocke to protect them, or is it a sinister turn for Widmore (as I've suspected all along...remember this is the man who ordered ben to kill a baby Alex)?
And as the bombs rained down on Jack, Flocke carried him out of harm's way and reassured him...."Don't worry. You're gonna be ok. You're with me now."
That ought to give us a lot to talk about until Lost returns in 2 weeks.
So, do you think Widmore is protecting our peeps, or willing to discard them at a moment's notice? What happened to Desmond? And who the hell is David's mom?