Destiny found.

IN THE BEGINNING was the word, and it was the most important thing there was, from the Alpha to the Omega, but that word was also something else, something equally important to all that came after it. That word which begat all else was also the answer to a question, a choice made when a decision was presented.

And that was only a small part of last night’s penultimate word of Lost, the appropriately and devastatingly titled “What They Died For.” And much in the same vein as last week, but vastly more important, let’s tackle 23 stray observations about last night’s episode…

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“A means to an end…”

As promised, 23 observations about last night’s episode of Lost…

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Déjà Entendu.

So, last night I was going from one place to the next and stopped at the supermarket on the way. It was late and I was hungry, looking for some kind of quick snack, hopefully a sandwich from the deli, or… something. No luck because it was late and the deli was closed. So I just started wandering amidst the bright lights, the muzak renditions of pop trash, and the glitzy brand names…

And as I prowled the aisles, this strange feeling crept over me, one that I’ve sadly only experienced on a handful of occasions, if ever, and one that’s hard to romantically recall. The feeling was as close as I could literally think of déjà vu being. Or perhaps jamais vu. I mean, obviously I’ve done that same thing, staring at the contents of the supermarket hundreds of times in my life, no, thousands of times. But why did it feel particularly heavy this time? What was different. I looked at the brands, the names, the new code words used to entice me: “low fat,” “low sodium,” “lite,” “toasted, “flamefresh,” etc. and I looked at the tabloids, immersed for a time, as Don Delillio put it, in the world of “the living and the dead.”

Eventually I decided, “Fuck it.” I took it all in and kept walking. It was only a thing if I made it a thing.

While wandering up and down the aisles still, I passed some guy, someone I barely know, just a familiar face. It took me half a second to place him: Some guy who comes into my place of work every now and then. We did the “S’up” head nod thing that men do and we went about our business.

Moments later I passed a couple I only kind of know. Had dinner at their place once, invited by friends of a friend. It was an awkward dinner and an even more awkward night. Long story short: Someone performed a sex act in their house that night and the hosts did not approve. A silent deal was made that should anyone who there in that time and place ever encounter each other again, they’d do a cold stare and then keep walking. That’s what we did.

Then I passed another guy I’ve seen come into my job before. This dude doesn’t recognized me, which is fine with me. I keep looking for something to eat.

More wandering and I see a girl walking around, laughing as she talks on her cell phone. I sort of know this girl through Conrad Noir. He’s had a thing for her for years but hasn’t been able to make that romantic connection with her, mostly, I think, because she’s not interested. But also, she’s kind of dumb. Those two facts are unrelated, but most equally important. But seeing her made me stop in my tracks and look around…

There was her, the two guys I see come in to my job now and then, that couple, and myself. Two women and three men. Five people in a grocery store. Not all of them know each other, but there’s a tenuous connection of recognition between them, and they’re all in the same place late into a Monday night. Why did this feel important to me? Maybe, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but just go with me here, but maybe I was just in a wacky place, or perhaps in a whole other universe, the five of us were on a plane that crashed in the middle of the ocean, landing on a mysterious island with magical properties and weird indigenous people and science fiction monsters and… you know, shit like that? This whole other universe could be sideways to the one we’re currently in, and could feel more real, more accurate. Perhaps this universe, the one we reside in now, is just a tangent, or perhaps just a shard of the whole prism? Perhaps when people who have this connection to another time and place occupy such closer quarters at the same time, there’s this weird effect on reality, something that causes it to resonate? It’s possible, right?

Ehhhh, probably not. Maybe the world is just too damn small. I was only in the supermarket for like five minutes, if that. Had a weird experience, noticed that the price of bananas had gone up, and eventually walked out with a candy bar and a bag of sun chips. Oh, and hey, tonight’s a new episode of Lost. Enjoy it, everyone. In 13 days it’ll be gone forever.

“It’s fate. Some people are just supposed to suffer.”

We thought we’d start with a countdown of some of the great flashback moments of Lost. Surely this list alone could be dozens of moments long, but in the end, you just have to make some cuts and go with it. We decided to slant these towards character more than plot.

So without further adieu…

The 10 Greatest Character Flashback Moments of Lost

10. Jin visits his father in Korea

Season 1, …In Translation

We forget sometimes that Jin started off the show as kind of a chauvinist jerk. And Sun’s first flashback episode didn’t do anything to dissuade us of that notion. But Jin going back to the father he was ashamed of, and getting some much needed support, was the kind of moment that Lost is famous for: taking a character who was two-dimensional and giving them depth and nuance.

9. Kate and her childhood friend dig up the time capsule

Season 1, Born to Run

I’m cheating and also using this to rope in the part where Kate goes to see her mother and the mom totally freaks out. But the scene with Kate and her childhood friend Tom who became a doctor has the right kind of burned nostalgic poignancy. Hearing their own hopeful, naive younger selves on tape is a punch to the gut. ‘It’s not fair you know, you coming back,” the doctor says.

8. Boone and Shannon have hate sex in Sydney

Season 1, Hearts and Minds

“We’ll just go back.” “To what?” “To what it was.” It’s kinda surprising in retrospect that a show that aired at 8pm was able to work in hate sex between two step-siblings. Not just the gratuity, but the idea behind it. Boone gets what he wants, only it’s horrible, drunken and fleeting.

7. Desmond meets Faraday at Oxford

Season 4, The Constant

Always thrilling to see two characters meet in a flashback, and putting time-crossed Desmond together with physicist Daniel Faraday was A) awesome, and B) perfectly allowed the writers to establish a little science behind the time travel they were about to dive into. Suddenly the purple sky, the electromagnetic phenomena and the Island started to make sense. A little. Plus, Faraday is rocking some righteous hair.

6. Juliet’s Ex-husband gets hit by a bus

Season 3, Not in Portland

You knew it was coming, and Hollywood has really perfected the special effect of someone getting hit by a car, but it was still pretty sweet to see happen anyway. As an audience, we begin to learn what the Others are capable of, even off the Island.

5. Ana Lucia shoots her attacker

Season 2, Collision

Other shows might have had Ana Lucia confront Jason before backing down and just arresting him. On Lost, she kills him. And when she says, “I was pregnant,” it’s easy to see her side of things.

4. Christian and Sawyer meet at a bar in Sydney

Season 1, Outlaws

Up to this point, Christian had seemed like a pretty terrible father, but drinking with Sawyer, we get to see another, more humble side of him. “To Sawyer, may he find what he’s looking for in the bottom of a glass,” Christian says. It would have been impossible for Christian to ever share a moment like this with Jack, but due to cruel twists of fate, at least Sawyer was able to relay the message.

3. Desmond and Penny first meet

Season 3, Catch-22

It kind of came out of nowhere, this whole episode where you’re like ‘Holy shit, Desmond was a monk?’ And then he gets fired and boom, there’s Penny, love at first sight and all that.

2. Young Ben encounters Richard in the jungle

Season 3, The Man Behind the Curtain

A fateful meeting and the kind of flashback scene you watched over and over after it happened. 1) Richard Alpert appears to be ageless. 2) Richard doesn’t appear shocked in the slightest at the idea of Ben seeing his dead mother. 3) “Maybe this can happen, maybe… but you’re going to need to be very, very patient.”

1. Locke gets thrown out of a window by his dad

Season 3, The Man From Tallahassee

The writers had been teasing this moment for years. You knew something terrible happened to cripple John Locke, but you never knew how it happened. When the writers finally revealed it, they didn’t disappoint. Locke flying out the window was one of the more shocking events of the series, and there really isn’t a single other flashback moment that compares.

May the Gods grant thee all that thy heart desires.

If I had a time machine, I’d travel to 2010 right this fucking second.

An abridged version of my reaction to the 4 minute pre-credits opening teaser to the episode: “Oh, hey, is that…?” “Well, look at that.” “Hmmm.” “I bet that’s… Oh, it totally is.” “Who’s this fucker? And who’s this other fucker?” “Are they… Is that… HOLY SHIT.”

There’s not even words to formulate an abridged version to my reaction to the ending. I’m literally typing this 8 minutes after the ending of the show and I feel like I got fucked hard. Or kicked in the balls hard, and it was glorious. I saw the light. Destiny found.

Looking around the room in the sweaty, luminescent afterglow, I see my underwear hanging from the ceiling fan. My pants are outside. I only have one sock on and the other is probably floating around there in time and space. I’m going to take a moment to collect all the various parts of myself, including my thoughts, and then come back with some quick thoughts on the season finale of Lost, entitled “The Incident.”

The Incident? You can sure as shit say that again, man.

The episode starts perfectly: Two guys enjoying a little chat on the beach as they scan the news on the horizon. They’re apparently (im)mortal enemies, working against or at least in conflict with each other, but there are rules to their engagements. One of these guys is Jacob and the other, the one who thinks that it always comes back to mortal sin, goes unnamed. And this tender little moment where one swears to the other that he’ll find a way to kill him? It all takes place in the shadow of the statue.

I just love that they can set up a huge overarching mythos for the show and this season in particular in the four minute teaser to the season finale and it already feels so natural and perfect.

Ben. Ben’s had one of the major storylines/character arcs this year and… Well. How fascinating that Ben has become the exact opposite of what we’ve known him as for the entire show so far: A victim. Haven’t you heard, Ben? Only fools are enslaved by time and space.

from here.

The statue:

Goddamn. Look at that fucking thing. Most likely, that’s still Anubis because of the ankhs, but there’s also the theories about Taweret (nahh) and Sobek, which actually make sense too. Sobek was a creator God and also carried around ankhs.

In fact, no, never mind, that is totally Sobek. You can tell by the crocodile mouth.

Jacob. More on him soon, because… it’s kind of hard even wrap your head around this character, you know?

But I find it very interesting that when he visited characters in the past, he always made sure to touch them. Physically. And the camera made sure to let you know that.

Is that his personal way of wrapping destiny around  you in such a way to deliver you to the Island?

Or is he giving them a second chance at life, not just in the moments he touches them, but in a reset post-Eden world? Are they still prisoners to time or are they free? Is the destiny that they’ll find in 2010 the ones that they themselves will create?

Little Kate. Wasn’t she adorable?

And she totally had the right stuff.

Big Kate. Not so bad, but you’re kind of all over the place here, Kate. But so were all of your friends too.

Jack. Jack does come off kind of crazy here, and a little possessed, but I guess it’s nice to see him there, to see him not so apathetic anymore. Also, Jack has a bomb! On one hand, there’s something very noble about his wanting to hit the reset button and see what was meant to be, but on the other hand, wouldn’t it be more noble to win back Kate the hard way? I’m going to have to agree with Sawyer on “what’s done is done” and suggest that if Jack wanted to be worthy of Kate, then he should get to work on being worthy of Kate. But then again, blowing shit up is also cool and they have to do that at the end of every season, right?

Desmond. I don’t mind mentioning that the last three episodes have suffered from an extreme lack of him, but maybe it’s for the best. For both Henry Ian Cusick and the show legally but also… Well, it’s nice that Desmond and Penny got a happy ending to this season.

Evil Twin John Locke. Oooh, Jacob’s Enemy is interesting, isn’t he? Knowing what we know now, I love that in “Follow The Leader” he made sure to have Richard go talk to his past self/past Locke to ensure that Locke does indeed leave the Island and meet his fate (death) like he’s supposed to.

The Real John Locke. You know what? This feels like the perfect ending to the real Locke’s storyline. Throughout all of his struggles to be his own man, to be something more than himself, he was always being used by somebody for something. Even after he died. Also, I loved that they used the same camera angel reveal for his body here that was used in the funeral home at the end of last season’s finale when they opened that mystery box.

The ending to every classic science fiction time travel story ever. I like how Miles has seen at least one and can suggest that maybe this is a predestination paradox. Which all leads wonderfully to…

“Aw, fuck it.” Isn’t that the gist of the rest of the 815ers in ’77’s decision? It kind of echoes Sayid’s sentiments from the previous episode. Either Jack/Faraday was right and this will work or at least they’ll all be put out of their misery and go down swinging.

Charlie. I like how the show is starting to slowly fold back in on itself, ouroboros-style, echoing itself.

Foreshadowing. It was all over this episode and hinting at nothing but bad things for Juliet. And then bad things happened to Juliet. And then that glorious ending…

Sawyer. I’ll say this for Sawyer: “What’s done is done.” That and he’s the kind of guy who kicks a man in the balls…

Bro Fight! This starts off a serious tussle, with some solid punches being thrown, some manly grimaces and growls, and even a kick in the balls They Live-style. Nice. But then it quickly devolves into…

A coupla guys having a sad little cat fight in the jungle. That may be a little harsh but still. Beat some sense into each other, fellas, if you can.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor. You have interesting taste in literature, Jacob.

Rose and Bernard. I respect their new take on life up to a point. To them, it’s not “whatever happened, happened,” but “whatever happens, happens.” They’re very much in the present day, living each moment as it comes and enjoying it as if it’s the last, as long as they’re together. That’s nice and sweet and all, but it’s also a kind of giving up. But for them, it makes sense since every moment they’ve had on the Island so far has felt like borrowed time to them. But more to the point: Are they the Adam and Eve skeletons?

The Rules. There are so many. One set applies to Jacob and his Enemy. But there’s also rules to time travel, iron clad rules it would seem, and I’m happy that so far the show has never deviated from those rules. In fact, every fascinating thing they do only seems to reinforce the stated rules when all is said and done. But even those rules just need a loophole, right?

Time Travel. What do you think? Are our heroes going to make it home? Or, just like Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap, are they going to be left hoping that the next flash is the one that takes them home?

Sayid. Damn.

Sun and Jin. I was hoping these two would get back together this season, but having another thing to look forward to next year is not such a bad thing.

Quick theory on Jacob’s Enemy: He’s the smoke monster. A Loki/trickster type, one has no problem reading people and then impersonating them, especially the dead, and if you remember Ben’s judgment from a few episodes back then you’ll remember that Alex and Locke were never in the same room together. That and I’m going to assume that Jacob was never in that cabin, not that we’ve seen when Ben or Locke or Hurley visited it, and that it was Jacob’s Enemy.

Jacob’s Cabin. “Someone else has been using it.” I’d even theorize that Jacob’s Enemy was probably imprisoned there in the circle of ash and that when Locke came to visit and his foot disturbed the circle, he freed him. And not just freed him, he introduced himself to Jacob’s Enemy and gave him exactly what he’s been looking for all this time: A loophole.

Also, Jacob’s Enemy: would presumably be named Esau, right? That or Edom?

Locke, again. This whole season the writers of this show have been working a magnificent magic trick on us with this character, playing on what we’ve always wanted to see and what little knowledge we’ve had about where all this is going. The knowledge they’ve given us. The knowledge we’ve followed faithfully, even when it conflicted with other knowledge they’ve given us, like the fact that “Dead is dead.” But I guess that’s just part of the beautiful dance that writers and con men have in common with their victims and audience: they desire to be so perfectly and wonderfully fooled.

People with guns. They just don’t understand shit at all. That’s why they have the guns, right?

The argument above is rendered invalid when it comes to hot girls with guns. They can do whatever they want pretty much always.

That guy Phil. He can eat a dick. Or a metal pole! Ha ha!

And let’s not forget this:

Or:

“Come on, you son of a bitch.” Great last line, great last moment. “The Fork In The Outlet?” Please, they may as well have just called this “One last WTF.” Way to go, Juliet. I think she shows, not just in that last moment, but in the entire episode that one person changing their mind can make all the difference.

One last thought for you, just a little something to hold you over for the next 8 months or so: THEY’RE COMING!