DECEMBER 8, 2010
AIRED: MAY 23, 2007
"Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit...." - BC, May 23, 2007
After spending most of "Through The Looking Glass" trying to figure out where the "flashbacks" fit into Jack's narrative (and why John Terry wasn't around), it finally dawned on me when I saw the maps in Jack's apartment - this was a flash forward! Jack got off the island! And grew a Tom-esque fake beard!!!
One thing that's always bugged me about Stephen King's writing is that he's constantly "spoiling" things, ending chapters with things like "it would be the last time he had a soda, because he would die that day", several chapters before he actually died. But this potentially crippling revelation actually invigorated the show - we knew by this point that it would run for 3 more seasons, so obviously it wouldn't be as easy as getting on a helicopter and returning home. At the same time, knowing that at least two people made it (the other being Kate) bought them some goodwill - at least we knew there was some semblance of a happy rescue at some point.
Also, knowing it was a glimpse into Jack's future made it more intriguing. We knew he had problems in the past, but he never seemed suicidal, nor was he hooked on pills or driving around listening to lesser Nirvana tracks. I may have issues with Lindelof and Cuse's writing at times, but I got to hand it to them - I can't think of any other form of entertainment where telling you the 'end' halfway through actually made it more interesting.
And it's a good "present day" episode too! I never really believed Jin and the others were dead, but they did a good job of keeping us in suspense about it. Hurley's day-saving was incredible, and while I may not have liked to see Tom bite it so soon, Sawyer's "That's for taking the kid off the raft." is a pretty badass moment (and a totally justified one, if you consider the chain of events that followed).
Actually a lot of folks get some great kick-ass moments; Jack beating the shit out of Ben, Locke stabbing Naomi, Charlie saving Desmond, Sayid breaking that dude's neck... hell even Bernard gets to take out a few others (and Rose telling Jack she'll hit him if he says "Live Together, Die Alone" is friggin hilarious). I also love that Mikhail seemingly gets sick of people failing to kill him and just does the job himself.
Only drawback is that it really kicks off Lost's annoying habit of having its characters stay vague or refuse to answer simple questions in order to make the plot work. Why can't Ben just tell Jack about Widmore? Why can't Walt tell Locke what's going on? It even extends to the flash-forwards - why doesn't that other doctor ever point out to Jack that his father is dead? It would just get worse from here (that the temple, easily the worst concept in the show's run, gets its first mention here is quite fitting).
I also wish they could have structured Charlie's death better, since he very easily could have survived. Even if the water was already rushing in, his act (locking the door and thus keeping Desmond safe) still would have been a bit foolish, but doing it beforehand is just idiotic. Especially in hindsight, since Desmond's vision never came true anyway. Poor Charlie. Died for nothing and never got beyond first base with Claire. Also, lost his ring.
Well that wraps up Season 3. It had a few weak spots but overall I think it was an improvement on S2, mainly based on these last few episodes and a couple knockouts like "Flashes Before Your Eyes". It also wraps up the show's impressive use of its ensemble; from here on out, characters would be wasted, couples would be split apart more or less forever, and with a few exceptions ("The Constant" for one example), the writers would really lose sight of the emotional connections these folks had to one another (and the audience) in favor of excess mythology and sci-fi mumbo jumbo. On the other hand, we get Myles and Lapidus.
Where are we?