JANUARY 17, 2011
FOCUS: RICHARD (!)
AIRED: MAY 6, 2009
It’s about time, a Richard episode! While “Follow The Leader” doesn’t really explain anything about his past, and involves folks doing stuff that doesn’t really concern him directly, he’s the linchpin of the episode, and gets some of the best lines (his response to Jack asking him about carrying the bomb is priceless). So it’s his episode, dammit. And unlike his REAL flashback tale, it doesn’t annoy fans at a crucial period in the storyline by leaving all the main characters on the sideline for a week.
On the contrary, this one has a lot of good moments for our heroes. I particularly enjoy Kate having to point out to Jack that he is starting to sound like Locke, and their conversation re: “misery” is truly heartbreaking – he totally wants to Eternal Sunshine her! That’s some cold shit, especially since now that Sawyer has Juliet, he has her all to himself again. And speaking of those two, I liked their scene in the sub – like Desmond and Penny in the previous episode, it could almost be a good finale for the characters (by this time it was already known that Elizabeth Mitchell would be leaving the show). If not for Kate’s surprise appearance, the sub could have gone off into the sunset and it would be more or less an acceptable conclusion for their characters.
And Hurley’s “faceoff” with Chang! Oh man. Again, they actually pay off a funny throwaway line, where Hurley worries someone will ask him who the president is in 1977, in order to advance the character arcs a bit (as it leads to Chang believing that Miles is indeed his son). But it looks like the actor playing Chang is having fun too, which just makes the scene all the more hilarious. “You’re 46?” And the cutaway to Jin when Hurley says that there was no Korean War is just brilliant. God I miss that dumb, lovable bastard.
Sayid also got to show a bit of his old self again, which was much appreciated. As the character most ruined by the final season, and largely under used this one, it was nice to see him have another strategy discussion with Jack (when this had originally aired, I had long since forgotten that he used to be sort of like Jack’s right hand man – a fact that was easier to recall when watching back to back). I also like how Jack didn’t bother to give Eloise a hand when she surfaced from the pool, but ran over to help Sayid when he popped up a few minutes later. Bros before son-killing hos.
As for the Locke part of the storyline, again it makes a lot more sense now that you know he’s the smoke monster. Richard even mentions that there’s something different about him, which I had originally pegged as sloppy inconsistent writing on the writers’ part. Not sure why he’d still go off and kill boar and such, but for the most part it’s one of those things where I almost feel kind of stupid for not even considering that he might be Smokey.
Richard’s line about watching all of the Dharma folk all die doesn’t make any sense though. By now he should be sort of familiar with Jack and Kate, who never died in any iteration of the story (at least, not yet in Jack’s case), so why does he say that? He couldn’t be referring to the bomb going off, or he would have died too (as far as we know, he’s ageless but not invincible). If there was some scenario where they’d be gunned down by Radzinsky or something, we should have seen it, somehow. My guess is that they had nothing better to go to commercial on so they just threw that in there.
Also I’m getting sick of Sun and Jin repeating that “if there’s a chance my husband (wife) are on this island...” Yeah, we get it. Y’all want to get back together. Take it up with the writers who insanely decided to keep you apart for two seasons and stop torturing us and making me stop liking you.
Tomorrow – the S5 finale! All will be HUH?
Where are we?