"What They Died For"

FEBRUARY 3, 2011

AIRED: MAY 18, 2010

There’s a “law” of sorts, particularly for television, that states that unless we see the body, a character isn’t dead. So when Smokey “kills” Richard in “What They Died For”, I knew it was BS, just like I was pretty sure Lapidus wasn’t dead (though things were a bit grimmer for him since we at least saw his body hit the floor). You can fool me with the timeline and other nonsense, but you can’t fool me into thinking someone is dead when they’re not, Lost!

Actually a lot of the island stuff is kind of dumb in this one. I really hate how Widmore goes out, simply being shot moments after arriving on the main island. Especially at the hands of Ben; while I understand the “poetry” of it (for lack of a better word), Ben’s random return to villainy didn’t sit well with me, and since I always enjoy the idea of enemies teaming up against bigger enemies, I was hoping for more of their uneasy alliance leading into the finale. Widmore was sort of a 2nd main villain on the show after Smokey – he should have been part of the finale. Points for Zoe's death though, not only is it a good shock moment, it's also hilarious that Locke points out how pointless she was. Good call, Smokey!

It also makes “Across The Sea” even more annoying, since Jacob explains all the key points anyway. Again, had thAT episode taken place at the beginning of the season, the refresher would be appreciated, but this aired a week later – we haven’t forgotten the basics. I like that Jack takes over, however, and Sawyer’s “God complex” line is hilarious – it’s the rare time I disagree with Kate (I would have laughed and shook his hand for that one, not told him to shut up). At the time, I was sort of like “Wait, this is already settled? What the hell is going to happen in the finale?”, so on a re-watch it’s actually a lot of fun – Jack’s NOT the guy after all.

The sideways stuff is a hoot though. Giacchino’s score is wonderfully frantic, particularly in the later scenes where Desmond is playing puppet master. Ana Lucia’s appearance was a nice surprise (why she wasn’t “ready”, I’m still unsure), as was Hurley’s ugly orange Camaro. I would have liked a little more with Desmond and Hurley planning things out, but I guess that would have been hard to do without giving away the big secret. One thing that’s sort of odd about the revelation is that no one seems to mind that (spoiler!) they’re dead – with the exception of Jack, they sort of take the news pretty easily.

And I love the Ben/Desmond scene. Even a second time around I thought he was going to run Locke over again, which is just hilarious. But I also like how he “wakes” Ben up, by beating the bejesus out of him one more time. I bet the makeup folks on Lost were glad it was over, knowing they’d never have to make Michael Emerson look beat up ever again. The stuff with Alex is also very sweet, and again ties into the idea of the flash sideways being a way for them to put their biggest personal demon at rest (which again is why the Sawyer and Sayid sideways stuff was largely horrible). Jack and Locke’s scene is a bit on the nose (nearly every line is a repeat of a line they have said before – Christ, why didn’t THAT wake them up?), but again, it’s always nice to see them talking as friends again. When you watch the first season, even when they disagree, there was always a mutual respect for one another, and I really missed that as the show progressed. One of the show’s biggest failings, I think, was killing Locke off without ever having one last real scene with Jack (though “The End” at least has a good line of dialogue to make up for it).

Well, that’s it! Tomorrow’s the big finale! I’m about to get 90 minutes of my day back!

Where are we?

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