Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lost 6.13: "The Last Recruit"

“John Locke was not a believer, Jack. He was a sucker.”


“The Last Recruit” was marginally Jack centric, although not a focused on one character as many episodes of Lost. I think this is where the show is really starting to kick it into high gear. The plot developments are coming at us fast and furious, in both the original and sideways verses. I’m thinking this is going to be how Lost is going to be from here until the end, speeding along, everything clicking into place. We’ve reached the home stretch, for better or worse. Now I’m getting a bit nostalgic! While I don’t think this episode will be remembered as one of “Lost’s” best, I think it did the job it needed to do and got us where we needed to go, and hopefully we’ll be on to bigger and better things when the show returns next week to begin the final five hours (four episodes).

The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Locke and Jack staring each other down for the first time since Smokey took Locke’s form. Locke wants to talk to Jack privately, and after basically warning Hurley that if this goes badly, it’s Hurley’s fault, Jack follows Locke into the jungle. Jack and Locke have one of their Season 2 vintage science vs. faith discussions, only they’re on opposite teams this time. Locke calls his original “a sucker.” Jack isn’t so sure that’s true, although the discussion is interrupted by a nearby rustle. It’s Claire. She followed because Jack’s her brother and she wants to talk to him.

Meanwhile, all manner of craziness is going down in the sideways-verse. St. Sebastian Hospital is jumping. Both Locke (thanks to his close encounter with Desmond’s car) and Sun (thanks to a close encounter with a stray bullet) have arrived at the hospital at the same time. Sun sees Locke on the gurney next to her and starts freaking saying “It’s him!” repeatedly in Korean. Over at the police station, Sawyer wants to question Kate. They don’t have all that much time to talk, but Kate does make an astute, although kind of pointless, observation. Sawyer helped her get off the elevator instead of arresting her because he didn’t want anyone to know he was in Australia. The conversation is cut short because Sawyer and Miles have bigger fish to fry. They’re on the case of the slaughter at Keamy’s restaurant. Security footage clearly shows Sayid exiting the building, so he’s their suspect. When Sawyer and Miles show up at Nadia’s house, Sayid gets Nadia to try and stall them so he can get out the back door. There’s one flaw in the plan though. Sawyer and ready and waiting in the back yard.

I really did mean it when I said this episode was all over the place in the sideways-verse. We see Claire in the lobby of a major commercial building. She tells security she has an appointment at the adoption agency. Who should appear while she’s signing in but Desmond! Now, it’s painfully obvious to anyone who actually reads this blog that I’m an unapologetic Desmond fangirl. But even I have to admit that he was a tad creepy in this sequence. He keeps talking to Claire, even when she’s starting to look uncomfortable, and he starts to ask her personal questions about her adoption. He says she needs a lawyer for the adoption and, what do you know, there’s one in this building who owes him a favor. Claire is reluctant, but Desmond follows her into the elevator and says he’s going to the 15th floor, too.

The lawyer Desmond sets Claire up with is none other than Ilana. I wonder what choices in life make someone a lawyer instead of a mercenary and vice versa. Ilana is shocked that Desmond has brought her “Claire Littleton from Australia.” Apparently the firm has been looking all over for her. Jack and David are walking into the same building, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why Ilana was looking for Claire. Jack and David are going to the reading of Christian’s will, and what do you know, they’re going to the same law office where Claire is. As they enter the building, Jack is talking on his cell to “David’s mom.” I really wish Damon and Carlton would get over the cutsey evasiveness already. Just tell us who she is! It turns out the firm has been looking for Claire because she was a devisee in Christian’s will. Jack asks Claire how she knew Christian, and when she says he was her father too, Jack is shocked and also slightly amused. There’s no time for a family reunion, though. Jack gets an emergency call from the hospital, and the will reading will have to wait.

David keeps tagging along with Jack to the hospital, and he wishes Jack luck as Jack heads for the OR. David is really a pretty cool kid. I hope he survives whatever happens to the universes. Sun’s recognition of Locke shows that there’s a bleed between the two, and I hope that some combination of elements from each side make it to the end. Speaking of recognizing Locke, Jack is convinced he can handle this case, even though it’s a really severe spinal injury on top of an existing spinal injury. He bustles into the OR all business-like. When he sees Locke’s face, though, he’s perplexed. He knows this man.

Back on the Island, there’s still plenty of drama taking place at Camp Locke. Sawyer tells Hurley that he wants to get the two of them, Jack, Kate, Sun, and Lapidus away from Locke ASAP. Hurley is surprised Sayid isn’t invited, and Sawyer explains that Sayid has gone to the dark side. Hurley tries to point out that Anakin Skywalker was redeemed from the dark side, but Sawyer doesn’t get the “Star Wars” reference, so the argument fails. There isn’t time to argue anyway. Zoe and some armed goons show up and demand Locke return what he took. They’re being evasive, and it’s not cute. It’s kind of infuriating. We know Locke took Desmond. Just freaking say Desmond! Zoe gives a demonstration of how they have some serious explosives at their disposal and tells Locke to call when he’s ready to return what he took. Locke smashes the phone Zoe gave him.

Back in the original timeline, Locke’s got a sailboat. He wants Sawyer and Kate to take it and meet the rest of his people at a pre-determined location. They’re going to take on Widmore. Sawyer, however, has different plans. He wants Jack to get the people he already mentioned to hang back and meet him and Kate at a different location. Jack slightly reluctantly agrees. Sawyer doesn’t tell Kate the plan until they actually get to the sailboat (which happens to be the Elizabeth, the sailboat that originally brought Des to the Island). She’s not really thrilled about the plan, especially when she finds out Claire’s not invited. Which makes sense, considering rescuing Claire was why she agreed to return to the Island at all.

Kate doesn’t need to worry for long. While Locke and his crew are on the move to the meet-up point, Jack successfully gets the chosen folks to hang back. Claire sees this happen and follows them. She’s pretty angry that she’s about to be abandoned again, but Kate convinces her to join their group. She promises Claire that she will reunite her with Aaron. It seems like Claire takes Kate at her word, but Claire’s not working with a full deck, so who knows. She does say ominously that Locke won’t be happy when he finds out they’ve left him.

Locke has separate orders for Sayid. He wants Sayid to kill Desmond. Sayid is reluctant (this is kind of becoming a theme here…), but Locke says if Sayid wants to see Nadia again, Sayid needs to do what he’s told. Sayid head for the well, where Desmond is sitting on a rock at the bottom, calm as you please. The scene that follows is really beautiful. Desmond wants to know what Locke promised Sayid, and when Sayid tells him that Locke’s going to bring Nadia back to life, Desmond has some very sage advice that feels like it’s right out of a recent episode of “Fringe.” He asks Sayid to consider what he’s going to tell Nadia when she asks him what he had to do to bring her back. Later, Sayid tells Locke that he killed Desmond. It’s time to catch the sailboat, so Locke doesn’t bother to check that Sayid was telling the truth. It’s almost painfully obvious that Sayid didn’t actually go through with it, first because Locke’s declining to verify was so blatant, and second because the producers would be idiots to kill off such a beloved character off screen.

On the sailboat, Jack has second thoughts. He tells Sawyer that he thinks leaving the Island is a bad idea. He’s starting to have all those feelings of regret again that he had when he left the first time. It just doesn’t feel right. Sawyer has been through so much pain on the Island that he doesn’t want to hear it. He basically tells Jack to get off the program or get off the boat. Jack chooses the latter. Literally. He jumps off the boat and starts swimming back towards the Island. Kate is upset by this, yelling at Sawyer that they have to go back for Jack. Sawyer says “We’re done going back, Kate,” and I think I may have cheered. I’m sick of Kate and her following Jack along like a puppy dog even when it hurts others who care about her.

The Elizabeth arrives at Hydra Island, and Sawyer and his crew are quickly greeted by Zoe and her crew. Since Zoe recognizes Sawyer, she has her goons stand down. Out from behind them comes Jin, and he and Sun get a bit of a reunion. Honestly, after all this “Where’s Jin!” for the past 1 2/3 seasons, it was a bit anticlimactic. The one thing I did like was that after reuniting with Jin, Sun was again able to speak English. Jin promises her that he’s never going to leave her again. Hate to tell you, Jin, but Desmond promised the same thing to Penny not long ago, and we can see how well that turned out.

Things do take a turn for the worse quickly when Zoe gets a call from Widmore that the deal with Sawyer is off. The guns go back up, and Sawyer and his crew all are made to kneel on the beach. Widmore is going to launch mortars at Locke. Jack, meanwhile, has just made it back to the Island and right into the hands of Jack just as the mortar hits. He tries to run, but he still catches some of the shock wave and is sent sprawling across the beach. He wakes up dazed, and Locke picks him up and runs towards the jungle as another mortar hits. As he props Jack up against a tree, Locke tells Jack “You’re with me now.”

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