"Follow the Leader" is an episode that cannot be judged out of context. It may as well have been considered part one of a three-part finale, seeing as its main purpose was to position all the pieces for the two-hour finale. And holy crap what a finale it might be. As opposed to last season, where we more or less knew the direction Lost was going, I really don't have a clue what will go down next week. We don't know where the castaways will end up, we don't if the the two timelines will merge, who will live, who will die, who will be reanimated, who's full of crap, who will turn on whom, or what in the hell the inevitable final game-changer will be.
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I have issues, sure, but who doesn't with Lost? There are dangling
story lines that I'm skeptical of. The time traveling of season five
have served to up the level of difficulty for the writers. On a show
that already made it nearly impossible for itself to tie up all the loose ends,
the addition of complicated time travel was a stroke of madness. But,
the results have been surprisingly sensible. It could have become an
incomprehensible quagmire, but the plot has been taut and enlightening.
Let's discuss some things, shall we?
Sawyer and Juliet
In the "Scenes from next episode" we are spoiled by the reappearance of
Sawyer, Juliet and Kate back on the island. The sub turned around, or
the trio was flashed back to the island or something. Regardless, they
return and never end up on the mainland in the late seventies.
Weirdly, I'm disappointed by this. More than anyone else, I root for
Sawyer. When he told Juliet they'd buy Microsoft and
bet on the Cowboys, I got a little bit giddy. I want those two to have
a happy, Dharma-free life, even if it meant we wouldn't see them again
on Lost. However, the second Kate climbed down into that sub, we knew
that plan went out the window. That scene was beautifully done, the
silence and changed expressions of Juliet and Sawyer telling the whole
story. They knew, right then, that a fairy-tale ending was no longer
in the offing and might never be.
While Kate's appearance in the sub annoyed me, I loved what we saw from
her earlier in the episode. Putting her foot down in regards to Jack's
plan was refreshing. Jack has rarely been correct on the island, and
his new plan to reset everything with Daniel's nuclear bomb explosion
plan is suspect at best. That plan, to me, was borne out of Daniel's
romantic desperation. I think he was just grasping at straws in the hopes that he
could bring Charlotte back to life. Jack, similarly, is desperate to
reset everything and will defy any and all logic to accomplish that. He's
probably a bit suicidal, so either way, if the bomb just ends up
killing everyone, he still accomplishes something.
Does Richard Alpert remind anyone else of Tom Hagen, Robert Duvall's
consigliere character from The Godfather? Similar demeanors and
roles. Alpert is the island's consigliere. He has acted in this
advisory role for decades. But, you have to wonder how much he
actually knows and who he's working for. Sometimes he seems like the
only person who actually knows anything, and other times he appears to
be just as much of a charlatan as Ben Linus. I was expecting the
episode on Wednesday to give us a lot more insight into who Richard
Alpert is, but I'm just as baffled as ever. He has to know more than
he's been letting on, and I don't believe for a second that he saw all
those people die like he told Sun. What his motivations are, I don't
know. I suspect we'll find out next week.
Locke and Jacob
Out of all of Lost's dangling plot threads, the one involving Jacob
frightens me the most. Jacob's been built up for so long, that the
eventual reveal of his true nature, the confrontation with Locke, will
ultimately be disappointing, as will the explanation of what he is. Maybe
it will explain everything, but I don't know how it doesn't come off as
hokey or confusing. I've always had faith in the Lost writers, but
count me among the Jacob doubters. I hope I'm wrong. Also, I doubt
Locke will be killing Jacob next week.
So, the big question - how will the season end? There appears to be a
universal assumption among Lost fans that the two factions of
characters, now thirty years apart, will be brought back together.
This is an intriguing idea, but how can this reasonably be
accomplished? In the great scheme of things, they are spread across
random periods of time. More donkey wheel action? If Jack's plan ends
up working, and Oceanic 815 lands safely in Los Angeles, the series
would be over, right? Or maybe the bomb goes off and the plane crashes
on the island anyway. Trying to predict next week's finale is a fool's
errand, anyway. We all know that. We know that the writers have
something outlandish and awesome in store. They always do. That's why
we watch Lost.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer