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Lost: Destiny Calls

5.1 “Because You Left” & 5.2 “The Lie”

Because You Left Courtesy huffingtonpost.com

Guys… when are we?

I should probably start at the beginning, which then begs the question: where is the beginning? Or rather, when is the beginning?

In an opening scene reminiscent of Season 3’s premiere, which first introduced viewers to Juliet and the Others in their natural suburban habitat, a man goes about his sunny morning preparations for the day while the record he put on begins to skip—begins to skip—begins to skip in the background. His face has yet to be revealed, but as soon as he dons a white lab coat I experience one of those thrilling ‘Holy moly!’ Lost revelations: the guy is none other than Dr. Chang (today known as Dr. Marvin Candle), star of those creepy little Dharma Initiative orientation videos. In fact, he’s just about to film another one when a fellow Dharma-mite informs him of trouble a-brewing at the Orchid. Yes, that would be the same mysterious Orchid where Ben turned a giant mysterious wheel during last May’s season finale, somehow causing the island to temporarily blip out of existence in a blinding flash of white light.

But might it be the same time as well?

As Dr. Whatsit’s eyebrow twitches angrily at Skeptical Dude in a Hard Hat, who wants to drill a hole into the Orchid, we learn that an unidentified warm-body presence has been detected within the station’s walls (which, by the way, will melt your drill). Now, maybe Lost just inspires in me severe paranoia and mistrust of so-called coincidences, but I can’t help but holler “Oh my God it’s Ben!” at the TV screen, absolutely certain that somehow Ben’s wheel-turning shenanigans have sent him back in time to the living era of Dr. Chang and the Dharma gang. At least, I am absolutely certain until Daniel Faraday slinks by in his own hard hat when he should be bobbing around in his boat back near the beach, and I remember that Ben is supposed to be in Tunisia. My theory has yet to account for this phenomenon of being in two places at once, but I’m working on it.

Back on the beach, post-explosion of white light, Sawyer, Juliet, and the rest of the gang notice that their camp has up and disappeared because, well, it hasn’t even been built yet. Sort of an expert on the matter, Faraday explains to them that the island is like a skipping record (hmmm, you don’t say!); they have been “dislodged from time” and are now doomed to travel repeatedly through it until someone, or something—or, you know, some guy named Locke—sets things right again by… doing what, exactly?

Speaking of the newly appointed successor to Others Leader Ben, Locke has been suffering from a little time travel jetlag of his own, a special brand of déjà vu that reunites him with the Nigerian plane (that would be the one filled with heroin), only this time around, he actually witnesses it crashing. And then Ethan (creepy baby-snatcher whom we first had the pleasure of encountering way back in Season 1) shoots him in the leg. Another flash of white light later, Richard Alpert appears with critical information for Locke: in order to save the island and its inhabitants, Locke must bring back the Oceanic 6, and in order to do that, he kind of has to die. OK, that’s great and all, but don’t you think it’s about time you also let us in on some of your age-defying beauty secrets?

So I should probably mention that Faraday's been up to something. When Sawyer is desperate to contact Desmond, who at this particular point in time (such loaded words!) is still down in the hatch pressing that silly button every 108 minutes, Faraday holds him back, spouting such time travel clichés as "if it didn't happen, it can't happen" and "you can't change the past, James." But later, when everyone has retreated back to the beach, Faraday pounds down Desmond's door himself to deliver the yellow-suited Dharma recruit a message: We're in trouble. When you leave this island, go to Oxford and find my mother. Her name is—cue convenient flash of white light.

Meanwhile, Rose and Bernard have been busy rubbing sticks together to try to start a fire, because apparently that’s more productive than wandering around between commercial breaks waiting for the next flash of white light to transport them to a different time in the same place. This sour-looking fellow named Neil (does anyone else not remember seeing him around before?) pinches his face into the caricature of a person suffering some immense grief, and he rants hysterically about the hopelessness of their situation until his aggravated cry of “We can’t even get fire—” is shot down, literally, by a flaming arrow to the chest. The entire beach then erupts into flame as these arrows begin pelting out of the sky like rain, killing some more people we’ve never met. Sawyer and Juliet get separated from the others and, in a flurry of movement, find rifles pointed at their heads—until Locke appears out of nowhere and buries a dagger into one of their captors’ chests, boar-hunting style. Who's surprised?

The Oceanic 6 7 8 9?

Fast-forward three years. Back in the real world, a couple of lawyers show up at Kate’s door demanding a blood sample so that they may run a DNA test on her and her “son” Aaron. This is a problem because Aaron posing as Kate’s son is part of the elaborate lie the Oceanic 6 concocted upon their rescue in order to protect the friends they left behind on the island (yeah, still don’t get it any more than I did last May). Aaron, as you may recall, is actually the son of Claire, who is currently hiding out in log cabins with her dead father, Christian Shephard, and might as well be a ghost now too for all we know (actress Emilie de Ravin is no longer a series regular, but the Lost founding fathers assure us that we will see her again at some point). Anyway, Kate responds by doing what she does best: she runs, this time with a little tot in tow, until she receives a mysterious phone call from none other than…

Sun! The last time we saw that girl, she was giving Charles Widmore her business card and offering him some kind of partnership deal for the sake of pursuing “common interests” (which, by the way, is apparently a euphemism for “let’s plot the death of Benjamin Linus”). Anyway, over tea Kate tearfully apologizes for the indirect role she played in Jin’s death (“death”? Daniel Dae Kim’s name is still rolling regularly along in the credits…), and Sun expresses her belief that those lawyers’ unknown client is actually after Aaron, not exposing their secret. Dun dun dun…

Meanwhile, Jack is newly sober and clean-shaven (though he’d still be popping those pills if Ben hadn’t flushed them down the toilet); he’s a man on another rescue mission, this time to recruit the rest of the Oceanic 6 and bring them back to the island. This, Ben tells him as they hover over the casket of one Jeremy Bentham, aka John Locke, is the only way to save Sawyer, Juliet, and the rest of them. Apparently Bentham told Jack the same thing the last time they spoke (off-island, for the record): terrible things happened to their friends after the Oceanic 6 left the island three years ago, and it’ll stop only with death unless they can find a way to return.

Here is what concerns me (other than the fact that we still don’t know how Locke leaves the island, whether he ends up in that coffin as per Alpert’s advice, or why the hell everyone’s now calling him by the name of yet another English philosopher). Ben is not a nice guy. In fact, he’s kind of evil. So it shouldn’t surprise me that he has some ulterior motive in reuniting the island’s inhabitants, which may or may not have anything remotely to do with their wellbeing so much as their significance to the island itself. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that he has a pal in a butcher shop who’s willing to store Locke’s body in a meat truck or some such for safekeeping until everything is ready. But what does Ben mean when he says that Jack is “with us”? Who is “us,” and why do I dislike them already?

Hurley and Sayid are now on the run, after Sayid murdered a few people or so last season and then broke Hurley out of the mental institution. A violent scuffle ensues in Sayid’s safe house (I have to remember that tape-on-the-door trick if I ever run into the kind of trouble that inspires people to hide in my apartment waiting to kill me), resulting in two dead bodies (who leaves knives lying blade side up in the dishwasher like that?), a drugged Sayid who remains unconscious for pretty much the rest of the episode, and Hurley’s face plastered across the evening news because he is now wanted for four—no, three—murders that he did not commit. With Sayid temporarily out of commission, the decision-making is up to Hurley (make way for the comic relief!), who subsequently purchases an “I ? Shih-Tzus” T-shirt as a disguise and seeks shelter with his loveably kooky parents. In a Hurley-like moment of weakness, he blurts out the entire truth to his mother, who, in a Hurley’s mom-like moment of sheer crazy, believes him. His father, in the meantime, contacts Jack to give Sayid some much-needed medical attention, essentially leaving one of the Oceanic 6 right on the good ole doc's doorstep.

It almost seems too easy, until Ben accidentally gets Hurley arrested. Our lovable lub was warned by Sayid earlier to always do the opposite of whatever Ben says, so when Ben appears in the Reyes’ kitchen and literally scares the Hot Pocket right out of Hurley’s hands, asking that he come with him to meet Jack, what’s a Hurley to do? The exact opposite of what Ben says, of course: he runs out the door and practically handcuffs himself to the cops staking out his home.

As if things for Ben weren’t already complicated enough.

I leave you with the following image: A figure in a hooded cape scribbles some mathematical figures on a board, and then types some symbols onto an antiquated computer screen that looks as though it contains location coordinates for something like, oh, I don’t know, maybe an island. By the way, this secret room lies in the basement of… a church! And the figure, a woman whom I’m not sure whether we are supposed to recognize or not, tells Ben he has 70 hours. Frustratingly vague and ominous. And if he can’t get the Oceanic 6 to return in time?

“God help us all.”

In other news I’ve deemed not worthy of mentioning until now…

Charlotte suffers from nosebleeds, headaches and weird memory lapses. She thinks there is something wrong with her. Faraday knows there is something wrong with her. I can’t seem to muster up the energy to care.

Richard Alpert gave Locke a compass. It points north. (Always important to clarify those things.)

Oh yeah, and Desmond wakes up from a dream—the memory of Faraday telling him to go to Oxford and find his mother. How's about another boat trip, Penny?

Sound bites

  • Hurley to Sayid at a fast-food drive thru: “Maybe if you eat more comfort food, you wouldn’t have to go around shooting people.”
  • Sawyer to Faraday regarding the hatch’s condition after they relocate its entrance: “Blown up, just like we left it.”
  • Locke to Richard Alpert, after the latter finds the former collapsed against the Nigerian plane: “When am I?”
  • Ana Lucia to Hurley (still seeing dead people) after advising him not to get arrested: “By the way, Libby says hi.”
  • Hurley’s mother, upon finding Sayid sprawled unconscious in the living room: “Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?!”

Discussion

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