This week's song (slightly modified) is from that classic 90's one-hit wonder Joan Osbourne.
If Flocke had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question
And yeah yeah Flocke is great yeah yeah Flocke is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
What if Flocke was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
If Flocke had a face what would it look likeWhat if Flocke was one of us
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in Jacob and the saints and all the Others
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to Black Rock all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome
We had to suffer through a week-off from LOST, which I guess when compared to the prospect of permanently suffering from weeks off from LOST is not all that bad. Two Tuesdays ago we were treated to the The Last Recruit, a rollicking good time of double-backs, double-crosses, and intense close-ups of characters staring/glaring at each other. Let's call this last episode what it was: a set-up hour for bigger things to come. Some of you might be checking your watches/calenders and are aware of the fact that we only have three more one-hour weeks before the two-hour season finale on Sunday May 23rd and are wondering, "How are they going to wrap this thing up with so little time left?"
Let not your worried heart be troubled. They've taken us this far, it's been one heck of a ride, and they have 5 more hours of television to go before you can critique or praise the Season Six story-line till the DHARMA cows come home from The Flame station.
The cliff-hanger from three Tuesdays ago was Desmond steam-rolling a wheel-chaired Locke back with his high-performance motor vehicle in the parking lot of the high school John, Ben, and Arzt all teach at. I pontificated then that perhaps Desmond was simply trying to "awaken" in Locke a memory of their real lives (the ones we've watched unfold the previous 5 seasons). In the immortal words of John Locke to Mr. Ekko in the season two finale: "I was wrong..."
It's clear to me now that Desmond was trying to kill the man that the Smoke Monster would one day use to enact his plan for an island escape. Desmond knows more than we know he knows.
On the way to the hospital, Ben, of all people, is the man in the back of the ambulance who is watching the man he once murdered (in another life, brotha') slip into unconsciousness on the gurney before him. Locke utters the name of his beloved "Helen Norwood" as his next-of-kin and it suddenly dawned on me that we were about to see a Locke-Jack reunion in the operating room. Of course we knew which hospital Locke would be taken to before we saw it. Sure enough, by the end of the episode, there was Jack standing above the prostrated body of John Locke. The big question on my mind: Will Jack promise John that he will "dance at your wedding"?
When Locke was being wheeled into the emergency room, Sun's stretcher "just happened" to be cruising next to his and when she looked over and saw the bald wonder she began to excitedly repeat, "It's him...It's him." We know that the Sun could not be saying this because of anything that has happened since the new Oceanic 815 flight landed at LAX in the season six opener. It HAD to be her subconsciousness awakening and remembering the Locke (or perhaps, Flocke) of the island life she once lived (or will live). Now that she is aware of their past/future lives, perhaps she will get Jin-son on-board for whatever scheme Faraday is hatching to course-correct their Jughead-induced alternate reality? You know something like that is coming...
We also saw Kate and Sawyer play their flirty games in the police station, but there was nothing too interesting or earth-shattering that happened there. The biggest news to come from that scene was that they knew Sayid was the man responsible for the shooting deaths at Keamy's restaurant. The dynamic duo race off to Sayid brother's house and use the old "tripped up by the unsuspecting garden hose" routine to capture the fleeing Iraqi. I foresee some lively, sarcastic banter between those three goons in a cop car in our near future.
Desmond "bumps into" Claire at the office building her adoption agency is located in, and offers to bring her to a lawyer who can really help her with all the in's, all the out's, of her complicated situation. The lawyer turns out to be recently-imploded Ilana Verdansky, and as luck/fate would have it, Ms. Verdansky is looking for Claire because she is also the lawyer handling Christian Shepard's last will and testament and Claire's gonna get a piece of the family pie. Which is why Jack and son David are in the building as well. We were treated to an awkward family reunion, one interrupted by an urgent call for Dr. Jack to come operate on a further-wounded John Locke.
All-in-all, we didn't learn a whole lot from the off-island story-line this last episode. It was supplementary material, hopefully meant for a bigger purpose and pay-off.
Flocke and Jack decide to have one of their infamous pow-wow's in the jungle, and I thought it interesting how Flocke sat down but Jack declined the offer and instead struck an investigative pose...as if he were crouching down to get a closer look at a plant or insect he'd never seen before but wanted to learn more about. He was studying Flocke. He even said something to the effect of, "The thing that bothers me is I have no idea what the hell you are."
Well, at one point, Jack, he played the part of your deceased father on the island. He led you to water in the caves in season one. He used Christian Shepard's form to influence you, Claire, and John Locke in his grand scheme to bolt from the island and, if Jacob is telling the truth, unleash hell-on-earth.
Flocke still maintains that John Locke was a "sucker" and that Jack is too if he thinks there is any real purpose for him ever being brought to the island. Flocke blames Jacob and encourages Jack (among others) to do the same. He paints himself as the one who has been trying to help the castaways the whole time. He tells Jack that it has to be "all of us" (the candidates and Flocke) that leave together. This is the same thing that Eloise Hawking told Jack and the Oceanic Six back in the real world when she was convincing them to get of Ajira Flight 316. The whole "live together, die alone" mantra has been a consistent theme of this show from the word "go". But is it true now? Was it ever true? Is Flocke luring all of them together so that he can more easily dispose of them (and everyone else)?
Flocke and Jack are heading back to the camp after their pow-wow when Claire emerges from the dense jungle hoping to re-unite with her bro-bro. Flocke leaves them to it, and Claire thanks Jack for being a part of Team Flocke with her now...Jack says he hasn't made up his mind, but Claire sinisterly says "The moment you let him talk to you, you were one of his." What's with the "don't even let him talk to you" recurring warnings? Dogan tells Sayid to not let Flocke talk to him before he stabs him. Smoke Monster tells Richard back in the 1860's to stab Jacob before he talks. Now Claire's saying that the moment Flocke talked, Jack was caught in his venus fly trap. She seemed happy to have someone else caught in the same trap she is already in. Claire doesn't seem totally comfortable with what's happened to her or in her relationship with Flocke.
Back at camp, Sawyer's hatching a scheme to shanghai Flocke's boat and pick Jack and the gang up at another locale on the coast. Then, if that all goes according to plan, they will sail to Hydra Island where they will have to shanghai Widmore's submarine (while he's distracted fighting Flocke). Easy, right?
Well actually it all did go according to plan...except for the fact that first Claire shows up and threatens to shoot people because they ditched her, and then Jack does a...well...jack-knife off the skiff and swims back to be with his one true Flocke. With all due respect to Claire, of course they tried to ditch her. She's insane. She walked away from her baby in the middle of the jungle one night in season four because the dead dad she hated in real life (Christian Shepard) appeared to her and told her "Let's roll to my cabin crib." Then she lived on the island in a disgusting yurt and when Kate came to rescue her, she tried to stab her a few episodes ago.
I wouldn't want her serving me queso dip at Chilis, let alone on a long submarine ride in a confined vessel underwater.
But the big shock came when Jack plugged his nose and jumped-ship on the way to Hydra. Sawyer told him to get off his boat because James is tired and wants to go home and doesn't have the patience for "destiny" or "purpose" any longer. Not that he ever really did, but as soon as Juliet took some DHARMA scaffolding in her thorax/abdomen, he was checked out. Jack, on the other hand, has increasingly become a Man of Faith and was ready to become "the last recruit." Now, if he really intends on joining up with Flocke, or if he is just doing this as some sort of grand diversionary tactic, that remains to be seen. But I like New Jack. I like that he has decided to finish what his "friend", the real John Locke, began back in season one. What drove John is what drives Jack: redemption.
Locke was broken when he came to the island, and even though the two never saw eye to eye on much of anything the past five seasons, I think Jack finally now sees that John Locke was not some nut, not some "sucker"...just a man who wanted to be made whole again.
Widmore sends Zoe to bring a message to Flocke: we can blow you up at a moment's notice. That gives me pause because wouldn't Widmore know that Flocke cannot be destroyed with conventional weapons (like knives and bullets)? If that is the case, if Widmore does in fact know that Flocke cannot be killed with the missiles he's sending, then is Widmore making a veiled threat to Flocke that he will kill all of these people with Flocke (which would imply that Flocke needs those people)? I'm a little confused here, so if you have thoughts/insights, feel free to reveal them in the Comments section below.
Flocke also sends Sayid to kill Desmond who is chilling in the well he was pushed in to. Desmond appeals to what humanity is left in Sayid and challenges him on what the Iraqi will say to his lady-love when she asks, "What did it take for you to bring me back to life?" Dropping the "I had to murder an innocent man in a well" bomb on your woman likely doesn't go over as well as you might think. Desmond, obviously, is still alive. We'll see him again very soon I imagine.
Things wrap up with Sawyer's gang reaching Hydra Island and Zoe and Widmore's gang emerging from the woods and telling them that "the deal is off" and for Widmore (who is one radio's call away) to open fire on Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Frank, Sun, and Jin. I was shocked by this, but shouldn't have been. Widmore is still a creep, even if he is there to destroy Flocke. I think what is emerging is the fact that even the "good" guys aren't as good as we think they are. I was completely under the impression that Widmore was, in fact, a changed man...but I shouldn't have been. He is a man who disposes of all the things/people he no longer needs. He is ruthless and heartless. Now, it seems, no one can be trusted...almost like the writers of LOST wanted us slightly confused as we head into the home stretch of the show's sixth and final season.
The last line of the episode is Flocke telling Jack, "You're with me now." We shall see.
-The "drink the kool-aid" line that Sawyer delivers in regards to Claire's mental state is a reference to the Jonestown Massacre where a bunch of kooks drank cyanide-laced purple stuff to get closer to God. The name of the cult? The Peoples Temple.
-Ben called Locke a "believer" at the small funeral they had for him on the beach earlier this season. Flocke called Locke a "sucker." Who do you say that Locke is?
-Just like Sawyer jumped off the helicopter at the end of Season Four for the good of the group, Jack does the same this time around by jumping off the boat. That assumes that Jack jumping off and going back to "be with" Flocke will end up being a good thing, I suppose.
-For more thoughts/theories, read Doc Jensen's more in-depth column here.
There's really not much more to say about The Last Recruit. It was an interesting, somewhat exciting episode, but I think we're in for a real treat with this week's "The Candidate."
-John Locke's Pants