Lost: Three Minutes
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There are several interesting nuggets in this episode, but for the most part, the entire episode was more a preface for next week's season finale than anything else. The entire episode was catching us up with Michael's motivation with little, if any, actual forward motion in actions on the island.
Charlie was featured in this episode's subplot. He brings Claire and the baby some of the vaccine which the Others had been feeding to them both when Claire was captured. Claire seemed genuinely thankful and we see the first steps of a reconciliation between her and Charlie. Charlie later finds Eko at the computer entering the numbers and discovers that Eko is no longer going to build the church. Charlie responds negatively to this, but returns to the church and continues trying to build it alone. Vincent brings one of the Mary statues to Charlie's feet and we think that he's on another downward spiral, but it turns out to just be a nice tease. Instead, he follows Vincent to the stash of statues and throws them all out into the ocean. After he throws the last one, we see that Locke was watching him from the beach.
There's another interesting scene with Jack and Sawyer before the funeral for Ana Lucia and Libby, where Sawyer tells Jack, "I screwed her...that's how she got my gun. She jumped me. We got 'caught in a net'." Jack asks, "Why are you telling me this?" and Sawyer replies, "Because you're about the closet thing I got to a friend, Doc . . . and because she's gone. [pause] Well, at least now we get to kill somebody." And then he cocks his shotgun.
The rest of the episode revolves around Michael being captured by the Others, taken to their camp, and seeing Walt in the flashbacks and Michael trying to persuade Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hugo to come with him to save Walt. No one else can come and these four must come. Why? Because Ms. Clue, who seems to be the leader of the Others, tells Michael that freeing Henry Gale and bringing these four to her is the only way that he'll ever see Walt again. He has two main problems with his plan: Hugo doesn't want to go and Sawyer enlists Sayid to come along. Michael argues with Sayid and seemingly convinces him to not come, but we discover near the end of the episode that this argument merely persuaded Sayid that Michael has been compromised. He tells Jack as much and tells him that they have one night to make a plan.
The name of the episode refers to the 3 minutes that Ms. Clue offers for Walt and Michael to see each other before Michael will agree to her plan. As with all of Michael's life with Walt, this three minutes is cut short, as Walt starts telling Michael things that Ms. Clue doesn't want him to know. Walt notes, "They make me take tests" and "They're not who they say they are, they're pretending!" Walt runs across the room and embraces his father as they try to take him away, shouting "I love you, Dad." Michael is broken by this exchange, agrees to Ms. Clue's plan, and then demands that in addition to setting them free that the Others give him a boat for doing what they want.
The episode ends somewhat oddly with Libby and Ana Lucia's funeral. During this scene several bits happen all at once, as if the writers felt that not enough had happened in the episode, so they needed to cram the end full of a lot of red herrings to get us in a frenzy for next week. Hugo gets emotional talking about Libby as is to be expected, and Michael continues to look somewhat guilty, as he had for the entire episode. But on the way to the funeral, Sayid and Jack have their exchange about Michael being compromised. Locke, sitting on the beach, looks at the funeral, cuts off the splint on his "injured" leg, and gets up and walks away, and at the very end as they are all mourning, a sailboat drifts close to the beach and they all start shouting "It's a boat!" The scene was very mixed in emotion and hard to read.
All in all it wasn't a horrible episode, but if felt very much like a preface to next week's episode, which I only hope can deliver on the hype.