Lost: The Shape of Things to Come
(S04E09) What a brilliant episode! At this point, I think all future Lost episodes should be either Ben-, Sayid-, or Desmond-centric. This episode had it all: tons of action, several big revelations, and more questions to ponder. Michael Emerson gave yet another award-worthy performance this week and showed off his action hero side.
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Gallery: Lost: The Shape of Things to Come
A sweet, flirtatious opening scene between Jack and Kate quickly transformed into something disturbing. Jack complained about a stomach bug and went to the supply tent for some antibiotics. Kate followed him and asked for his honest opinion about the freighter situation. As Jack tried to reassure her, Vincent's barking and Bernard's screaming interrupted the moment. A body had washed up on the beach. It was the ship's doctor, Ray; his throat had been cut.
The group decided to try communicating with the freighter via Morse code. Apparently they no longer need Sayid to work his techie magic; Faraday had it covered. Once they had a signal going, Daniel asked the freighter what happened with the doctor. The freighter responded, but Daniel lied to the group about what the message was. Fortunately, Jack finally wised up and had Bernard on hand to decode the message as well. As far as the freighter crew was concerned, the doctor was fine. Unsettling news, to say the least. Either someone on the freighter was lying, or the island's time issues have struck again.
In full-on outrage mode, Jack asked Daniel to be honest about the freighties' intentions. Daniel admitted that rescuing the 815ers was not on their agenda. Suddenly, Jack was stricken with intense abdominal cramps.
You know a Lost episode is good when you can almost instantly forget about a random body washing up on the beach. All the real action happened over at the Barracks. As Hurley, Sawyer, and Locke played an innocent game of Risk, Alex was being held at gunpoint. It was Keamy and his band of mercenaries who killed Danielle and Karl, not the Others. Alex was smart enough to give her father a warning; she typed in a special code that sent an alert to the Barracks via telephone. When the phone rang, Locke answered and heard the phrase "Code 14-J."
After the men informed Ben of the call, he told them what the message meant. They had to barricade themselves inside his house immediately; the war was starting. Sawyer's first concern was Claire. In the short amount of time that he searched for her, three redshirts were shot and killed, and Claire's house was blown up. Miraculously, she survived. Sawyer found her beneath some of the rubble; she must have been out back during the explosion. They were able to make it back to Ben's house in one piece.
Ben was more concerned about Locke's welfare. John needed to stay alive, Ben explained, because they had to pay Jacob another visit. Hurley's recent cabin-sighting made him an integral part of the team as well. Suddenly, Miles rang the doorbell. His colleagues had sent him to bring Ben a walkie-talkie. Miles had more bad news for Ben: Keamy and the others had taken Alex hostage.
What followed was one of the most painful Lost moments I've ever seen. Ben tried his best to work his mind games on Keamy, who held Alex at gunpoint in front of the house. When intimidation didn't work, Ben claimed that Alex wasn't his real daughter and meant nothing to him. Keamy shot Alex in the head before Ben even finished his speech.
It was like a switch went off in Ben's brain. He stood, frozen, for quite a while before whispering "He changed the rules." While the others argued about whether or not to give Ben up, Ben locked himself in his secret chamber. Whatever he did in that room summoned the Black Smoke Monster, who attacked and killed the mercenaries. The rest of the group ran for the jungle while Ben stayed behind to say goodbye to Alex.
Later, Sawyer decided to abandon Team Locke and return to the beach. Claire, Miles, and Hurley wanted to go along, but Locke and Ben insisted that Hurley stay with them. There was a brief standoff, but Hurley ultimately chose to join the search for Jacob's cabin.
We caught up with Ben in the Sahara desert, inexplicably wearing a DHARMA parka. He was wounded, disoriented, and nauseous. Two armed men on horseback rode up to him, and were aggressive towards Ben. While one of the men searched him, Ben hit the man with a telescopic baton and shot his companion with his gun. This scene is definitely in my top three moments of the season.
After riding off on one of the men's horses, Ben traveled to Tozeur, Tunisia. As he checked in to a hotel, he seemed very curious about the current date, particularly the year (October 24, 2005). TV footage of Sayid caught his eye. The Oceanic Six member was trying to avoid the paparazzi as he mourned his late wife, Nadia.
Ben followed Sayid to Nadia's funeral procession in Tikrit, Iraq. He took photos of Sayid and another mysterious man observing the funeral. Sayid mistook Ben for a journalist, and was shocked to see him off the island. After explaining himself, Ben warned Sayid about the mysterious man. His name was Ishmael Bakir, a Widmore employee. He was also the man responsible for Nadia's death.
Later, Bakir caught Ben tailing him. As Ben gave Ishmael a message for his employer, Sayid appeared and emptied his gun into Bakir. Sayid wanted to avenge his murdered wife, and signed on for whatever Ben had planned for Widmore.
Finally, Ben paid Charles Widmore a visit in his London home. The men argued about Alex's death and the ownership of the island. Although he couldn't kill Widmore, Ben declared his intention to kill Penny. He would make Widmore regret that he ever changed the rules. Each man had separate agendas from this point on: Ben was searching for Penny, and Widmore was searching for the island.
- I'm a little disappointed that Ben made such an error in judgment by sending Alex off into the jungle. When Danielle and Karl got shot I assumed it was part of another diabolical plan of his, but the Freighties had the advantage this time. On the other hand, I was touched to see Ben display genuine emotion after Alex's death. There's a human being behind "those horrible eyes."
- Ben's DHARMA coat had the name Halliwax on it. Edgar Halliwax is one of Dr. Marvin Candle's aliases. Candle calls himself Halliwax in the Orchid station video.
- Widmore still likes MacCutcheon whiskey. He uses it to deal with his recent nightmares.
- There was something adorable about the way Sawyer told Locke to not "harm a hair on [Hurley's] curly head."
- Most haunting line of the night: "Once you let your grief become anger, it will never go away. I know from experience."
- Why can't Ben kill Widmore? Why does Widmore believe he owns the island?
Next week--Jack has appendicitis, Frank Lapidus finds the former members of Team Locke, and Keamy emerges unscathed from his encounter with the Black Smoke Monster. In the meantime, check out additional Lost coverage at AOL.
|Keamy killed Alex.||1046 (50.3%)|
|Ben can summon the Black Smoke Monster.||602 (28.9%)|
|Ben's going to kill Penny.||207 (10.0%)|
|Ben can possibly travel through time.||177 (8.5%)|
|Widmore had Nadia killed.||48 (2.3%)|