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April 24, 2014

Lost: Follow the Leader

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 7th 2009 8:04AM

(L-R) Yunjin Kim, Terry O'Quinn, Nestor Carbonell, and Michael Emerson
(S05E15) "I have a purpose now." - Locke

I can't believe how fast this season of Lost has gone by. There's probably a time-travel joke buried in that realization somewhere, but my head is still spinning from "Follow the Leader," so I'm not really in clever witticism mode. Honestly, I'm speechless. For the most part, this wasn't one of my favorite episodes of the season. But for me to be at a loss for words at one of Lost's sub-par installments - well that says something about the quality of this show. "Follow the Leader" was a lot of set up for next week's two hour finale and the events that have been set in motion (even though it seems they always happened) are mind-numbing.

The hour was clearly divided between 2007 and 1977 and it jumped back and forth. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed in the lack of backstory we got on Richard, other than Ben's mention that he's an adviser who's had his job a long, long time. However, the thirty year back and forth jumps provided us enough Richard moments that I do feel like we know him a little better - just not as well as I thought we would, especially considering the multiple interpretations of the episode's title.

Let's talk about 2007 first. Locke returned and took his seat as leader of the Others. It became apparent pretty quickly that he was going to be far more proactive than anyone expected and this was immediately an issue. Richard even went as far as whispering his concerns to Ben, who in turn agreed and told Richard that was why he tried to kill him. Ben's "I'm not gonna try and stage a coup" comment may not have been all that far off.

Two major things came out of Locke's first hours as Grand Puba. First is that when we saw Richard mend up Locke's shot leg in "Because You Left," he wasn't lying to Locke when he told him, you told me. I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that it was Locke himself who realized that his past self would have sat there and bled to death, so he gave himself his own mission by sending Richard. I know that all this always happened this exact way, but it's still so easy to stop and think, how did this all go down during the first iteration? Would Locke have just died there and after years of failures, the island finally told John to find himself and make this work?

The second big bombshell was finding out what Locke considers to be his purpose on the island. After witnessing enough of how the Others work, John is done with blindly following Jacob's wishes without actually meeting, and seeing Jacob - something John claimed Ben never did and Ben didn't really put up a fight about. John's plan? Kill Jacob. He told Ben and I'm sure Ben will tell Richard - but will they try and stop him?

The one thing that I noticed was that while Locke seemed confident in his choices, Richard no longer did and that was a little out of character for him. I almost wonder if the speculation that Ben really was never supposed to leader, that he was just a placeholder until Locke finally arrived, is true. Maybe Richard is just floored to see what it's like to have a true leader in action again, taking advantage of all that such an individual is capable of?

Back in 1977, things progressed quickly. Jack and Kate watched Dan get shot and then Widmore found the two of them. Beaten and brought to Ellie's tent, Jack quickly convinced her that Dan was telling the truth and that what's written in Dan's notebook has to happen - Jughead needs to be detonated. The only problem? It's buried in the island's subterranean tunnel system, directly below DHARMA's village.

So the big question to ask is whether Ellie is helping Jack because she believes him or if she's using him and this is just a way to try and get rid of DHARMA for good? Sayid (he's back!) actually brought up this point and Jack dismissed him because he knew Ellie would help them in 2007. What Jack seems to be missing is that just because Ellie is off the island, doesn't mean what he's about to do still has a happy ending - lots of people are going to die and Richard confirmed this to Sun.

Elsewhere, Chang finally started to believe Faraday once Miles, Jin, and Hurley confirmed they're from the future. So the island evacuation began. After taking a solid beating from Radzinsky, Sawyer finally agreed to tell them where the hostiles were if he and Juliet could leave on the sub. He even said good riddance to the island. It just goes to show you how far James was willing to go to try and recreate the idyllic three years he had just spent with Juliet - he was willing to ditch everyone else much as they had done three years prior/thirty years in the future. Naturally, Kate showed up (she ditched Jack and got caught) and Phil threw her on the sub too. The look on Juliet's eyes was pure hate. Then the sub left. So will they be out of explosion range?

A few more thoughts on "Follow the Leader" --

  • Widmore seemed worried about Ellie's well being. He even rubbed his hand across her stomach, indicating that she was probably pregnant with Daniel at the time. But who was in charge? Richard seemed to take orders from both of them. Plus, how did Ellie get off the island?
  • Speaking of Richard, could we read his hobby (building a ship in a bottle) as foreshadowing that he arrived on The Black Rock?
  • I felt so bad for Kate when she told Jack that "it wasn't all misery" and he said "enough of it was."
  • Mitch found the sub manifest and he and Phil realized that Hurley must be part of all this. But where are Hurley, Miles, and Jin headed to? The beach still? Won't they be found?
  • Sun is going to go ape-shit on Locke when she realizes he lied to her about his intentions.

Lots of info to digest, and from what I've read, next week's two hour finale has such a big game changer, that it'll make you wonder how the show could even continue after finding out. Anyway, here's the official description:

"The Incident," Parts 1 & 2 - Jack's decision to put a plan in action in order to set things right on the island is met with some strong resistance by those close to him, and Locke assigns Ben a difficult task, on the season finale of "Lost," WEDNESDAY, MAY 13 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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breliedtke

I am thinking of Jacob and his adversary as Jacob and Esau from the Bible, twin brothers who struggled with each other from conception until their deaths. Definitely think that "Esau" has been the entity that has been trapped in the cabin (by whom?). Remember the "help me" that Locke heard when he visited the cabin with Ben? Someone has apparently let Esau free. I do think Esau's spirit can take the form of whomever (Christian, Claire, maybe even Charile, etc.) Perhaps he needed to find the correct body in order to kill Jacob.
Jacob does seem evil to me. He seems to bring people to the island for his pleasure in seeing them suffer and struggle to survive. Maybe Esau is trying to stop that suffering.
Ilana and Bram, et al: they speak Latin, so did the original young Widmore-era "Hostiles." Richard speaks Latin, so did Juliet. Are they all part of the same group somehow?
Love the Black Rock sailing towards the island. As we know, whoever was on that ship may be important - remember that Widmore was bidding on the log from the Black Rock at an auction?

May 14 2009 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
decco

surely locke wouldn't end up being bentham and jacob

May 12 2009 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to decco's comment
Boxcar

I wouldn't be so sure. Locke has a connection to the island that nobody else (except Richard, possibly) does. I think there are three possibilities for the identity of Jacob at this point:
1. Locke
2. Jack (There is a previous post that explained this idea fairly well)
or
3. somebody actually not yet introduced.

And I think those are in order of likelihood, from what I've seen.

May 12 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

The key here is: What happened, happened. This is REVERSE story telling, where the series began, was actually the end of the story.

Richard Alpert came to the island on the Black Rock? Hmmm, I'd say he RETURNED to the island on the Black Rock, he's Ancient Egyptian.

Alpert says he watched them all die, but he didn't say WHEN, or if they all die at the same time, or of old age, etc. Who's to say, the he watched them die in Ancient Egypt? After next week's episode, maybe some of them get blasted back 3000 years?? Hmmm? The losties create whatever it is that Alpert is....

Ain't time travel neat?

May 08 2009 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tana green

The whole show is Hurley's delusion played out in the ultra expensive fat farm where he has gone to lose weight. All the characters are people from his past or his imagination, other patients, or hospital employees. Richard is his doctor. Hurley has recently been improving and has been allowed to work as a trustee in the kitchen. When the show is finished all the excess weight will be Lost.

May 08 2009 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shamon

locke 2.0 is really cool but on too Locke wanting to kill Jacob Perhaps he only wants to kill the illusion of Jacob.

May 08 2009 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chuba

"(Though it's still possible Faraday was mistaken or lying about the effect detonating the bomb would have.)"

Daniel must have aimed at using the EM Pulse, emitted by Jughead as it explodes, to neutralize the elctromagnetic blast that we are to expect from the Swan station. I'm no expert but wouldn't it also wipe out all life and structures on the island?

Somehow, this doesn't seem to be the better end. Unless Faraday was, as someone pointed out last week, experiencing this over and over again (which would explain his sadness about the plane wreck, you're not supposed to be here, etc.). Dan is on a personal mission to keep the timeline from repeating itself and he pulled the biggest gun he could get his hands on.

I am a little surprised how quick pregnant Ellie understood the circumstances that lead to this moment and how she picks up the plan with no hesitation. But I loved how smoothly Sayid replaced Kate, so someone with skills in electrical engineering joined the team.

Anyhow, we have a season to go and "The Incident" is not likely to be the bomb explosion but rather something close to "God help us all" if it isn't stopped.

And I really hope it's not some EMP-H-Bomb meltdown leaving them in a bright light and suddenly they wake up on the green grass and the island is saved. And they're all naked!

May 07 2009 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ano

This week's episode was great. I'm going to be so sad when the show ends this season!

But I do have a theory related to Locke/Jacob. There are a couple of things that we know, one is that we know that one of the Losties is going to die this season finale as the ultimate sacrifice. The second is that when Locke took Richard and Ben to see the wounded Locke, Locke from 2007 told Richard and Ben that the Island told him that this would be the time that wounded Locke would be there. Therefore he sent Richard Alpert to go save him and to tell wounded Locke that he had to die in order to save his people (Losties). Even though we saw Locke die in LA he still came back to life when he returned to the Island, therefore, that was not the sacrifice that was going to save the other Losties, instead he would have to die on the Island itself.

I think that Locke is Jacob and the only way to save the other Losties is for Jacob to die (hence the ultimate sacrifice that we have been hearing about this year is from John Locke).

May 07 2009 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donna

What about this...John Locke IS Jacob. The reason he is so sure that Ben hadn't met Jacob is because he is Jacob. When Locke told Richard to tell earlier Locke that he has to die to save everyone, he was not talking about his strangulation. He was talking about when he has to kill himself/Jacob. John also seems to know where and when everything happens on the island, just like Jacob would. If you freeze the image of Jacob in the cabin (when Locke first visits him) he looks like John.

May 07 2009 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daniel

Re: Jughead and an explaination for how it got underground... I think its probably very simple... It was already suspended, they just dug a big hole under it... and lowered it!

May 07 2009 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ðan

-Sun is going to go ape-shit on Locke LMAO

May 07 2009 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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