Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Televangelist: 'Lost' episode 15

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2009 at 4:02 PM

click to enlarge ONE EPISODE LEFT: Some much to say, so little time
  • ONE EPISODE LEFT: Some much to say, so little time

There's a theory regarding the pleasures of delayed gratification via online shopping. It starts with the small thrill of buying something over the internet. It's not yet tactile, but you know it's coming. Depending on your shipping methods, you're either waiting at the mailbox every day or have semi-forget about the package altogether. Either way, when that box comes, it's a little bit birthday and a little bit Christmas. Online videos have even been posted of people carefully and deliberately opening their packages, savoring each moment before their present to themselves is revealed.

Richard Alpert is this week's wrapping paper for Darlton's gift that's been carefully unveiled in small parts for several seasons now. Though "Follow the Leader" was initially rumored to be the Richard backstory episode Lostphiles have been waiting at the proverbial mailbox for, it wasn't quite so obvious. We did see Richard (looking like a true GQ gentlemen in all spaces and places) throughout time, but it was time we're already familiar with. The episode was Richard-centric insofar as his (never-aging) presence coherently linked our two Lostie camps.

I have to say, for being some kind of "adviser" who's had the job for "a very, very, very long time," Richard appears constantly perplexed. Does the island tell him anything? And who are all those Others anyway?  Where did they come from? Next week's episode appears to promise answers to some of these questions — after all, Darlton said this was going to be the last season of sci-fi business. If so, there's a lot of island mythology that will need to be sewn up before we delve head first into the Quadrangle. (The Quadrangle is the current preferred term for the Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Juliet mess.)  Though Faraday's death last week shocked and appalled, rumor has it that wasn't the "major" death this season. Will one of the Quad-dwellers die off?

Back to this week, "Follow the Leader" was all about power struggles. Sawyer's former lackeys turn against him and Juliet when the other Losties start causing trouble, while Radzinsky usurps the gentle Horace's power to take over the Dharma initiative. Eloise defers to Jack's judgment on matters of the Jughead while Dr. Chang defers to Faraday's evacuation suggestion via Miles. Finally, Locke takes his rightful place as leader of the Others, with a petulant Ben and dismayed Richard standing by, stunned by Locke's plans for populism and his latest crazy idea — the killing of Jacob.

"Follow the Leader" both tied up some loose ends (such as showing how Richard knew to attend to Locke after he was shot), and set up some major action for next week as these power shifts culminate in — what else? — shootouts, moments of truth, and probably some Jack tears.  And maybe the detonation of a hydrogen bomb. But let's not get crazy. This week's episode was like the card your mother forces you to read before you can open the present. Let's hope the present itself delivers.

Next Week: Jack's decision to put a plan into action 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. Special appearances by Rose, Bernard, Christian Shephard and Nadia(!) but (alas) no Vincent.

Musings and Miscellanea:

- Did anyone else cheer for a moment when they thought Kate was a goner tonight? Fact: Sayid is an international badass with flowing locks, but he has terrible timing. First he attempts to kill young Ben after he made him a sandwich (ungrateful), and then prevents someone from offing Kate.

- Ben/Locke moments last night were the best: "Afraid to leave me here with my old people? Afraid I'll stage a coup?" — Ben

- Someone finally puts Kate in her place: "It was NOT all misery!" Jack: "Enough of it was." Amen, brother.

- Hmmm .... so the Dharma Initiative is over the bomb? Will Jack cause "the purge?"  Where is young Ben?  Jack, typically, was too tunnel-visioned about the Jughead to notice all the Egyptian ruins in the tunnels or bother to ask about them.

- "I want my lawyer," Sawyer, bringing 21st-century litigation to Horace and the Dharmas!

- Who's Hugo Reyes? "He's the fat guy" (cut to Hugo hoarding food). And yes Hugo, you will be asked who the President is (and fail).

- Richard: "Love can be ... complicated." Understatement of the "Lost" year.

- Another great Ben moment: Ben's face after Locke said, "Actually I did die."

- If looks could kill, Juliet would have offed Kate herself by now.

- Kate: "When did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become OK?"

- "We'll buy Microsoft, and bet on the Cowboys in the '78 Superbowl, and we'll be rich!" I wish Sawyer and Juliet had made it off the island ... alone ... but from the promos next week it looks like (of course) they'll be back!

(Photo courtesy ABC)

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