Lost: The Last Recruit

Content note: This post contains spoilers for season six, episode 13, of Lost, ‘The Last Recruit.’ If you want to skip it, head on over to ‘Another Reason to Avoid Exclusionary Language,’ or you can check out my post at FWD today, ‘Occupational Hazards: Dangerous Conditions in the US Mining Industry.’

So, this is the last episode before the hiatus, and then we are hurtling through the last five episodes. The final three will all be airing in a single week! Which is quite exciting. Although I have jury duty the day after ‘The Candidate’ airs so I may not have a chance to write/discuss it until 6 May, just warning you ahead of time. (Since people seem to get worried when I don’t post television discussions right away. Incidentally I haven’t even watched Glee yet so that post will probably not be going up until tomorrow, assuming there’s anything going on in this week’s episode which I end up wanting to write about.)

I have to say that I wasn’t terribly excited by this episode. It felt like a lot more moving chess pieces into position, and it’s kind of been going on for too¬† many weeks now at this point, the chess pieces. At least we got to see some sweeping moves, and some shifting around of characters, like the Jack/Claire swap, which I admit I was not expecting. Usually it’s the women on Lost who are all waffly about what to do, so that was a nice change.

I’ve decided that I’m tired of leading my Lost posts with rants about what I didn’t like, so I’m switching things up this week and talking about what I did like first:

1. Science Lady! AKA Zoe. But I call her Science Lady in my head. I was initially not thrilled with the show introducing another woman in what seemed like a bit role, but in this episode, Zoe rocked the casbah. She was a total hardass. I loved the scene where she blazed right into the camp, totally unafraid, and then proceeded to lay down the law, with mortars for punctuation. And then again on the beach. She’s a character who doesn’t fuck around or pull any punches, she just gets stuff done. And she is, indisputably, a strong leader. She’s starting to feel like a callback to the days when women on this show actually did stuff and weren’t ashamed of it.

2. Claire. I wasn’t too stoked with everyone running around planning things behind her back because she’s all ‘crazy’ and stuff. And that scene where she showed up at the boat, I braced myself for something really ugly. But Kate totally turned the tables when she insisted on bringing Claire! It was a really nice reversal from last week’s episode, where we were reminded that it was a good thing Libby wasn’t crazy because then Hurley could love her. Kate basically straight up made it clear that Claire’s mental health didn’t matter to her: What mattered was keeping her promise.

I’ve really not liked how Claire has been handled, for reasons discussed in prior posts, and this was the first episode where I felt like they tried to humanise her a little. Make her seem like, you know, a person. With feelings. Because she is excluded and when she points out that the Man in Black was the only person who didn’t abandon her, it is, you know. A fair point. Made even fairer when she sees everybody sneaking off without her. I’m not going as far as to say that I am 100% into her characterisation now, but I am liking the direction this episode took.

Things I did not like:

1. The reunion scene. I know, I know, I have been rooting to see Sun and Jin back together on the Island at last, but when it finally happened, I gagged. It was oh so very saccharine, paired with the miraculous ‘cure.’ In order to get her voice back, all Sun needed was…love? I really feel like Lost is really gonna do this, is gonna go the love conquers all route, and it’s quite annoying. Because, homechickens, I am so not into that I can’t even fully articulate it. I’m trying to pretend there’s a supernatural reason, like she can speak English again because she’s on a different island from the Man in Black. Yeah, that’s it. Totally.

Things I thought about during this episode:

1. Desmond’s manipulation and shuffling of the characters. I get that it’s for a good cause, or at least he thinks it is, but he’s pushing the ‘coincidences’ hard and it makes me have all sorts of thoughts about free will and determinism. Something that gets played a lot with in this show is the idea of happenstance; whatever happened, happened, right? Except that really, we find out that all of these seeming coincidences are the work of someone else. Jacob. Man in Black. Eloise. Desmond. Everything has, in fact, been carefully orchestrated by players who are larger than the story itself and have the ability to step outside it. Those people, of course, do not consult the people they use like pawns and they sometimes actively harm them.

2. Jack and Locke. The two men are intimately connected whether they’re working in opposition to each other or with each other. In this episode, we saw Jack ultimately choosing to side with Fake Locke on the Island, and getting ready to perform surgery on Real Locke in the sideways timeline. Are we going to be treated to another Miracle Disability Cure where Locke walks again and there’s a swell of music to counterpoint with the scene in which Fake Locke saves Jack from the mortars? Is that scene going to make me smush cupcakes when it happens? We’ll find out!