As I mentioned before, I am cutting back on the recapping/analysis to concentrate on more Essay-like postings.
As ever, check out the Lost Blogging Collective for great recaps to keep you entertained!
This week's episode was a very fun one - even the creepy parts were 'fun', unlike the creepy parts in previous episodes. Amazingly, the great writer Elizabeth Sarnoff (S2's "The Hunting Party", "Two For The Road", S3's "The Man Behind The Curtain", S4's "Cabin Fever", S5's "La Fleur", "Dead Is Dead", S6's "The Substitute", among others) and the great director Jack Bender (pretty much every great episode from "Tabula Rasa" to "LA X", via "The Man From Tallahassee" and 35 more inbetween) had never teamed up before this episode! They are joined by new-comer Jim Galasso, co-writing his first Lost episode.
Kudos go to the writing and directing team, as well as the many actors, for giving us such a great episode! The guest stars were superb this week - the only thing missing was a Cassidy cameo.
Now, rather than recount what happened this episode (one major thing though - the alt timeline is really overlapping now, with Sayid and Jin, and now Sawyer and Kate, getting in each other's storylines) and analyse the little details (loved the fact that Widmore is setting up a sonic fence, however), instead I would like to take the opportunity to revisit a theory I have.
The flash-sideways are the manifestation of promises made by Jacob and Smokey.
My theory basically states that, if a survivor chooses team Jacob, they will be rewarded in the alt timeline with a happy ending. If they choose team Smokey, although technically they will get their heart's desire, it will be warped and twisted to ensure an unhappy ending.
Lets take a look at the individual characters and see where their allegiances lie:
Hurley - The most pro-Jacob member of the survivors, and also the happiest in his alt life - rich, sane, successful, cheerful.
He is no longer cursed, or at least he no longer feels cursed.
Locke - Pre-death, Locke was also very pro-Jacob/Island. Although he accepted Smokey as part of the Island, his heart was always in the right place. If given a choice, he'd probably have chosen Jacob over Smokey, but he was unfortunately robbed of that choice. He is still paralysed, but he has Helen, his father (who it turns out, may be a con man after all. A retired con man, perhaps?) and above all, his happiness.
He is no longer the man who says "Don't tell me what I can't do!"
Jack - Beginning to come around to Jacob's way of thinking, but was never on Smokey's side anyway. In the future he may still have been estranged from his father, but he can cope better with his shortcomings, he has a son to love and make up for the mistakes of Christian, and he may be able to fully unite and bond with his half-sister soon.
He is no longer pushing away those closest to him in order to 'fix' everthing.
Ben - May have wobbled off the path slightly, and may have often been unaware there was a path, but he has generally been on Jacob's side (besides killing him!). Will probably side with team Jacob in the end. In the alt timeline, although he technically has Alex (alive again!) she is not his daughter, and will probably never visit him after she goes on to bigger and better things. Stuck obeying a lesser man instead of leading, stuck looking after his ill father, but generally seems happy, or at least delusionally optimistic, about his lot in life. Generally a good outcome.
He is no longer killing people like it was going out of style.
Rose - Pretty much the same Rose we always knew and loved. Seems rather neutral in the overall scheme of thing. Just wants to enjoy her life with her husband, however short or long it may be, and whatever location they may currently be in.
She is just herself.
Boone - He died long before he got a choice, but from the start he seemed to embrace the Island's message of change. He seems a good candidate for team Jacob. In the alt timeline, he has managed to seperate from Shannon, and feels a kinship with Locke.
He is just a background character at this point.
Claire - Hard to tell whether her alt timeline is a positive or negative outcome. She has her baby, Ethan hasn't tried to kill her, but how will it all pan out. On Island, she was 100% team Smokey, but I think she may finally be wavering.
She is just a confused young woman.
Sun & Jin - Nowhere near enough information about these two in their alt timeline, but things do not look good. Seemingy oblivious to Jacob and Smokey on the Island, they are only concerned about each other. However, they have a murky past and their moral compass seems permanently set to gray - a rather cute, lovable shade of gray, but a gray that would kill you if necessary nonetheless.
He is still finding himself involved in violence and the gangster underworld.
She is still seemingly lying about her bilingual status.
Charlie - Claims he was 'supposed to die', yet is alive. His brother seems concerned enough about him to fly out to bail him out. There's hope for him yet. On the Island, he tried to be at one with the Island's will, but cynical sarcasm and drug addiction made it hard. In the end, he may have enabled Jacob's downfall by flipping the switch, so who knows what side that counts as being for.
He is still a junkie.
Kate - Poor Kate, seemingly wrapped up in things she has no hope of understanding. She generally wants to do well, but is oblivious to other people half of the time. She'll most likely just go with the flow and do whatever Claire, Sawyer, Jin and Sayid do, until she is forced to choose between Jack (Jacob) and Sawyer (Smokey), again. In the future, she technically hasn't killed Wayne, unsure on the status of Tom, and may have helped Claire out, but she does not seem happy in the slightest.
She is still on the run and still a killer.
Sawyer - Eternally playing every side against each other in hopes of ending up the ultimate winner, Sawyer's role on the Island has been undefined from the very start. However, at present, he will happily hand Smokey the head of everyone on the Island, except the purely innocent, if it means he can escape. While not technically pro-Smokey, he sure ain't trying to stop him either. In alt world, Sawyer may be a cop, may have an awesome sidekick partner, but he sure ain't happy, still chasing his past demons, still drinking alone and his parents are still dead.
He is still alone, angry, unhappy, but trying to change.
Sayid - Sayid is a torturer. Sayid is a killer. Sayid has tried to change, but every time he ends up back at square one with no emotional growth. He could have been a great leader, but has now resigned himself to plaiyng the villain. I don't think he has embraced this role, but he sure has accepted it, and now he has killed viciously in cold blood, there is no turning back. In the alt world, again technically Nadia is back in his life (alive!), but he can't have her, and although he has changed, the people around him, those he loves and wants to protect, force him back into his animal side.
He is still a killer.
Mirror Mirror, On The Wall
In all the 'flash-sideways', we have seen our centric characters glance at, or study themselves, in a mirror. Jack clearly pondered a strange blood mark in 'LA X', then studied a strange scar in 'Lighthouse'. Kate was caught in a mirror in 'What Kate Does'. Locke then clearly studies himself in a mirror in 'The Substitute'. Sayid's reflection is caught in Nadia's door, half in darkness, half in light. Ben was then caught in the microwave door of 'Dr Linus'. Finally, Sawyer takes time to clearly study himself in a mirror, before smashing it in 'Recon'.
By my theory, everyone who clearly looked at themselves in a mirror is in team Jacob, and those who were caught are in team Smokey. The wildcards are Ben, who may not have fully redeemed himself yet, and Sawyer, who may be sliding further into camp darkness.
So by my count, we have 3 people who have chosen Jacob's side, and have a happy alternative life. We then have 3 who are fairly neutral and probably don't matter in the grand scheme of things. We have 4 that are debatable - 2 are probably on Jacob's side, 2 on Smokey's. Finally, we have 4 who have definately not changed, are definately not happy in the alt life, although one of them may not matter in the grand scheme.
So that brings us to an even 5 vs 5 - Jack, Hurly, Locke, Ben and Claire on one side, Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Kate and Sayid on the other.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the end - maybe Kate will sacrifice her soul and happy ending in order to reunite Claire with Aaron in the 'next' life? At any rate, this is my theory for Season 6 and I hope you have all enjoyed reading it.