Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost recap – “The Beginning of the End” airdate 01/31/08 (S4E1)

At long last, what we’ve all been waiting for … a car chase in Los Angeles, being watched on television by a neat and tidy Jack while he drinks a screwdriver for breakfast. This is not yet the heavily bearded, drunken, druggie Jack of last episode’s flash-forwards, so this “present” is located on the Lost timeline after they got off the Island but before Jack seriously downward-spirals. The car finally crashes and the cops surround it, guns drawn. Slowly, Hurley gets out (having lost no weight whatsoever in the interim). He tries to make a break for it but the cops get him. As they cuff him, he pleads, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m one of the Oceanic Six!” Who?

A cop who, as it turns out in the coincidences that this show loves so much, used to be Ana Lucia’s partner, is interrogating Hurley after his arrest. The cop is not impressed by Hurley’s Oceanic Six celebrity and asks why he ran; apparently Hurley was in a quickie-mart, saw something that was not captured by the CCTV, and took off after knocking over a rack of snack foods. That was enough to make the cops chase him? The cop steps out and suddenly Hurley has a vision of glass breaking and water flooding the interrogation room. He starts screaming for help and the cop bursts back in, threatening to toss Hurley in the nut house. “Thank you! Oh, thank you!” cries a relieved Hurley.

Flash-back to the Island: On the beach with the Lostie commando unit that killed Tom and all the bad Others during the last episode (i.e. Sayid, Jin, Sawyer, Juliet and Bernard) Hurley gets the heads-up from Jack (still up in the mountains by the radio antenna) via walkie-talkie that contact has been made with the ship and rescue is coming. There is much rejoicing on the beach until Desmond shows up and tells them that Charlie has died, and that the ship is not in fact here to rescue them. Now everyone’s pretty upset about both things. They grab their guns and head into the jungle to warn off Jack’s Mountain Losties.

Meanwhile, after he hangs up with Hurley, Jack tells Kate to get everyone moving back to the beach. Ben, bloody and tied to a tree, begs Rousseau to take Alex and get far away from Jack’s group, saying that everyone is going to die unless they hide from the ship’s party. The Mountain Losties get another call from the purported rescuers on the sat-phone asking to speak with Naomi. Not wanting to tell the rescuers that their girl got killed by Locke, Jack stalls until he realizes that Naomi has disappeared. She’s not quite dead yet.

Rousseau finds a blood trail and Jack decides he, Rousseau and the captive Ben will follow the trail and collect Naomi. Kate runs up, saying she too found a trail and she thinks they should follow both since Naomi seems to have created a false one, not wanting to be found. Jack pshaws her so Kate hugs him and agrees to take the Mountain Losties back to the beach. Ben is watching this exchange very closely. Me, I’m too quickly remembering how much Jack annoyed me with his self-righteous priggishness.

Flash-forward to the mainland: Hurley is back in the mental hospital he was in before he crashed on the Island. He gets a visit from an Oceanic Airlines attorney who offers to have him transferred to a much nicer facility, at the airline’s expense, “with a view of the ocean.” Hurley does NOT want to see the ocean and, suspicious, asks to see the guy’s business card. When the guy forgot them at home, Hurley gets up from the table. The guy asks, sinisterly, “Are they still alive?” Hurley freaks and the guy slips out the door and disappears.

Flash-back to the Island: It’s now nighttime and the Beach Commando group is trekking through the jungle. Sawyer reaches out to see if Hurley wants to talk about losing Charlie but Hurley isn’t ready for that yet. Sawyer is being awfully nice for Sawyer! Hurley stops to catch his breath for a moment, and then strangely loses sight of the other Beach Commandos. Frightened, he starts running through the jungle, getting more and more lost, until he comes into a clearing and finds himself in front of Jacob’s cabin! Yikes! And there’s a light on and all that freaky whispering. That can’t be good.

The blood trail that Rousseau, Jack and Ben were following ends: Kate was right and Naomi fooled them. Ben smugly points out that Kate took the sat-phone from Jack when she hugged him and has taken matters into her own hands to find Naomi. As usual, Jack looks constipated when he’s wrong. Meanwhile, Kate has found Naomi who drops out of a tree on top of her; Naomi ends up holding Locke’s knife against Kate’s throat. When the sat-phone rings again, Naomi resets the coordinates so her people can lock in to their position. Grunting to tell her sister that she loves her, Naomi dies while Kate looks on, helpless.

Hurley peeks in the window of Jacob’s cabin and sees someone rocking in the rocking chair. When someone (else?) then looks at him back through the window, Hurley runs away, screaming. There’s some spatial strangeness for a bit whereby no matter where Hurley runs, the cabin pops up in front of him. Hurley closes his eyes, willing the cabin to disappear, and then Locke pops up. He’s real, no hallucination this time. Hurley decides to join forces with Locke to convince the Mountain Losties that rescue is not actually here for them. They catch up with the Commando group at the Oceanic 815 fuselage, coming full circle, I suppose. Sayid and Sawyer are not that thrilled to see Locke (“Why’d you blow up that submarine?” Sayid wants to know) but the tension is diffused when the Mountain Losties arrive. Reunions are joyful except that Claire is worried when she can’t find Charlie. Hurley tells her what happened and everyone looks sad.

Flash-forward to the mainland: Hurley is out on the lawn at the mental hospital when another patient tells him that some guy is staring at him. Hurley looks up and it’s Charlie (at this point I’m FURIOUS because bringing Charlie back totally cheapens his death last season). Hurley freaks out, insisting “I may be in a mental institution but I know you’re dead and I’m not having an imaginary conversation with you!” Charlie is agreeable: he is dead, but he’s also here. And now, says Charlie (who is looking quite handsome for a dead hobbit), it’s time for Hurley to do something. Hurley starts to panic again, closing his eyes and counting to five, telling Charlie that he’ll be gone when Hurley opens his eyes again. Charlie warns him, “Don’t do this – they need you. You know they need you!” But it’s too late and Hurley wills Charlie away.

Flash-back to the Island: Finally the gang’s almost all here as Rousseau and Ben join the Losties. Jack sneaks up behind Locke and slugs him, knocking him to the ground and then taking his pistol. “You’re not going to shoot me, Jack,” Locke starts to say … then CLICK! Jack tries to shoot him in the head but nothing happens. Locke is incredulous: “It’s not loaded!” Jack looks really annoyed and a little shaken.

After the commercial, Sawyer and Sayid pull an enraged Jack off Locke. There’s lots of shouting and a big old Jack vs. Locke standoff. Locke insists that he never did anything to hurt any of the Losties. Kate arrives to report that Naomi has died and to hand the sat-phone back to Jack. Locke says that he is not sticking around for the faux-rescuers; he’s going to the Others’ abandoned barracks where there’s still a little bit of security and everyone is welcome to join him. Jack tries to shout him down but Hurley cuts the doctor off, asking “What about Charlie? [who died warning us about the boat]… I’m not listening to you [Jack], I’m listening to my friend.”

At least half the Losties end up with Locke, including Claire and Sawyer; Kate asks Sawyer what he’s doing and he answers her, using no nicknames this time, that he’s surviving, like he always does. Ben makes me giggle when he snarkily says, “With your permission, Jack, I’d like to go with John.” Alex, Karl and Rousseau also go with Locke; Rose, Bernard and Kate stay with Jack. I can’t tell where Sun and Jin are but I’m guessing they’re going with Jack to try to get off the Island so Sun can safely have her baby. It starts to rain (always a sign on this show that something is about to go down) and Locke’s party heads off.

Flash-forward to the mainland: Jack drops by the mental hospital to visit Hurley. It doesn’t take long for Hurley to realize that Jack is worried that he “went nuts and was going to tell.” Jack is uncomfortable when confronted and starts to leave. Hurley says he’s sorry he went with Locke and he should have stayed with Jack. Jack waves it off, saying “Water under the bridge,” but Hurley’s not done. “I don’t think we did the right thing, Jack. I think it wants us to come back. It’s doing everything it can …” Jack shouts, “We’re never going back!” “Never say never, dude,” says Hurley.

Flash back to the Island: Jack and Kate reminisce at the fuselage until a helicopter’s rotors are heard. They run into the jungle to find the parachutist. It’s a guy. “Are you Jack?” he asks. Kate and Jack just stare at him like they’ve been pole axed.

Questions: Who are the Oceanic Six? What did they do that wasn’t the right thing that the Island wants them back? Why does Hurley think he’s safe in the mental institution? Who was that fake Oceanic Airlines attorney and what does the airline have to do with all this? What changes Jack’s mind about needing to go back? When will we get to see Sawyer with his shirt off again?

Next time on Lost.

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