Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lost episode recap - “The Shape of Things To Come” (S4E9) airdate 04/24/08

FINALLY!! And, gods be praised, there is very little Jack and Kate in this episode, opening scene notwithstanding. No Desmond at all, however. Oh well.

On Island/Beach. Kate takes a sponge bath on the beach, flirtily watching Jack. Jack peruses the Losties' stash of medicines and takes some pills as he rubs his abdomen. Kate wants to know what he’s just taken: antibiotics for a “stomach bug.” I would think that you shouldn’t waste a limited supply of antibiotics on that sort of thing, frankly – would antibiotics even work on stomach flu? That’s a virus-type thing so, no, that’s just wasting the drugs. Oh, right, I'm supposed to be watching Lost. Kate next worries about why Sayid and Desmond aren’t back yet from the boat. Jack’s not concerned. Just then, Vincent starts barking like crazy down on the beach and Bernard shouts for help. A body has washed up on shore: it’s Ecklie and his throat has been cut. Daniel and Charlotte ‘fess up to knowing him. Now Jack’s concerned.

Barracks. Sawyer, Locke and Hurley are playing Risk (we used to play that a lot in high school - the guys all took it way too seriously). Meanwhile, her captors have dragged Alex, who is at actual risk, to the sonic killing fence. At gunpoint, they make her turn it off … and as she does, the phone rings at Locke’s cottage. When a bemused Locke answers, a mechanized voice repeats: “Code 14-J.” Locke asks Ben what that means and Ben immediately freaks out: “They’re here.” He starts grabbing loaded guns from various hiding places around the cottage, handing them to the guys.

Flash-something (I’m not even going to guess, but it’s in the Sahara Desert and Ben is wearing a Dharma initiative parka, so maybe flashback). He vomits and then turbaned men ride up on horses with guns. The men have the guns, not the horses. No one speaks anyone’s language and they frisk Ben. Suddenly, he goes all ninja on their asses and kills them both – very impressive, Mr. Linus! I have newfound respect. He takes a horse and rides away.

On Island/Barracks. Ben wants them all to hunker down in his cottage but Sawyer insists on fetching Claire first. Ben and Locke start pushing furniture around to block the doorways and when Hurley, holding baby Aaron (who somehow seems younger than when we last saw him) protests – “How’s Sawyer going to get back in?” – Ben snaps, “He’s not.” Meanwhile, Sawyer is searching for Claire. He speaks briefly to some red shirt Losties who immediately get shot by the invaders who have crept up on the Barracks. There is some serious gunplay and Sawyer takes cover behind a picnic table and then a gas grill. There is no way that he is not getting shot – come on. Sawyer shouts for Claire and runs for her cottage … just as the invaders shoot it with some sort of missile. The cottage explodes into a fireball. That can’t be good.

On the beach, Captain Obvious (Jack) notes that Ecklie’s throat has been cut. Because we couldn't figure that out from the teaser shot where they showed us that his throat had been cut. The Losties convince Daniel to try to jury-rig the busted sat phone.

Flash-?/Tunisia: Ben is looking a little ragged as he checks into a hotel. He registers as a “preferred guest, Dean Moriarty.” He has a passport to prove it. The desk clerk gets a little wigged out at his identity but checks him in. He asks her to confirm the date: October 21, 2005. He’s most unsure about the 2005 bit (which she thinks is very strange) but seems happy about it. As Ben goes upstairs, a clip of Sayid is on the television, hounded by reporters, saying [in English, conveniently] “I just want to bury my wife in peace.” So, if it’s 2005, this is a flashforward from Island-time. This show is so confusing.

On Island/Barracks. Gunfire is raging all around Ben's cottage. Aaron is screaming; Locke is shouting, wanting to know what is going on. “Shock and awe,” snarls Ben. He tells Locke that the only person who can help them now is Jacob and they all have to go together. Locke protests that he doesn’t remember how to get to the cabin but Ben says that Hurley does. Outside, Sawyer digs through the rubble of the cottage and finds Claire, alive but dazed. He carries her to Ben’s cottage; Ben refuses to let them in the door so Hurley breaks a window and lets them in that way. Hilariously, the doorbell then rings. Sawyer opens the door and yanks Miles inside. He’s got a walkie and says the invaders want to talk. Ben bugs his eyes out more than normal.

Flashforward/Iraq. People are wailing and holding photographs of Nadia – aww, Sayid married her after all! An incognito (hat and sunglasses) Ben arrives and finds a perch on a rooftop where he starts taking pictures of (1) a bald man and (2) Sayid carrying a coffin. But Sayid sees him and, shortly thereafter, accosts him: “How did you get off the Island?” (So this is post-Island but before the episode where we learn Sayid is working for Ben.) Ben reminds Sayid that Desmond had a boat: he sailed out on a heading to Fiji and then chartered a plane. But why is Ben here in Takrit and what does it have to do with Nadia? Ben says that the bald man he just photographed at Nadia’s processional, Ishmael Bakir, was recently seen speeding away from the intersection of Santa Monica and La Brea in Los Angeles. This has some meaning to Sayid. Oh: that’s three blocks from where Nadia was killed. Sayid wants to know why “these people,” apparently Charles Widmore’s people, would want to murder his wife. If he knows, Ben isn’t telling, but he gets a knowing look on his face as Sayid processes this new information.

On Island. Miles mentions that the invaders have taken Alex hostage and Ben immediately takes the walkie from him. Kimi is on the other end. When Ben looks out the window, Kimi waves to him. He tells Ben to come out with his hands up and no one else will be hurt. Ben thinks this is bullshit and, to prove it, recites a whole bunch of Kimi’s backstory: mercenary, in Uganda. To up the ante Kimi brings Alex out and forces her to her knees, sticking a pistol into the back of her head. Ben is not swayed: he tells Kimi and his wild bunch are to leave the Island and never come back. Even when Alex gets on the walkie and begs, Ben stands strong, refusing to surrender. He tells Kimi that Alex isn’t really his daughter (“I stole her from an insane woman”) and means nothing to him. Then Kimi totally calls his bluff AND SHOOTS ALEX IN THE HEAD. "Whoa!" shouts Friend Mouse. Wow. Ben did not see that coming.

After the commercial, Ben is still standing at the window, staring out at Alex’s body. Kimi and his crew have faded back into the jungle. Sawyer wants to hand Ben over to the invaders; Locke thinks that Kimi won’t let any of them live regardless. Suddenly, Ben stands up, muttering, “This changes the rules.” He scurries into his secret room of fancy suits before they can stop him and dives into a secret passageway.

Flashforward/Iraq. Ben sips tea out of a pretty glass teacup and sneakily watches Bakir in a mirror. When Bakir leaves, Ben follows him through the bazaar but soon loses him in the crowd, allowing Bakir to get around behind him. Thus cornered, Ben says he wants Bakir to take a message to Widmore but before he can give him the message, Sayid has shot and killed Bakir, emptying the gun's clip into the body. Ben tells Sayid to go home, it’s over - “Once you let your grief become anger it will never go away. I speak from experience.” Sayid is devastated from having lost Nadia, however, and quickly decides that Ben’s war is his war. “Benjamin, who is next?” “I’ll be in touch,” says Ben.

On Island/Barracks. Claire comes to just as Ben, filthy-dirty from wherever he’s been in the tunnel, comes back. He tells them to listen up: Run from this house and head for the tree line. Then, the earth starts shaking: it’s the Black Smoke Monster, super-large, super-fast, and tearing the shit out of Kimi’s crew. Awesome. Ben summoned it somehow. Miles is losing his mind, having never seen this shit before. Ben sends the Losties on ahead and goes to say goodbye to Alex who is still lying where Kimi left her. It’s very sad. I don’t think Ben really thought Kimi would call his bluff.

Beach. Daniel has rigged the sat phone as some sort of a telegraph machine to contact the ship. He asks the ship what happened to Ecklie. The ship responds and Daniel says that they’re sending the ‘copter back in the morning. However, Bernard knows Morse code (ooh! secret skill – how fun!) and says that Daniel is lying. What the ship actually said was: “What are you talking about? The doctor is fine.” Oops. Everyone stares at Daniel like he just kicked a puppy. Jack wants to know why Daniel lied and gets all up in his face. “Are you ever going to take us off this Island?” Daniel squirms a little but admits: no. Charlotte is like, “Oh shit.” God, I wish Kate would cut her hair. She still looks ridiculous.

Barracks. The survivors (Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, Aaron, Miles and Ben) gather in the jungle. Ben and Locke are ready to head off to Jacob’s cabin. But who the hell is Jacob? Sawyer wants to know. He thinks Ben and Locke are nuts. Claire and Miles agree and they head back to the beach; Sawyer wants Hurley to go with them. Locke draws his gun (Hurley is with me!); Sawyer draws his (no, he’s with me!); Hurley is completely uncomfortable with all the attention and says he’ll go with Locke to keep the peace. Wow – Sawyer being loyal to a friend? Weird.

Flashforward/London. A dapper Ben gets out of a cab and goes into a swanky apartment building. I think he’s there to kill someone. He locks the elevator off at the penthouse. It’s Widmore’s flat – I can tell by the painting of the Black Rock ship. Ben wakes Widmore up; Widmore pours himself a drink of scotch. “Have you come to kill me?” “We both know I can’t do that.” Ben says he’s here because Widmore killed his daughter. “Don’t stand there with those horrible eyes of yours [nice!] and blame me for the death of that poor girl.” Widmore is not intimidated, saying that he knows who and what Ben is and that everything Ben has Ben took from him. Okay, says Ben, but he’s going to kill Penelope, tit for tat. As Ben leaves, Widmore says that the Island is his, was his and will be again. Game on, says Ben.

Pretty good episode. They faked us out into thinking that this was when Claire died and then killing innocent Alex instead, which seems to be the turning point for Ben's vengeful retribution. We find out why Sayid would ever join with Ben - knew it had to be something huge, like the murder of the love of his life - and yet Ben is manipulating their relationship right from the start. Sawyer is getting some character development, becoming actual friends with Hurley (who must be lonely without Charlie); I wonder how this may factor into his not being one of the Oceanic Six. And Jack is finally waking up to the fact that the Boaties are not frakkin' there to rescue the Losties - and this may push him in a more desperate direction. Plus Vincent!

Previously on Lost.

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