LOST Notes, Season 5, Episode 15: Follow The Leader

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes: All right, dude. We’re from the future. Sorry.

LOST, Season 5, Episode 15

Follow The Leader

I. The Part Where Richard Looks To Be In His Early 40s And Helps Some Of The Castaways Pursue Their Definition Of Destiny.

A. For all the Kate mockery over the past several seasons, I totally get it now. If the reason she was kept around this long was just to deliver that look after Jack admitted they were with Faraday, then everything that Jack wants to erase was worth it. But then she was retarded for the rest of the show, so the pardon is redacted.

B. We’re all supposed to side with Jack in this “can/can’t erase the past” debate, right? I get that he and Kate are supposed to have opposing ethical views of the idea, but considering Kate’s sudden adoption of a moral compass (“We can’t set off bombs and kill kids! Unless they hit my mom and in that case FUCK THEM ALL THEY CAN BURN”) and the fact that the person who doesn’t want to do it all over is the one facing federal imprisonment, I think they’re trying to tell us not to jump on Team Austen. Not only do I not blame Jack for wanting to erase a really bad relationship and the memory of that beard (or maybe he just really wants to finish his mid-flight conversation with Rose), I admire him for having the balls to say it to her face. “I would rather not have known you.” I’ve been waiting five seasons for that. That or her getting shot in the face, but you take what you can get.

C. Nice going by planting your flag in the dirt right over an h-bomb, Dharma Science. Maybe you should have taken some of the budget for “electrophysicists who need to be driven everywhere” and allotted it for “finding out if the place we’re going to live is potentially radioactive.”

D. Then again, maybe special congratulations are due to the Others, who KNEW there was a bomb under the village (because apparently you don’t have enough time to BURY IT UNDERGROUND during your busy lives of living in the jungle and making ships in bottles so you figured throwing it on a cart and dropping it off in an abandoned, uncontained tunnel would suffice). I guess you still thought that hardwood floors and picnic tables were worth the gradual poisoning. Since you couldn’t find Erin Brockovich, Patty Hewes or Michael Clayton to crack the case, you brought Juliet along and acted like you had no idea why no one’s plumbing worked come baby-time. The woman was traumatized! Her face is always like that because of YOU, Others! Well, you and her parents.

E. I’m looking forward to the eventual Jack/Locke confrontation at the end of the season, given Jack’s skewed perception of destiny since his bridge conversion. “Our destiny is to change our destiny!” Someone get that guy remedial Locke lessons pronto. He’s going to meet up with John and be all, “I’m a man of faith now!” and Locke, who’s idea of destiny involves guiding his past self to the inevitable, will smile for about .75 seconds more than what’s considered normal and then say, “Bitch please, you know faith like I know the love of a father.”

F. I like that getting her hair wet is a deal-breaker for Kate, and the threat of swimming is what made her change her mind. How many times will it take for her to realize the grass isn’t greener in the places where she isn’t? Maybe she never will. You know what makes those other places so appealing? Their distinct lack of Kate! It’s a catch-22!

G. I’d like to think that Sayid has been shadowing everyone for the week or so since he’s been in the jungle, just waiting for the chance to jump out and shoot someone to re-introduce himself. He obviously wasn’t too keen on observing the situation, since he could have just rolled up on Hawking, Jack and co. and been like “‘sup” instead of killing the redshirt. And Richard and Ellie were generally cool with continuing after their guy get shot down and Kate walks off into the jungle despite previous philosophical objections. It’s like they bring the extra guys along as bullet magnets in anticipation of Sayid popping up and opening fire.

II. The Part Where Sawyer Is Totally Fed Up With Your Shit, Island.

A. I like any crisis plan that involves turning all power over to the guy whose previous responsibilities were building dioramas and watching television. Since Stewie Radz graduated to Black Jumpsuit Squad, things really started looking up for him. He’s free to scream at the top of his lungs and all the people who used to hush him just stand around dumbstruck, plus he got shot (granted, by Daniel, but still) an hour or two earlier and that doesn’t seem to be holding him back. But since Dr. Chang is the only person who can order evacuation and The Zinsky and his threats to study abroad at Michigan are enough to declare martial law, what the hell does Horace do besides keep his pockets warm? His wife still pines for her ex, his son ain’t his, everyone from LaFleur to Young Ben subverts his “authority” and these days he’s playing the part of “Extra #2” in most scenes.

B. We learned pretty quickly why Phil is single on an Island full of men who are either married, Others or Radzinsky. I think we also learned why he’s stuck as a grunt in the security team while the guy who arrived three years ago on a “ship” no one found is running the show.

C. It’s nice to take a break from the “man, this show is crazy, am I right Hurley?” inside jokes to return to the “that fat guy sure is fat!” broad comedy. It’s a good thing Dr. Chang got there when he did, otherwise maybe Hurley would have fallen down a few times or spilled food all over himself.

D. Kate getting on the sub might be proof of destiny. They’re escaping the Island in 1977, and Three’s Company debuted later that year, so this could be how Sawyer and Juliet become famous.

III. The Part Where Richard Looks To Be In His Early 40s And Helps…Some…Of…Ok, It’s The Part With Locke.

A. Having been alive for a few decades longer than everyone around me, I know that nothing would chill me out faster than raising a miniature sailboat in a bottle. After all, I think my passion for sailing is evident in the fact that I’ve lived in one place for what seems like my entire life. On top of that, I find it extremely convenient to transport bulky, fragile objects during our weekly campground rotation. Finally, all of my years as the walking undead have offered no more rewarding hobby than ships in bottles, and so I’ve taken to it with the enthusiasm of a man who perhaps wasn’t trapped in a neverending life as the MOST BORING PERSON ALIVE(?). My only regret is that I can’t enjoy this hobby whilst holding a coffee cup, thus combining my two favorite things to do in camp into one.

B. When people say Richard is “old,” or that he’s “had that job for a very, very long time,” they are very obviously saying in such a way that they WANT you to ask the follow-up question. I used to be mad that no one would be upfront with stats, but now I’m kinda mad that no one is asking the direct question; this anger may be slightly related to Sun being involved. Slightly. Anyway, has no one seen a bad corporate roast? “How OLD is he?!” It’s that easy! Granted, you’d have to listen to Ben throw down a few “Richard Alpert so old that…” jokes, but eventually he’d buckle down and be like, “Seriously, he’s 389.”

C. Sun deserves the “I watched your husband die” treatment since she can’t keep her Jin in her pants for one minute once they hit camp. Also, don’t tease me with the deaths of Kate and Jack in one fell swoop, LOST.

D. We’re all supposed to believe in Locke’s New Brain when he hits town and starts cleaning house on years of Other/Hostile leadership strategy, but does his “the Island speaks to me” schtick hold any more water than Ben’s “this is what Jacob said” strategy? Tear down the walls, fuck what you heard about this mysterious stranger! Listen to me, I’m being spoken to by an inanimate piece of land! And I’m going to kill this imaginary man! Is he a crazy person or is he a parent trying to humor his child’s make-believe friends.

E. Knowing more about Richard really kills the mystique. He used to be this weird all-knowing consultant/advisor who holds down the fort between chosen ones, but now he seems like middle management with a lot of really effective beauty secrets. He keeps getting passed over for the promotion to the top job, but he’s been around for so long that they can’t afford to just cut him loose and pay the buyout, so he’s just tooling away trying to sound super-smart but getting totally shot down once the New Hotness comes around. So any time some snake oil salesman drops out of the sky and totally flumoxes the GUY WHO HAS LIVED FOREVER, it really takes the sheen off of his value to the group. Even Locke is getting surprised/annoyed that Richard doesn’t know things. What is he really? The guy who knows when to take your lunch break to avoid seeing the boss? The guy who knows how to code your convenience store receipts on expense reports? I’m sure he knows where to find a good burger within a few miles of camp, but when it comes to making the tough choices, he’s not even the guy behind the guy; he’s the guy with wide eyes being all “you want to do WHAT?!”

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