LOST Notes: The Last Recruit – War Means Cocked Guns And Wet, Sandy Jeans

My jeans are soaked, there's one in the chamber, and none of this is a euphemism. Let's do this.

James “Sawyer” Ford: We’re done going back, Kate.

This week:  As we head for The End, old themes rear their head…namely, the theme where Jack screws everything up.

– Try as we might to embrace Desmond or Faraday or Eko or Richard or Sawyer or even Ben, there’s no way around it; LOST is all about Jack. It’s all about what he believes (even if no one else believes it) and all about the conflict he has with his real daddy and his surrogate Island daddy (Locke), who both turned out to be the same person, sort of.

– Sayid of the Undead seems less interesting than regular Sayid, but that’s probably because he doesn’t open every conversation with a casual recap of any relevant plot developments we might have forgotten since the last time we saw him. “Jack, I was shot while helping you transport an atomic bomb through the Dharma Initiative, transported 30 years into the future, was drowned by the Others only to come back to life and murder the men responsible at the behest of this man who is not John Locke but looks very much like John Locke, so what is for lunch?”

– I get that we don’t see any of Widmore’s army besides Zoey because it’s too late to introduce a new character with any kind of depth and get us to care (hey guys, remember Dogen?) and so the indignant geophysicist is the lead “person who is not Chuck Dubs” on Chuck Dubs’ team. But when the bossman sends you across the water to deliver a message that you know is going to be rebuffed, you have to be wondering if the guy is just sending you out there to die. First, you can’t come at him with the “you took something from us” schtick when Jin is back at the Hydra trying to tag himself in Ji Yeon’s Facebook pics. Second, telling a man who turns into smoke via conscious choice that you are going to turn him into smoke via mortar fire is not very threatening. Third, you knew he wasn’t going to call you back on that radio because how the hell is that guy gonna know how to work a radio? He carves sticks and throws stones into the ocean for kicks. Your technology does not impress him. So nice job, Zoey, you just spent about an hour or so NOT doing geophysics and just gave an iPhone to one of the oldest men alive.

– I am disappointed that we missed the scene where Herbert drew the map to the sailboat, because I want to see him agonizing over the topography to get it so detailed. “Let’s see, is it diagonal lines by the boat or solid shading? War is so hard.”

– I don’t want to make assumptions about the dry land of Iraq, but I guess that all that time in the Republican Guard never involved anyone pulling the old “garden hose as a trip wire” trick, so clearly your years of military training could have never prepared you.

– All it took was one piano recital and the advice of a strangely disheveled Japanese man in a suit (hey guys, REMEMBER DOGEN?!) to make Jack and Jack, Jr. best buddies again. I’m sure they bonded over pizza and a six pack of warm soda. They hadn’t even gone to a baseball game in a long time and now they’re hitting will readings and back surgeries together (it’s Take Your Son To Work Day in the ER). Also, hey Jack, here’s another poignant family moment that you are blowing off because someone in LA needs their dural sack stitched up (here’s my impression of everyone in Los Angeles: “Ouch! My dural sack!”). Then again, maybe Jack didn’t feel compelled to stay because he already went through the shocking half-sister reveal a long time ago. It’s a rerun of the same emotional beat hidden within a new episode! Clever girl.

– Yes, Jack had many reasons for eventually jumping off the boat and being Super Man Of Faith Guy (meanwhile Season 3/4 John Locke is like “thanks a lot, dick”), but it still felt a little bit like Classic Jack, as mentioned above. As in, no, this all seems to be resolving itself too smoothly for me, and as someone who hates happiness I just can’t let it stand. I almost entirely believed his change of heart until he punctuated it by throwing one last cock-block at Sawyer and Kate by bringing up his old common-law wife.

– Don’t worry, Mr. Kwon, your baby and your wife are just fine. No, it seemed that being shot posed no real threat to either of them despite what you or perhaps anyone who happened to be watching your plight might have thought. In fact, were someone to have seen her get shot – bear with me here – and then not heard anything about it for a period of let’s say three weeks or so, then they find out that nothing really happened, they might posit that it was yet another cheap attempt to generate pathos for your wife, who is otherwise a self-absorbed, unredeemable misanthrope. I agree, that took an ugly turn, considering that I am a doctor and have never met you before, but I am really picking up a vibe here.

– Lapidus, Sawyer respects you enough to take you with the A-squad on the sailboat, but NOT enough to use your real name on second, third OR FOURTH reference. Maybe it’s a sign of endearment that you made the nickname list, or maybe it’s because he knew you were going to say something stupid like “looks like someone got their voice back,” later on. Seriously, they should have kicked you into the ocean for that one. Maybe Jack should have given you a look when he was handing out moleskines and been like, “here, I know you speak English and all but you only say two things every 45 minutes or so and you’re probably better off writing them down first so they don’t sound FUCKING RETARDED.” I agree, Jack is pretty harsh there.

– I can’t wait to hear how Sun explains the whole “I couldn’t speak English, but now I can!” episode to Jin while they catch up on the three years they’ve been apart – a period to which Jin will later refer as “the best three years of my [Korean word for goddamn because I doubt Jin has really moved into English Profanity 201 yet despite his recent progress] life.” You don’t get a chance to say this to the son of a poor Korean fisherman very often, but you could do better, man.

– Here’s why I know Herbert Blacksmoke, Esq., is a) on the wrong side of things and b) eventually going to lose: he (first via Claire, then again by himself) told Jack that he had no choice in the matter, that he was on Team Edward, er, Team Not-Jacob. Don’t tell Jack he doesn’t have control over his situation! You’ve been his dad and his philosophical enemy, you KNOW this, man! It was over from the moment you took away his choice (which, by the way, nice going on that one, Free Will McGillicutty).

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