Well, if that doesn’t hook you for the rest of the season, just go watch American Idol. It’s not often that the consistently overblown ABC promotions team and the fan press hit the mark, but “The Man from Tallahassee” is indeed a “game changer.” It says something that “why Locke was paralyzed” was most certainly not the big reveal in any “LOST” episode. The gotchas were reminiscent of “Walkabout.” The clues were reminiscent of “Orientation.” And, says Jen, “Just go ahead and give Michael Emerson all the Emmys right now.”
The “LOST” word of the day, boys and girls, is “defenestration.” So Locke finally steps up to stop Anthony Cooper from his life destroying ways, but gets Peter Talbot killed and gets himself tossed out an eighth story window. Amazingly, he survivedâ€¦ something that most would call a miracle is, for Locke, the ultimate indignity. His dread upon being carried to his wheelchair was palpable.
But the story on The Island took centerstage, and Locke’s conversations with Ben were like a grandmaster chess game, each line crawling with significance. Locke’s faith in the island is absolute, but that blinds him. Ben’s understanding of The Island is probably unsurpassed (he recognizes that Locke has some “communion” with it), yet it has apparently failed him. And as incredible it was that Locke blew up that submarine, it’s obvious we’re a long way from knowing what it really means.
But the big mystery, the overarching mystery, is The Island, and we’ve never had so big a piece of the puzzle as we got tonight. Even blurred by metaphor, The Island does deliver a heart’s desire. Sometimes. For some people. And here’s the thing somehow. But surely that’ll have to wait until Season Eight (with the zombies). But whatever gave us Jack’s dad and Kate’s horse seems to be what has now given us a bound and gagged Anthony Cooper.
Talk about a big finish.
Frankly, “LOST” delivered tonight. Old “LOST,” big tease “LOST” would’ve cut to the thud as soon as Ben asked, “Would you like to see?” I actually heard it in my head. But in an episode crammed with answers, they saved the best one for last.
Of course, “Magic Box” isn’t a particularly satisfying explanation, one that like the “Nanobot Theory” of Season 2 would be too easy and too ridiculous to tolerate. Still, wish fulfillment has been on our minds lately, both on and off the island. The list can go on and on, mixing conveniently with separate debates about coincidence and fate. Walt’s bird, Ben’s spinal surgeon, Juliet’s homicidal bus, maybe even Hurley’s lottery win and Claire’s comatose mother.
My head hurts.
Jack’s talk with Kate, no doubt, swelled the hearts of Jaters (ugh) everywhere, even though I’d guess Kate isn’t completely convinced of Jack’s intentions. It was nice to get absolute confirmation of Alex’s relationship with Ben (socially, if not biologically) in both dialogue and in the unsubtle omnipresence of Alex pictures throughout Ben’s cabin. Sayid has brilliantly planted a seed of doubt in Alex’s mind, and it turns out her mother, Danielle, is at least slightly curious about her.
All in all, “The Man from Tallahassee” easily slides into the top ten episodes of all of “LOST,” which is no small feat in Season 3. And we’ve still got ten episodes to go.
LOST Location Notes:
- Locke was defenestrated (I love that word) from the Waikiki Landmark Hotel at Kalakaua and McCully avenues.
- His disability benefits office and hospital room were both in the Pauahi Tower in downtown Honolulu (same building as Hurley’s accountant… but no, it was not Locke falling past that window).
- The flower shop was Rudy’s Flowers in McCully.
- Locke’s apartment building looks familiar, but I can’t identify it at the moment. I’m not aware of too many submarines, either, unless it was the U.S.S. Bowfin.
Notes and Notions:
- Memorable Lines? So many. “Sorry, unfortunately we don’t have a code for, ‘There’s a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter’s head.’ But we obviously should.” Or: “We have two giant hamsters running on massive wheels at our secret underground lair.” Or: “Don’t tell me what you can’t do.”
- I love that the last line of the episode was an astonished, “Dad?” Goes back to Michael in the hatch in Season 2.
- MacCutcheon whiskey returns. There are a lot of menacingly wealthy people in the “LOST” universe.
- How’s that? Sayid gets chained to a playground swing, Kate gets the pool hall. And, of course, another scene to demonstrate her bendyness. Jen notes that the “LOST” writers sure do like to tie her up a lot (almost as much as they like to get her wet).