Next: “Follow the Leader” (Episode 5×15)

Each season, the penultimate episode is usually given the sad assignment of being the doormat for the season finale. And, like those that have come before, “Follow The Leader” had its share of trekking and shuffling and exposition, as the various chess pieces are moved into place for the final showdown. But as these “setup episodes” go, we really liked this one. Great character moments, solid conflicts, noticeably vibrant cinematography (about which we only periodically rave), and brisk pacing. We’re satisfied, and properly pumped up for next week.

True, we had not one, but two “recycled” moments last night. The first? They replayed the “Ellie Shoots Faraday” scene from Jack and Kate’s perspective. And to be honest, I briefly feared that the writers would pull a “magical moving bullet hole” trick, a la Ben. Instead, they went out of their way to show us that Faraday is truly dead… right down to the “hand over the eyes to close them” cliche that’s everywhere in movies and TV. But the second re-run moment was unexpected: Locke brings Ben and Richard to meet Flashing Locke at the drug plane. It was awesome to watch, but prompted the night’s biggest headache as we tried to plot out where and when Richard and Locke were, and when they knew what. Frankly, I wonder if they just wrote in the scene to solve the “infinite compass” question. Either way, though, it was fun to watch.

I loved Michael Emerson’s Ben this week, exasperated and snarky. His scenes with Locke were fun, yet significant, throwing the two “leaders” into sharp relief. I also liked the brief moments of chemistry between Ben and Alpert, both familiar and awkward. The scene where Hurley is outed as a time traveler was, of course, hilarious… especially since he’s stumped when asked who the president is in 1977. He asked that very question to Sawyer in “Namaste,” but Sawyer groused, “It’s not a damned game show.” But that same scene carried unexpected warmth, as well, when Miles admits to Dr. Chang that he’s his son… and Dr. Chang accepts it.

As far as chemistry goes, I was loving the interplay between Sawyer and Juliet. From the violent interrogation to their conversation on the dock (where Juliet says she’s still glad Sawyer talked her into staying, and he hatches a plan to get rich via Microsoft), it’s great how the show’s most out-of-the-blue coupling remains one of its most strong and mature.

Until, of course, Kate drops in, and is handcuffed next to Juliet, the two of them conveniently across from Sawyer. That moment was so cheap and forced, I actually thought I heard a cartoony needle-scratching-off-a-record sound effect in the back ground. And here I thought we’d at least make it out of Season 5 without returning to Season 1 romantic melodrama.

And I was just starting to warm up to Kate again, too. She’s assertive, skeptical, perceptive… a lot of the things she’s often not allowed to be for the sake of a twist. She’s the first (followed by Sayid) to point out that the last three years of their lives is not something to be discarded lightly. I liked her look of exasperation when Jack admits to being with Faraday, and her answer to Ellie when she asks whether Jack knows what he’s talking about: “He thinks he does.” She stands up to, and parts ways with, Jack, soon after delivering one of her best lines in recent memory: “Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?” Evangeline Lilly’s acting was solid, not screechy, her glassy eyes tonight taking me back to Kate’s strong Season 1 moments. Alas, she then marches off… right back into a soap opera.

I’m certain that the fake-out, when Kate briefly thinks she’d been shot, is simultaneously a low- and high-point for those who aren’t a fan of her character.

And Locke. Something’s up with Locke. If Locke’s even Locke. Richard immediately notices something’s different about him, and I don’t think it’s because he has a “purpose” now. He’s confident and resolute, but he’s something else… and when he dismisses out of hand Sun’s hopes of reunification with Jin, I got a cold chill. And he wants to kill the allmighty Jacob, if he’s allmighty at all. Is doing so in service of a grand plan that Locke is executing? Perhaps. Or is it simply the folly of a man who thinks he’s ascended to a level higher than he has? There’s a dark side to the new-and-improved Locke. And while I said earlier that I didn’t think I could take one more rise-and-fall cycle for his long-tortured character, I feel as if another reckoning is coming for him.

Jen observed: Kate is turning into Jack, skeptical and assertive. Jack is turning into Locke, a blind believer. And Locke is turning into Ben, all-knowing but perhaps overconfident. My contribution? Sun is turning into Michael. Her one-dimensional “have you seen my husband” path of the last several episodes are becoming this season’s “Wa-a-a-a-a-alt!”

Finally, does Jack detonate Jughead? I’m still of the opinion that he doesn’t, or that whatever happens, it isn’t what you’d typically expect of a blast from a 40,000-pound hydrogen bomb. Indeed, tonight we learn that Jughead is actually parked right underneath Othersville. You know, the cozy cottages and grassy fields that still exist, intact, in 2007?

Notes and Notions:

  • “LOST” has good hair days, and bad hair days. It also has good special effects days, and bad special effects days. I have to say, the dramatic departure of the Galaga falls into the latter category. It was pretty weak, which I guess has to be expected given a weekly show and budget. It would’ve been better for us just to assume its departure based on the activity inside… but I guess they had to show the submarine under way else we draw the conclusion that it doesn’t move at all.
  • The casting for Younger Eloise is great. (As was the casting for Young Eloise in “Jughead.”) Alice Evans is absolutely believable as the precursor to stoic Mrs. Hawking. Her character’s struggle to process what Faraday said was great. And her motivations for helping Jack seem deliciously unclear. Does she really want to undo the death of a son she never knew? Or is the prospect of just blasting the Dharma Initiative to smithereens just too tempting?
  • In 2007, Alpert makes brief mention of another group of Others/Hostiiles at The Temple. Meanwhile, we know on Alcatraz (a.k.a. Hydra Island), Ilana and friends are up to something as well. I think both of these largely unexplored parties will play a key part in the season finale.
  • Sayid is back. He seemed to take the fact that Ben survived surprisingly well. I mean, he of anyone, now, should have a strong opinion as to whether what they’re doing (and what they’re about to do) is really changing anything at all.
  • So, Jack is seizing his moment. But Jen wonders, as do I, when his epiphany took place. He seemed to more roll into his current mission than blast off from a specific spark of inspiration or realization. I was expecting considerably more fireworks to celebrate the instant he decided to act.
  • Radzinkski is a vile man. And apparently can stage a coup just by telling Horace he’s in charge. At least we seem to know how his story ends, as a stain on the roof of his precious Swan. Given what Phil did to Juliet, I don’t suspect he’s long for this world, either.

What did you think? Please comment below, e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or leave a message on the LostLine at (808) 356-0127.

193 Responses to “Next: “Follow the Leader” (Episode 5×15)”

  1. Knives Monroe says:

    Regarding Faradays’ voice in the comic con Dharma video, Carlton Cuse said that it was a continuity error.

    There. That debunks and answers many things.

  2. John Fischer says:

    Yea, apparently he spoke at Ohio State yesterday and answered this question. They also aired the entire episode we’re seeing tonight. Why would they do that?

  3. Lorne says:

    Is Ohio State the university with the Lost course? Maybe that’s why

  4. Lorne says:

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40995
    Some info of the Ohio State event

  5. Manny from AZ says:

    Yo Knives, Sayid is coming out in this episode…eh…EEH

  6. Knives Monroe says:

    Glen Matthews…. Sorry um… I just want this darn episode to start allready!

  7. MLE in Colorado says:

    Only I am not in Colorado tonight…watching on the east coast in hotel room…the pros- no kids to interrupt me- cons- no TIVO…but all I can say is:

    Holy Freakin’ Crap and its only the first commercial break! Best first Scene in awhile…

  8. Matt says:

    agree w/ you there MLE. didn’t see “i watched them all die” coming.

    i also have a man crush on richard alpert.

  9. Matt in Syracuse says:

    The exchange between Hurley and Chang was priceless.

    And is 1977 Ellie pregnant w/ Dan? It would certainly appear that way.

  10. Matt in Syracuse says:

    So this new Locke reminds me of Season 1 Locke. Calm, cool, and in control. Doesn’t care what other people think. He knows what he wants to do and he isn’t going to let anybody get in his way. Much like w/ the Hatch. He knew he wanted it open and Boone’s death, Artz’s explosion and Hurley freaking out about the numbers wasn’t about to stop him.

  11. MLE in Colorado says:

    dont read if the sun hasn’t set where you live yet…

    …This episode has so many great time/people connections… Hey Chuckie meet your dead son Daniel, Hey Sun- I remember your husband- I watched him die…Hey grown up Miles…are you my son?….Hey Richard- can you go hang out with “3 years ago Locke” and give him some first Aid?…and then…jut to keep Knives Monroe as happy as a clam..in walks Sayid….its about time! (no pun intended…)

  12. Matt in Syracuse says:

    I can’t remember if it was Ryan&Jen or Jay&Jack’s podcast, but somebody mentioned that last week when Dan was saying to Jack and Kate that any of them can die at any moment, the camera cut and stayed on Kate for a minute which could have been a foreshadow to Kate’s death. I almost had to change my pants when I heard that gunshot….till they showed Sayid.

  13. Scrunch the Cat says:

    Awesome episode. Much appreciated after last week’s stinker.

  14. It is really scary when John can scare a man who has been on the island for who knows how many years. The ep was was way too short!

  15. Knives Monroe says:

    lol @ MLE, I couldnt have said it better. lol, really wow. My love for Sayid is quite out there isnt!!!

    BTW!!!

    SAYID IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is the biggest WTF ending THUD of this season..

    Kill Jacob.

    Whats Locke’s Motive, is he good, bad, wtf is gonna happen. What is going on.
    Jack is really scaring me.

    Oh man, in the words of Star Wars…

    “I have a bad feeling about this”

  16. John Fischer says:

    Well, I had read the summary of this episode on DarkUFO and now having seen it I am left numb. It was clearly all a set-up to the finale and that was expected. I’m just not sure what we learned tonight.

  17. Matt in Syracuse says:

    locke wants to kill jacob. the look on ben’s face echoes my feelings.

    jack wants to blow up the bomb. sayid’s gonna help. if the season ends w/ the bomb blowing up, the following 9 months are going to be complete hell.

    locke’s new found self still amazes me.

    next week: do sawyer juliet and kate seize the sub? the obviously end up back on the island.

  18. Um…wow. So they all die? And from seeing next week’s episode, Kate/Sawyer/Juliet certainly don’t leave on the sub. Also, what the heck is going on with Locke? He is going to KILL Jacob? For real?

    Man, so much stuff. We will find out what is in the box in 2007 with the other group next week. It only promises to leave on a true cliff hanger.

    Wow.

  19. Cindy says:

    Well, the tunnels kind of explain how the Others just “popped up” out of nowhere, and possibly how/why Walt was dripping wet when Shannon saw him in Season 2 (although it doesn’t explain the backwards talking).

  20. Matt in Syracuse says:

    Good point there Cindy. Explains why Richard says the fence doesn’t stop them.

    and @John Fisher, I’m not of the ilk that needs answers every week. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

  21. Scott in Chicago says:

    Great thud! I think the island needs a back story. Who built the incredibly intricate tunnel system with the fancy under water entrance? Does anyone else find it ironic that Eloise finally shows emotion following the death of the son she never showed any emotion??? Also, I am interested in finding out how Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate get out of a submerged submarine to be back on the island to try and stop Jack from detonating an H-bomb for the finale. Damn, the finale…that means six months without Lost again…there is no way that any other show can possible compete with the mind numbing, exciting story telling that is Lost. I look forward to everyone’s comments and the podcast come Monday.

  22. Thom Stanley says:

    Incredible episode. I still believe that whatever happened, happened and that incident will occur and it will occur the way it always did.

    But what confuses me is that if destiny is predetermined, why must our friends on the island need to be pushed in the right direction toward their destiny? Shouldn’t it just happen?

    Destiny? Happens? Happened? My head hurts.

  23. Patrick D says:

    So I know there is the whole thing with the voice and the eye in Jacob’s cabin, but is anyone else starting to think that Jacob is not actually real, but rather just a fictional tool used by the island’s leaders so that people will do things for them.

    Think about it:
    1. It wouldn’t be the first continuity error/unexplained event to show up in LOST

    2. If you were a leader of the others, wouldn’t it be alot easier for people to listen to you and follow you if they felt that these instructions were coming from some higher being?

    I think Locke has figured this out and that’s why he accused Ben of not actually ever seeing him, and now he is taking everyone to the cabin to see the falsity of the whole thing. Which, in turn, will mean that he is going to “kill” him.

    The only thing that really seems to not fit into this theory though is the whole fact that Horace built Jacob’s cabin and all, but I’m sure the writers could find a way to explain that as well.

    Love the show! (both the transmission and LOST, if there was any confusion)

  24. Knives Monroe says:

    Wherever Locke was in DEAD IS DEAD, before Ben summoned the monster is probably where he learned what time he was and that Locke would be flashing there later that next day…

    Damn, this episode was heavy.
    Darn, John Fischer you shouldn’t have read the synopsis, sure its hard not to know, but I read the synopsis having watching the episode before, and It was word for word a direct response to the entire episode. Its hard to clearly judge and make up a mind on the episode, having been spoiled!

    You totally jump into the forward cabin don’t you…

    no offense to anyone… I just love being surprised.

  25. Carol says:

    Is Jacob even human?

    Wow, what an episode. I know I say that every week, but every week it is true.

    Sayid back just in time. What an entrance!

  26. Knives Monroe says:

    Wooo! Couldn’t agree more with you Carol.

  27. John Fischer says:

    Knives:

    You’re right. Reading the spoiler really ruined this episode for me so I can’t really evaluate it. It was fun to watch, but having read the spoiler I felt like I was seeing a re-run.

  28. Matt in Syracuse says:

    I’m w/ Carol too.

    I see where Jon is coming from in that nobody other than (I’m assuming Richard) has seen/talked to Jacob. Unless Jacob doesn’t have human form and the only way for him to communicate w/ humans is through proxies such as Christian.

  29. Carol says:

    Knives, gotta say Sayid had the funniest line of the night in the tunnel. “At least it will end our misery” cracked me up.

    People this show cannot kill off – Sayid, Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sun, Jin and Miles. PLEASE!!

    Loved the look on Miles’ face when he realized what his dad did.

    What’s in Hurley’s case????

  30. debbie says:

    Kate just ruins the show for me. I wish she had taken a bullet, and we had Daniel back.

  31. Matt in Syracuse says:

    Carol – I doubt that all of our people on the island will die next week. The bomb might go off, but I find it impossible to believe that will be it. There was an incident, the DI referenced it. Maybe due to the nature of the island, somehow the bomb’s “power” is reduced or negated. BUT, i betchya that next week ends w/ the bomb exploding and we have to wait 9 months to see what happens

  32. Carol says:

    John – gotta agree with Knives, I am staying totally spoiler free these last few episodes, I am not reading any articles or anything. I don’t want to know, I really enjoyed last season’s last episode since I didn’t have any idea of what would happen. It so much more fun to be surprised.

  33. Knives Monroe says:

    Don’t mention it John, I’ve had the feeling before.
    They def. can’t kill off Sayid, Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hugo, Sun, Jin or Miles…
    I guess that means we all agree that Juliet is expendable. Gosh. lol

    “At least it put end to our misery” Oh man. That was a terrifically sad line.

    I really liked this episode, and I can’t wait to see it again, later tonight.

    I wonder if tonight’s format will be the same to the finales. Not really centric but more everyone in the different times…

    Man I truly hope that whatever happened, happened, cause man, almost anything can happen.

    And WTH does ‘the fork in the outlet mean’… cause if that’s how Locke plans to kill Jacob, I don’t know if a fork can do the job…

    Oh man, this next episode is gonna blow our minds! It’s the last SEASON FINALE CLIFFHANGER of LOST ever, so it must be giant!

    Thank goodness we don’t have to wait 2 weeks… phew.

  34. HAM in MO says:

    I loved this episode! 100% better than last week’s episode.

    Just a few observations
    1. When Hurley got off of the sub in Namaste didn’t he ask Sawyer who the president was in 1977? Too bad that no one told him who it was!!

    2. I am not really a Kate fan, but Sawyer and Juliet really need to cut her some slack. It isn’t her fault that she was Sawyer’s first love. They are treating her like she has the plague or something.

    3. I can’t wait until someone puts Radzinsky in his place!! I hope that it is Sawyer!!

    4. Lock is officially off the reservation! The whole scene when Lock was watching RA take the bullet out of his leg blew my mind. Lock is going to try to kill Jacob. I can’t wait to see how that goes down!

  35. Matt in Syracuse says:

    I was spoiled for the flash forward at the end of season 3. It really ruined the last few episodes of that year for me. Since then, I’ve gone 100% spoiler-free. No articles, I generally stay away from message boards. Only things I listen to are the forward cabin, its usually shooting locations and that doesn’t give away too much, and “next week on lost” on tv.

  36. Matt in Syracuse says:

    Knives – in the preview for next week they showed richard slamming a “hammer” into a wall saying something like “here we go”. Sounds like a fork in the outlet to me

  37. Knives Monroe says:

    Locke “I have some ideas” man now he’s saying what Ben has said… Im really scared for LOCKE, I mean I love him, and just as the way I love Ben, wether he’s good or ‘bad’ I still love them you know… But does Locke malevolent intentions? In general?
    I mean he conned Sun didn’t he, to go with him. Dang… Hrm. Either way it makes for invigorating, elaborate, and incredible storytelling!!!

    Oh man… The Incident.. In the words for John from NC

    Holy Freaking Crap!!!

  38. AbbyD says:

    Awesome episode!

    The scene that struck me as odd was when John, Ben and Richard were in the jungle because John was taking Richard to himself to remove the bullet from his leg. John said to Ben “he gave him his compass back” talking about himself. Not “he gave me the compass back”.

    I strongly dislike Radzinsky.

  39. Knives Monroe says:

    Sorry I just recalled.

    Well Juliet is gorgeous (Elizabeth Mitchell) And I know we fans sometimes give her a lot of crap, but when Phil smacked, her I yelled at my TV so loud!
    That was UNCALLED FOR!!! And unexpected!

  40. brian says:

    Jacob = future version of jack or at least it’s in the family. It would explain a lot of things including why Jack’s father and half sister were in Jacob’s cabin.

  41. mrt3811 says:

    LOVED that episode. First time poster.
    Really wondering what is in Hurley’s case too. Thought we might see tonight. Thinking since we didn’t it is something really important.
    Is Locke wanting to kill Jacob so bad? Maybe Jacob/island is bad. After all it Judged Ben and said he was okay

  42. Jono says:

    I REALLY enjoyed his episode. I thought all of the missing pieces were nicely done (Alpert removing the bullet & Chang sending his wife and son away). They only have a few big plot moments to fill in and this season will be solid.

    But as for the ending, am I the only one who wasn’t blown away by Locke’s statement about killing Jacob? They’ve kept Jacob’s identity and purpose a secret from us, without ever hinting at or explaining anything about this mysterious character. Rightly so, because that’s what makes Jacob so intriguing and awesome. But could that mysteriousness take its toll when viewers aren’t invested in a character at all? After making a powerful statement about killing Jacob, I was left thinking, “…okay. So what?”

  43. patricia says:

    Could Richard have been remembering his Black Rock days while building the ship in a bottle?

  44. Jessica says:

    Kind of saw Juliet getting smacked coming for a while… didn’t figure Sawyer would say much either way, though….

    Any guesses as to the the thoughts behind the absolutely HORRIFIED look on Ben’s face when Locke said he was going to kill Jacob?

  45. Matt in Syracuse says:

    knives – i remember a couple of darlton podcasts ago, somebody wrote in about liking phil. darlton said wait a couple of episodes and you’ll change your mind. i never liked phil in the first place, but now he’s really on my s?!t list.

  46. Katie says:

    I have a feeling my brain will end up being as braided as a twizzler. Well. You know what I mean. Why do you guys think Eloise and Charles divorced? Did they?

  47. CueDblU says:

    This show was my favorite of the season. It had it all: mythology, parallel stories in time, love in many different forms, poignancy, and Richard Alpert.

    While not originally a huge Locke fan, I have to say that I find his new-found confidence amazing and fun to watch. Even Richard is completely thrown for a loop. John’s talking to a higher power now – maybe he is the higher power – and hidden false prophets like Jacob need to be taken out of the equation. John is working on a different level now… the rest of the characters and us are mere mortals.

    I can’t wait to see Radzinsky and Phil get theirs. I was with you Knives – when he slapped Juliet, my blood went to boiling and I think Sawyer really was going to kill him.

    I’m not a ‘shipper by any means, but I really enjoy seeing Juliet and Sawyer together and happy. Then Kate keeps butting in. I fear their apparent happiness will be short lived – I just have this terrible sense of foreboding that one of them is going to die soon. I hope I’m wrong.

    Hurley having those questions Sawyer told him not to worry about come back to bite him – too funny!

  48. Lorne says:

    When Kate showed up in the Sub, did anyone else go “awwwwkward” 🙂

  49. If you recall, Jacob asked Locke to help him, back in season three. Perhaps our invisible man was asking for death? Perhaps eternal life is something like torture? Locke might be on a mercy mission.

  50. heathaho says:

    Hey guys.
    Awesome episode!
    After tonight’s episode my hunch that Richard is from the Black Rock (or is a descendant of the Black Rock) seems to have another clue.
    Wasn’t it interesting how in the beginning of the episode Richard is working on a ship in a bottle model?

    Also the whole ship in a bottle thing seems like a bit of an interesting metaphor for the show/island in general.
    Black Rock Ship stuck in a “bubble” of some sort w/ only a tiny little opening (the coordinates) to get in and out.

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