Next: “The Last Recruit” (Episode 6-13)

Not once, but twice in relatively quick succession, Unlocke observed tonight that there was a lot of catching up to do. He wasn’t kidding. “The Last Recruit” moved briskly, touched on a myriad of mysteries, and served up more explosions and twists. But the delicate balance of plot and character definitely felt askew, and along with all the forward velocity, there were moments that seemed to lose traction. At the end of last week’s episode, we felt the stage was set for the final sprint. Tonight’s tale had a lot of flash, but it still feels like we’re waiting for the big show. And with a week off before the next new episode, “The Last Recruit” definitely left us wanting more.

In the flash-sideways, the inevitable collision of our wayward survivors was aggressively accelerated. Sun makes her connection with the island world when she spots Locke on the next gurney. And Jack gets his hands on Locke’s dural sack without a consult. And by the close of our multi-faceted tour of Los Angeles, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Sayid, Jin, Sun, Jack, Claire, Desmond, Locke, and Ben are clearly interconnected. But can they all be unified and even embark on a plan in the few hours ahead?

I did like Jack’s renewed connection with David, as well as the interplay between cop Sawyer and fugitive Kate, perhaps the strongest character moments in the episode. Seeing Ilana turn up as a lawyer the week after she was blown up on the island was fun, but It still doesn’t make up for her untimely end. Desmond’s actions are again curious, though. Why was he going to see a lawyer? At first we guessed it was just a ruse to point Claire toward Jack, drawn from post-flash omniscience. But he knew Ilana, and had an appointment. Perhaps she’s just corporation counsel for Widmore Industries?

On the island, our unified camp of survivors doesn’t last long, as Sawyer executes his plan and separates Unlocke from several of his precious candidates. It serves the Man in Black right for entrusting a key part of his plan to a con man. Of course, on “LOST,” it can’t be that simple, and after another long look at the ocean, Jack decides that his work’s not done, and jumps overboard. As soon as he returns to the island, Unlocke is there to claim him.

Is Jack “The Last Recruit”? He seems pretty set on confounding Unlocke, but he is also told twice that he’s already “with” him. Claire told Jack that his mistake was letting Unlocke speak. And after Unlocke rescues a dazed Jack from a huge explosion — reminiscent of Claire’s crossing over in New Otherton — he also tells Jack, “You’re with me, now.” I’m wondering if Unlocke is now back to square one… or if there’s a chance that Jack was really the only candidate he needed.

In terms of answers, Unlocke confirms to Jack that he had appeared as Christian Shephard soon after the crash. As with the explanation of the whispers last week, though, the answer seems to bring more questions. Was the Man In Black portraying Christian in Jacob’s cabin? (Probably.) Visiting Jack off the island? (Probably not?) Telling Locke to turn the donkey wheel? (Probably.) Talking to Sun and Frank about the DHARMA Initiative? (Probably not, since at the same time, the Man In Black was Unlocke with the Ajira crew, and supposedly “stuck” in that form.) And a few weeks ago, it seemed significant that Claire described her father and her “friend” as two separate entities. Did she just not know she was in the middle of a puppet show?

And while Unlocke’s darker nature seems even more pronounced now, I’m struck by what he told Jack: he appeared as his father to lead him to water. In retrospect, it does seem to be what the vision accomplished way back in Season 1. And Unlocke also brought water and food to Richard at the Black Rock. Of course, he wanted something from Richard, and still wants something from Jack. But I found the tiny shard of implied benevolence interesting.

Jack was trapped on the island before he even got there? Absolutely. All the Man in Black wanted to do was help them leave? I’m not sure. I think Jack is right to question why he wants them gone, and just how their continued presence is a threat.

While Sawyer was ready to write off Claire and Sayid, both seemed to get a glimmer of hope tonight. Claire’s homicidal urges toward Kate seemed to subside (again) as she was welcomed aboard the escape boat, and Sayid’s hesitation after returning to Locke suggests that talking to Desmond may have reawakened some humanity within him.

Sayid’s character is definitely an empty one now, with even Sawyer dismissing him as a zombie. We’re hoping for a tragic and sad end, or a heroic final turn, but this blank-faced moping around has got to stop. At least Hurley suggests that redemption is possible, invoking what seems to be a contractually obligated “Star Wars” reference. (A reference that pop-culture wise-ass Sawyer inexplicably doesn’t recognize.) Anakin Skywalker turned against his dark lord in a climactic battle, so perhaps Sayid will do the same.

And, yes, at long last, Sun and Jin were reunited. As we’d feared, the overextended separation and the episode’s rushed pace robbed the moment of much of its dramatic power. Actually, the portable sonic fence on the beach seemed to have been purposely situated between them as they ran toward each other, and we were half expecting there to be yet another cheesy contrivance to keep them apart one more week. Fortunately, they embraced and declared their love… but the writers let Lapitas channel David Caruso with a smirking one-liner that deflated whatever emotional power was left in the scene.

Why did Widmore call off the deal with Sawyer? Why does anyone on Team Widmore think missiles are an effective weapon against Unlocke? Where has the spirit of Jacob been all this time, and what is Unlocke’s ultimate plan? And how are we going to survive two weeks before getting our next shot at answers?

  • The conversation between Unlocke and Jack was a powerful one. When Unlocke said John Locke was stupid, and a sucker, at first I felt it was just adding insult to injury when it came to one of the most interesting and promising characters on “LOST.” But then I started to think (or hope) that they were actually setting John Locke up to be vindicated somehow. I hope so.
  • Off the island, we learn that Locke’s wheelchair actually saved his life. Jen said it reminded her of how losing his kidney saved his life when he was shot by Ben.
  • Flash-sideways Kate emphatically insists she’s innocent. And if the flash-sideways are going to ultimately suggest happier lives for our survivors, it would make sense that she is. Notice that Sawyer offers Kate an apple in the police station. A reference to Eve and the Garden of Eden? Or is it just an apple?
  • Sawyer’s observation that it’s “weird” how he and Kate ended up crossing each others paths reminded us of Jack remarking to Kate in “316” that it was “crazy” to see that they were all back together on an airplane.
  • We loved how cool Unlocke was when the first warning missile struck in the jungle. The huge explosion behind his unflinching figure called to mind the moment he blew up the submarine in Season 3.
  • Zoe’s conversation with Unlocke, in which Unlocke says he has no idea what she’s talking about, is a direct mirror of the conversation Unlocke has with Widmore over a similar situation in “The Package.”
  • Miles says his last name is Straum. So even though he’s got a good relationship with his museum-managing dad, Dr. Chang, there’s still a kink or two in that family tree.
  • Ilana’s last name is Verdanski. Couldn’t think of how that might be significant, if only in comparison to Radzinski and Minkowski.
  • Hurley says, “People are trying to kill us again.” Just like old times.
  • Sawyer gets of at least one notable nickname: Chesty. It was funny how he referred to Lapitas as a guy who looked like he stepped out of a Burt Reynold’s movie… but it was an unusually clunky line of dialogue where “the pilot” probably would have sufficed.
  • Locations: The office building where Claire, Desmond, Jack, David, and Ilana came together was Pauahi Tower in downtown Honolulu. The hospital where Sun and Jin and Jack and Locke turned up was the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific (though I think the ambulance bay and emergency entrance was Kuakini Hospital). The house where Sayid was captured by Sawyer and Miles is on Waiohinu Drive in Kahala. The “old pier” where Jack and his group boarded the Elizabeth was Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay.

How did you like “The Last Recruit”? Favorite moments? New theories? Please comment below and join the conversation. You can also call and leave a brief (ideally, one-minute long) message on the LOSTLine at (815) 310-0808, or email us at lost@hawaiiup.com.

431 Responses to “Next: “The Last Recruit” (Episode 6-13)”

  1. aaron r says:

    @corivee – you can also find the whole series on hulu.com

  2. Rufus says:

    I haven’t started rewatching anything, would it be beneficial to start with season one?

  3. greenberry says:

    @ Carol ~ lately looking at Season 5 (and after our discussions I am eager to even see those again!) ~ haven’t seen Season 4 since last year and am very motivated to go back and catch the Claire episode where she leaves

  4. corivee says:

    Carol: thanks, you and Yann are my favorite posters (Is that the right term) anyway, I feel we are in the same boat because didn’t you say once that your family doesn’t like to discuss Lost, or doesn’t like to watch? Same here. My husband gets irritated when I analyze…

    That’s why I love you guys and this podcast/comments

    My thoughts lately have been just curiosities about old questions never answered like why did the Others want Claire’s baby and why did all the pregnancies fail on the island.

    Also, Widmore’s motivation. I remember Ben said that CW wants to “exploit” the island.

    Still dying to know who the bloody boy is and all the stuff about “remember the rules” makes me think they are playing a game with our characters. The backgammon theory. Like a big D&D campaign and Jacob is the dungeon master. If that is how it ends I will be pissed. No St. Elsewhere or Wizard of Oz ending. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Carol from Boston says:

    @corivee – thank you so much for the nice comment. That makes me feel a lot better about my posting on this board so much. You are right my husband doesn’t watch Lost and doesn’t like science fiction at all. This show really requires discussing it with other fans or half the fun of the show is gone. What did I do for the first 4 seasons? Last year I didn’t post too much, I started posting this summer with the rewatch.

    Your questions re: Claire are the same as mine, though now we get the “don’t let your child be raised by another” because that was probably Kate, and the reason that Claire is crazy now. If she had held on to him, she would be different right now.

    @Greenberry, maybe I’ll add the Claire episode to my list for this week.

    I have heard theories about Jacob being the bloody boy and he is regenerating himself and aging again. That sounds plausible.

    I think when all this ends, I want to savor the ending a bit and take it for what it is, before starting a rewatch. Though I am not sure I’ll be able to control myself.

    re: the rules, wouldn’t that make a great part of the finale, we see Jacob and MIB sitting down and making up a set of rules for their experiment. Actually the way I picture it in my mind, it is pretty funny, do they weave the rules into a tapestry? Who actually made up these rules in the first place.

    I hope we see the history of Jacob and MIB or I won’t feel satisfied with the ending.

    @Corivee – my youngest child is 10 and the Disney channel is constantly on, so you can understand my appreciation of Lost. If I have to watch one more Zach and Cody show I will lose my mind. I need the intellectual stimulation of Lost. I let them watch their shows in the afternoon, but at night, the tv is mine.

  6. greenberry says:

    Fun to eavesdrop on your discussion above, gals. My hubby has no interest in LOST either — it is so great to have you all that enrich the show so! There is so much heart and intellect and curiosity and creativity and brilliance on this board ~ for the longest time I did not feel worthy to comment at all, but here I am joining in and feeling like part of the scene now – trying to push my brain to understand the underlying meaning of this show, the big picture as well as the small stuff ~ it is truly amazing how much everyone notices and contributes – it REALLY enhances the experience!!!!! Analyzing it all is half the fun for sure!

    @ Carol, I will also try to rewatch the Claire episode (where she wanders off) if I can figure out which one it is ~ I like your idea of ‘savoring’ the ending before rushing into rewatch mode (I think that is why I am doing some rewatch now, keeping the ending theories in mind without knowing for sure – the mystery keeps us interested and guessing !!!)

  7. Rufus says:

    @corivee &carol: there has to be club of wives who have to go online to discuss Lost. My husband just knows to man the phone and not bother me during my show. I’ve trained him from my Buffy days. That leaves him to hockey.

    With Lost, I mentioned that guy who Sawyer killed in season one as I think what the characters do in the sideways universe can predict what they may do in the one we know so well. This means that Claire and Said may not be lost to the MIB as we can see who they would be without the MIB coming into their lives. Said kills to protect the one he loves and that love is used by Desmond to reconnect him to the man he was before becoming infected. With Claire we see so far she’s just a sweet kid in an impossible situation who only fears being abandoned. As everyone left and left with her child she was open to the MIB. She may not be lost yet.

  8. greenberry says:

    @ Rufus ~ I like your thinking re: Sayid and Claire and Desmond bringing them around — that would be an encouraging and heart-warming conclusion to their stories ~ my husband is mainly a channel-flipper ~ occasionally I can get him to watch a show of mine ~ lol

  9. Becky from MI says:

    I only got through half of these comments so if this was mentioned, I am sorry. Don’t you remember when Jack was following Christian, MIB wasn’t leading him to water, he lead him off the side of a cliff. John Locke saved him. It just happened that he found the water.

  10. greenberry says:

    Good call, Becky ~ man, I want to do some major rewatching!

  11. […] proposed in last week’s thread and mentioned in our latest podcast, several blog regulars are organizing a re-watch of the […]

  12. Patrick NC says:

    Was I the only one who saw an expression on Locke’s face as he was being wheeled into the emergency room, after Sun recognized him? It seemed he was smirking/gloating…..could it be that MIB persona is seeping through into the sideways world? If so, and if he is truly evil, then will the resuscitated Locke wreak havoc in the lives of our Losties? Hmmmmmm…..

  13. Carol from Boston says:

    @Rufas – I am a Buffy fan too, I miss it. I catch it now and then on Bravo but they have too many commercials. I do like the idea of the club. 🙂

    @Becky – whoa, I didn’t remember that, good catch!

    I rewatched that episode this summer too. There ar so many details to remember all the time.

  14. Mark from NY says:

    @ James ” But was there ever a point where we see smokey “scan” Jack? Isn’t this how the smoke monster uses other people’s vulnerabilities to his advantage? In which case, how would smokey know to inhabit the form of Jack’s Dad in the first place?”

    Maybe in the very first scene from the pilot episode when the camera is close up on Jack’s face, that is MIB scanning Jack.

  15. Larry Thornton says:

    So if Flocke is unable to cross water, how did he get to Hydra Island when the Ajira plane crashed?

    I love this show, it drives me crazy!

  16. Rufus says:

    @Carol from Boston: Canadians get to watch Buffy on Much Music. I guess being a hockey widow it’s only fair my husband gets to be a Lost widower. We both get to be in clubs.

    @Becky: That was a good catch. MIB may be hoping that Jack only remembers the good outcome instead of the narrowly missed appointment with death..;)

  17. Maluhia says:

    It’s interesting that by the end of this episode, Locke’s life is essentially in Jack’s hands on the operating table in the FSW. While on the island, it’s suggested that Jack’s life might be in Unlocke’s hands now.

  18. greenberry says:

    @ Maluhia ~ I like where you’re going with that paradox… and Jack chose to save Ben (barely) in Season 3, and won’t intervene in Season 5. Of course with the alternate universe and the mutual bleeding going on, one scenario seems to affect the other

  19. Carol from Boston says:

    @Rufus – Wow, I never had any Canadian friends before but now from this board I feel like I have many. 🙂

    @Maluhuia – wonder if Jack will flash to the island during the surgery and have second thoughts about fixing locke.

  20. greenberry says:

    @ Carol and Rufus ~ Hi from the southern B.C. side of Canada ~ are either of you rooting for a play-off hockey team presently? Go Canucks!

  21. Carol from Boston says:

    @Greenberry, I do live in Boston, so of course I am rooting for the Bruins, I am not really into hockey but if my husband is watching a play off game I’ll watch part of it. (usually the end part),

  22. greenberry says:

    Carol, I know we play Chicago next. I’ll think of you when I see news of your Bruins. Hockey is HUGE in Canada! Okay, back to getting LOST ~ lol

  23. Rufus says:

    Carol: Canadians are such a friendly lot 😉 Oh and if I didn’t root for the Canucks my husband wouldn’t carry the kitty litter in from the car.

    greenberry: I’m just south of Vancouver. Been watching Lost from season two. What will we do without it?

  24. greenberry says:

    @ Rufus ~ You’re a Richmond (or Burnaby) gal? I’ve been in North Delta for 26 years now ~ I’m still American (raised in L.A.), but I love living here! I agree, LOST is such a wondeful part of my life too!! And this board has really enhanced the experience

  25. Amaia says:

    @greenberry- You’re welcome. Yes, I find strange that Daniel said that is not the reality they should be in. In my opinion he doesn’t regret that but maybe having released the Jughead. I hope the MIB can redeem himself, I think we only know only a bit about Jacob and I hope in the end it is demonstrated he’s the bad one in this story. Sure I’m wrong but that’s I’d like to see.

    @Larry Thornton- He went in the canoe, I’m sure.

  26. Carol from Boston says:

    Daniel said he knew he loved Charlotte but did he remember anything specific?

    I wonder if Eloise is trying to prevent Desmond from remembering and helping others to remember till after MIB leaves the island.

  27. Rufus says:

    @greenberry: talk about coincidence…I’m in South Delta 🙂

  28. Viktor from LA X says:

    @christine, @Larry Thornton

    MiB cannot fly over water in his Smoke Monster form. Otherwise he would just fly off the island. In his human form, for all we know, he might be a pretty good swimmer, but not good enough to cross the ocean. In any case he probably has no problem crossing water using boats, airplanes, submarines, etc.

  29. Michael says:

    We have no confirmation that MIB cannot fly over water. Only that he can’t make it all the way to the mainland. Maybe he can only maintain his smoke form for a few minutes at a time, or he must stay close to the electromagnetic energy of the island. Or maybe water shorts out/grounds his smoke monster energy after awhile.
    So he could make it to the freighter perhaps or over to hydra Island to kill the rest of the survivors and fly back.
    What he ultimately wants I think is to claim a human body that can contain his spirit and allow him to go. To do that he probably has to kill all the candidates that are attuned somehow to the island. As it is I doubt he can leave the island as locke yet either, even in a sub/plane.

  30. Michael says:

    I re-watched an older episode where they find the caves and it dawned on me that the skeletons in the cave are probably Jacob and MIB. One had a black stone the other white. They died here a long time ago but their spirits learned to retake human form. This is why Jacob turns to ash so quickly when he is burned in the fire and why smokey doesn’t bleed when stabbed. They are not physical beings any longer.

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