Jack and Chad: Much to talk about tonight. I haven't yet put my finger on a unifying theme to this episode, so I'll just address a few key issues point by point.
- I was thrilled at the unexpected return of Martin Keamy. Gosh does that man know how to mouth-twitch. Watching his lips spasm was nearly as mesmerizing as watching Sun slowly remove her blouse. (Nearly. But more on that later.) I also enjoyed the Rashomon-ic approach the show took in recounting the restaurant incident from an alternate perspective—this gave us a satisfying sense that puzzle pieces are now falling into place to reveal a bigger picture.
- What did we learn about the comparative timelines this week? They seemed to once again involve reversals. In the mainland timeline: 1) Sun may or may not speak English, and Jin apparently can't. 2) Jin doesn't ask Sun's father questions and just does "what he tells me." 3) Sun's pregnancy is in grave danger. Meanwhile, in the island timeline: 1) Jin speaks English but Sun suddenly can't. 2) Jin defies Smokey, the new authority figure in his life, accusing Sawyer of listening to "whatever he tells you." 3) Sun's daughter is alive and well—and very cute. This all seems in tune with other mainland/island contrasts we've seen thus far this season. Sawyer is a criminal, or he's a cop. Hurley is cursed, or he's blessed. Evangeline Lilly is a wooden actress, or she's a laughably overwrought actress.
- We know that in the mainland timeline, the island is underwater. So what does this tell us about Smokey's fate? Has he been released, since the cork is no longer in the metaphysical wine bottle? If so, when will we see him pop up on the mainland? (Or have we already, and we just don't know it?) Maybe he wasn't released and has gone blub-blub along with the rest of the island?
- I'm convinced my zombie theory is … undead! Sayid was looking rather sickly tonight, don't you think? He said, "I don't feel anything. Anger, happiness, pain. I don't feel it anymore." Sounds to me like his "darkness" infection is spreading—and Claire didn't look all that peachy, either.
- Formula Watch! (This is where we lovingly catalogue Lost's tricks and tropes.) This week saw two moments in which the writers wink at the implausibility of Lost's nuttier conceits. First, Sawyer sarcastically notes that "it'd be ridiculous" if Smokey could escape the island in his storm cloud form. Then Miles wonders how we're supposed to "buy" that Sun has lost the ability to speak English due to a head injury, to which Lapidus responds: "Says the man who speaks to the dead." (This sort of self-awareness generally finds its expression in Hurley. The classic example of a self-aware Lost moment was when Hurley, speaking to his mother, recited every absurd plot point since the show's pilot episode.) Another Formula Watch item: slowing the show's momentum with translators acting as go-betweens in long discussions. Though the show broke brand new ground in laboriousness when it had Sun write down her thoughts with pen and paper.
- You know what they say about cleavage? It's like looking at the sun. You know what they say about Sun's cleavage? It's awesome.
- Regarding the irritating "V: They Return" countdown that hovered on my television screen all night, my feelings are these: Badly, badly done, ABC. I find it difficult enough to catch all the twists and clues in Lost without a ticking clock drawing my eyes to the bottom corner of the screen. I kept waiting for it to flash "108" just before everything went white, but that never happened.
- In the episode's final seconds, we at last got a glimpse of the long absent Desmond. Hallelujah. The more I think on it, the more I realize that Desmond is my favorite Lost character. He combines Hurley's good nature, Sawyer's roguish charm, and Jack's heroic impulses. Throw in a mellifluous brogue, and what's not to like, broothah?