LOST Revisited: “There’s No Place Like Home – Part 2” (May 30)

OK, deep breath. We can get through this. We’re strong.

So there I was, enjoying the Lost Finale party. We had beer with Dharma logos (just like they drink on the Island!), and there was plenty of pineapple, though I was too excited to almost hardly eat it. And they unleashed a fantastic show which then proceed to TEAR . . . MY . . . HEART . . .  OUT.

We start at the end of Season Three, after Jack has alienated everybody. I do enjoy seeing the crazy guy beard again. Only now, we see that Kate really doesn’t like that idea of going back, and we get the name of the man in the coffin. It’s… Jeremy Bentham? Wait, what? Well, that’s hardly playing fair. (Please note that two hours later, I was really missing the days when I thought it was a previously unseen character.)

Jeremy Bentham, by the way, was a utilitarian philosopher. He was a philosophical radical who believed that action that promoted happiness or minimized pain was always the best course. He was also a critic of Sir William Blackstone. Huh. Any relation to Black Rock, do you suppose? Now between the “Ben” in the name and the basic moral-free philosophy, I was ready to assume it was an alias for Benry.

By the way, Kate says it’s been three years since they left the Island, so that puts the future scenes in this episode in early 2008. They caught up with us!

Back in the past, man, that is the most elaborate bomb ever. And yep, it’s a radio detonator. So, that thing strapped to Keamy’s arm? That would be the “kill everybody” button. Also, I hadn’t realized that nobody took the time to actually get poor Frank out of his cuffs last week. Poor guy trying to pick the lock one-handed cracked me up.

We’ve got jungle whispering again, but this time, we know the source. The Others are setting up their attack. I think the last time we really watched them do anything like that was before we’d really ever gotten a good look at them; back in the days when they were stealing kids and such. Kind of weird to be rooting for them during a jungle slaughter. And boy, are they ever good at it. I loved how Keamy kicked the live grenade at one of his own men. There’s a good commanding officer for you.

And that leads us to an awesome fight scene, Sayid vs. Keamy. This fight was really well-staged, with all sorts of frantic and brutal moves. I was kind of hoping for a knockout so Sayid could go back to his old training, though. I don’t advocate torture, unless it’s Keamy. That guy’s got it coming. And then, who shoots him in the back but Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert? Way to go! Seeing him and Benry together again was really funny – their relationship is clearly very strained. They go back a long way, but it’s obvious that they’ve pretty much given up on one another.

Back in the future, Hurley is making me sad. There is nothing more depressing than Hurley in the institution. Well, nothing until thirty seconds before the season ends, but we’ll get there. (I am actually drinking as I write this tonight. I’m not what you call good at coping.) I liked the old lady asking if he was dangerous, because it clearly wasn’t a rhetorical question. And they’ve found a way to bring Walt back to the story, now that the future scenes have caught up with real time. That kid really grew since Season Two. Probably got kids of his own by now. He’s hoping he’ll be a regular again next season, what with having a mortgage to pay, and little Cindy’s braces aren’t going to be cheap.

Apparently Jeremy Bentham was making the rounds before his untimely death, trying to contact all of the survivors. And we get a nice big answer from Hurley, that the reason they’re lying is to protect everybody who didn’t come back. That gives us a little hope for the rest of the Lostaways. (Which is one more way that this show kept me on a rollercoaster for two hours and then punched me in the face.) And you just had to know from Hurley’s reaction when Walt mentioned his dad that Michael didn’t make it. Hurley is not so much with the poker face. (I’d kind of like a flash-forward episode that consists of nothing but Hurley almost blowing the Oceanic Six’s secret. You know he does it constantly.)

On the Island, it’s another nice Sawyer / Hurley scene. Their friendship makes me happy. And Sawyer’s reaction to the crackers was hilarious. That is a man who has never eaten a tastier cracker in his life.

First time we’ve seen Jack and Locke together in a long time. The thing I like about this scene, besides that Locke is not dead, is that he is absolutely right about everything. When Jack recounts Locke’s litany of sins, they’re all things that turned out to be right. Upset that he killed Naomi? Yeah, just imagine if she hadn’t been able to lead the gun-toting psychos straight to the Lostaways. Meanwhile, Jack has no excuse for the whole “trying to murder Locke” thing. Although Locke is not bitter. He tends to remain friendly with people who try to shoot him. And as somebody in my group pointed out, the Orchid Station is described as a greenhouse – a greenhouse played a big part in one of Locke’s flashbacks, when he was hooked up with the Hippie commune.

When Benry shows up, that’s such a great dynamic. The relationships between those three have shifted so much, it’s sort of like they have a hard time remembering how they feel about one another. And Locke’s admission that he couldn’t find the specific flowers Benry told him to look for just cracked me up. “I didn’t know what they looked like!” Hee.

Over on the boat, Michael has one of his very few good ideas. Freeze that bomb! And it’s not like anybody on a JJ Abrams show ever died while spraying liquid nitrogen on a bomb so that everybody else had time to get free! Well, except Tom on Alias. That was your next clue that Michael didn’t have long to go.

Nice interactions on the Island in the next scene. I particularly like Rose’s open hatred of Miles. And clearly his regular beatdowns have not humbled him at all. Now, Miles wants to stay, and convinces Charlotte as well, mentioning how long she spent “Trying to get back here”. Have those two been on the Island before? Now that I think about it, they weren’t nearly as excited as Daniel about the weird physics of the Island. I don’t think Benry saw Charlotte this season, so she may well be a former Other. Or she was with Dharma. Benry and Miles didn’t seem to recognize one another in their interactions, so this is probably Miles’ first trip. Still, maybe Miles connects with the Island – maybe his paranormal abilities really let him appreciate “a place where miracles happen”.

In the Orchid, well, turns out that was a good move recapping the Orientation video last week, because they’re right on the set. I like that Locke asks about the Magic Box (which Benry referenced last season), because it makes it seem like Locke lives his life the way we watch the show. We hold on to our questions for a good long time.

The Orientation Video picks up where the one on the DVD left off. Dr. Candle / Halliwax explains that the Island allows them to perform unique experiments in “space and time”. He also explains that the Vault is built on a load of “negatively charged material”, and he comes right out and says they’re going to shift the bunny through time. Becky called that early this season! Yay, Becky! So yes, the two “15” Bunnies are the same rabbit, one pulled from the future (or past). You know, that could explain why there are multiple almost-identical Asian men with candle-themed names. Has Dr. Marvin Candle been time-shifted? Is he the future version of Edgar Halliwax? That would certainly help explain why he sometimes has a prosthetic arm and sometimes doesn’t. And no, I don’t buy that the Orchid film was shot first and the others were made after he lost his arm. For one thing, he introduces the Orchid as being “six of six”, which indicates the last one. And in the DVD feature, he’s clearly irritated about having to make another one of those orientation films, so it’s definitely not his first time.

And we’ve got the sheer hilarity of Halliwax saying not to put metallic objects in the Vault, and Benry’s just loading it up. I love Locke’s reaction. And then, when the video automatically rewinds, comes the best line of the episode.

LOCKE: Is he talking about what I think he was talking about?

BENRY: If you mean time-traveling bunnies, then yes.

Now, in the video, they’re apparently shifting the bunny 100 milliseconds into the future, so it seems to cease to exist for a brief moment. It could be that it’s what they do to the Island later, on a different scale, but the fact that people can’t find the Island later may indicate that it also moves through space. Anyway, in the DVD orientation film, there are two rabbits, so the second has clearly been taken from either the future or the past – it’s a slightly different experiment, but the Dharma people seemed quite taken aback by it. Clearly, they’ve still got some problems with the technology.

Over at the helicopter, we’ve got four of the Oceanic Six. They did a good job of keeping that group spread out over every possible location. And once again, the Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle is in full force. Always so awkward.

Back to the Orchid and the elevator. Aw geez, it’s Keamy! Should have known that guy wasn’t going to die easily. And he confirms that he does have the detonator, and that it’s monitoring his heart rate. Hey, Benry! Remember when you convinced Sawyer that he had a bomb in his chest that was activated by his heart rate? Not so funny now, is it?

I admire the way Locke tried to reason with the guy. I think we all know that you can’t reason with Keamy, but Locke doesn’t know that his hobby is shooting random objects, either. When Benry swings into action, it’s a reminder of just how vicious he can be. Multiple stab wounds to the neck? That’s cold. Even worse is his lack of concern for the people on the freighter. He legitimately doesn’t care whether they live or die, as long as he gets what he wants. Let’s see. Killing Keamy will make him happy, therefore it is a useful action. That sounds very utilitarian, doesn’t it? Why, it’s practically Jeremy Bentham-esque. (Maybe if I make a good enough case, the ending will be different. TV works that way, right?)

Back on the beach, Charlotte tells Daniel that she’s staying because she’s never found the place where she was born. Well, she couldn’t have been born on the Island, right? Wow, I had written her off as the least interesting of the Fantastic Foursome, and now it looks like she’s got a killer flashback episode in her. Poor Daniel is so heartbroken though.

On the freighter, we learn that Desmond is not really an explosives expert. He’s good at so many things, but that is not one of them. I like Jin’s diagram of the bomb. Poor guy is trying very hard to learn everything about explosives very quickly.

Turns out, gunfights near a helicopter are not a good idea, what with the fuel leak and all. Knowing now what happens with Sawyer, Jack’s dialogue from a couple of weeks back really makes him look like a jerk. When he was fighting with Kate and says that Sawyer made his choice to stay behind, well, that would be one thing if Sawyer decided he liked it better on the Island. Considering his “choice” was to jump out of the helicopter so that everybody else could make it to the freighter, Jack’s got no call to be slamming him. I am fairly certain that when Sawyer whispered to Kate, I could hear the word “daughter”, which would make sense as his favor – he wants Kate to do something for that daughter of his. This was a nice scene, and even though you know Sawyer has to get off that helicopter, that didn’t diminish the impact.

In the future, Sayid’s got some more killing to do, this time outside Hurley’s institution. Our first big reveal is that “Jeremy Bentham” is not the dead man’s real name. No, of course not. His real name is Benry! Right? RIGHT? By the way, when Sayid says “They say it was a suicide,” he certainly seems to be indicating that “they” are not correct. Now, I’m a Sayid fan, but if he had anything to do with this, he’s dead to me! Sayid tells Hurley he’s going to take him “someplace safe”. If he’s still working for Benry, I suspect that safe place is a certain Island, but more on that later.

Am I the only one who teared up about Hurley playing chess with an imaginary Mr. Eko? That’s going to be the only time I tear up this episode, I bet. (Denial, that’s the way…)

Back to the freighter, where the red light turns on. This is such a great, tense scene. Desmond trying to wave the copter away, Frank panicking about the fuel, Michael and Jin desperately trying to figure out the bomb. And it’s cool to see Michael and Jin standing together, given their ups and downs with one another. Once the copter is in the air, Sun just absolutely nails this scene. Her fear and anger and pain really came through.

OK, I was surprised to see Christian on the freighter. He’s appearing to Michael, who has absolutely no connection to him. Clearly, Christian Shephard is not just a convenient from the Island Magic takes – there’s something specifically important about him. And he appears with the standard whispering, which pops up a lot in this episode.

“You can go now, Michael.” Michael accomplished what the Island needed him to accomplish, and now he’s able to die. I think the Island put him there to make sure he was able to buy enough time to get Aaron on the helicopter. The Island wants to protect that kid.

Farewell, Michael and Jin. Michael, for all the times you’ve made me mad, I will still miss you. And Jin, why must you break my heard a second time? First the revelation of your death makes everybody sad, and then we have to actually see it months later.

Sure, that was sad, and Sun is absolutely killing me, but it’ll seem like a walk in the park by the end of the episode.

Future scene of Sun tracking down Widmore. Is she working for Benry, or is she actually trying to work with Widmore. When she said she blamed two men for Jin’s death, one was her father. Could the other be Benry? It’s not like she could know that Benry triggered the bomb, but it’s always good to assume he’s involved when something explodes. I can’t wait to see where this plotline is going.

We’re almost out of laughs in the episode now, so let me just say that Juliet’s Dharma Rum is funny to me for reasons I can’t quite figure out.

In the Orchid, Benry dons the “Halliwax” parka. You know, like he’s wearing in Tunisia. Benry tells Locke that whoever moves the Island can never return. I can’t decide if I believe him, or if he’s just done with the whole thing. He does seem to love the Island, no matter how often it rejects him. Oh, I just had a thought that doesn’t fit elsewhere. You know that cargo ship in the middle of the jungle, the Black Rock? What if it’s there because the Island suddenly appeared under it? One minute, middle of the Ocean. Next minute, an Island showed up. I like my theory. Anyway, this is a neat scene, and it may well be the last time we see these two together. “I’m sorry I made your life so miserable”.

Now, Locke returning to The Others as their new leader was just an awesome scene. I love their reaction to him – it’s one of pure respect. After a lifetime of being told that he wasn’t special, that he wasn’t the one they were looking for, he’s finally passed whatever tests they needed him to pass. It’s really cool, especially to see how Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert reacts. This was the guy who wrote Locke off when he was just a kid! (I’m seriously choking up now.)

Benry’s metal in the Vault was way more effective than a fork in the microwave. I’m not sure if it just blew open the wall, or if it created a portal to somewhere else. It does seem weird that the cave would be frozen (Hey, I bet those polar bears are comfortable there), but it’s a weird, magical room. And hey, he fell and hurt his arm. Remember his injured arm in Tunisia? He clearly came straight from this room – moving the Island shot him forward in time 9 months and moved him about a thousand miles. It’s interesting that Benry knows just what to do – he’s clearly never moved the Island, and I would hazard a guess that it hasn’t been moved since he got there (Back in Season Two, Dharma was still making food drops.) Maybe Jacob explained it, or maybe one of the original Others. Or maybe Dr. Marvin Candle had one last orientation film. Regardless, this is a great scene, with Benry struggling to turn the wheel. “I hope you’re happy now, Jacob” – it’s times like these you can almost feel sympathy for the guy. Almost.

And when we succeed, we get a reprise of the effect from when the Hatch exploded, only with less purple in the sky. The disappearance of the Island is really well done, too. Poor Frank is really not cut out for weirdness, because he’s having a seriously hard time with it. The guy’s a linear thinker. I think it’s hilarious that Jack assumes the nearby Prison Camp Island is still there. Sure, an Island disappeared into thin air, but to have a second, tiny island also disappear? Well, that’s impossible!

In the future, Kate is awakened by a phone call. Thanks to Sean’s mad tech skillz, he was able to play the call backwards – what’s being said is “The Island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.” Personally, I was surprised that Kate keeps a gun in a locked box, and not under her pillow. Seeing Claire was really a shock, wasn’t it? She tells Kate not to go back to the Island, finally yelling “Don’t you dare bring him back”. Contradictory dream messages. Of course, Claire’s last line is actually given in Kate’s voice – she’s Kate’s subconscious, resisting the pull of the Island. Meanwhile, the phone call was some Island Magic.

Now I was thrilled to see Desmond survive the crash (another really good scene, by the way). Naturally, I panicked to see a boat coming toward them – they called back all of the other season finales. A mystery boat approaching the Lostaways, as in Season One. The Hatch Explosion effect from Season Two. And of course, actually revisiting the last scene of Season Three. Nice job. Anyway, I was even more worried when the man with the (I’m assuming) Portuguese accent said “Widmere”. The arrival of Penny was a great surprise and made me ridiculously happy. Such a nice reunion there. I really didn’t think Desmond was going to live, so it was unexpected and sweet and I loved it.

Finally, we get the missing piece when the boat sends them off in a raft to be officially rescued. And once again, Locke was right as Jack realizes the necessity of lying. By the way, I’m still not clear on why they ever said that two other people survived the crash but didn’t make it to the rescue island, but they must be referring to Desmond and Frank. I’m guessing Hurley misspoke and referenced eight people (Hey, that’s one of the numbers!), so they had to update their lie slightly. The scene of them hitting shore was really something I didn’t think I’d ever see. And yet, so much less happy than I would have pictured.

And now, my heart breaks. Back at the old Hoffs / Drawlar (anagram for “Flash Forward”) Funeral Parlor, Jack breaks in to get a look at “Jeremy Bentham”. When Benry shows up, waiting, it’s not a good sign. I can assure you, I’m going to be listening to the dialogue in this scene for weeks, by the way. The upshot is that the Island needs everybody to return, and that Jack has to fix what he ruined. I’ve been telling Jack that all season, and he won’t listen to me.

Benry stresses that everybody has to return, and he’s got a way to get all of them. (Does that include Walt, do you think? I hope it does.) And that includes Jeremy, who in the last shot of the season we see is actually…. Locke!

I’m not kidding when I say I freaked out here. Noise came out of me. I argued with the TV. There was some debate as to whether I was in any condition to drive home. (I am not making this up.) I had a bad feeling when Benry showed up in the funeral parlor alive and well, but to see my favorite character in a coffin…

No, I’m not OK!

I can’t even speculate just now as to what caused Locke to leave the Island and track everybody down. I’m in no condition.

A fantastic season with an awesome finale, right up to the very last second, when they decided to see how much they could hurt me. It turns out, quite a lot.

We should probably just stop now, so I can be alone.

And that’s it for the season. If you’re like me, you’ll be spending the break on research and crazy-guy theorizing. (When you’re not actively mourning, that is.) Drop me a line at ejfeddes@spunkybean.com if you have any great ideas or you find any of their tricky viral websites. The Hanso Foundation never sleeps, after all.

I’d like to thank everybody for their input, support, ideas, and great catches that I totally missed. Huge thanks to my regular Lost viewing group, as well as all of the spunkybean writers who kick this stuff around until it’s properly tenderized. You guys are awesome, and you both enable and encourage my obsessiveness! Thanks to all the readers, with special giant thanks to spunky regulars like Julie and Evonne who have come up with some great ideas this season. And the biggest thanks of all goes to Don, who somehow manages to get this posted to the website by 6 AM every Friday, complete with screengrabs and everything. I don’t know when that guy sleeps.

I’m going to go deal with my combination of finale adrenaline and sadness, and I’ll check in with you later.

And remember, Locke was right about everything!
Here’s the MP3 of Kate:

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