Tuesday night’s episode of “Lost” packed new alternate-reality reveals, as fans of the final season of have come to expect. Only this time, believe it or not, learning how alt-John Locke landed in a wheelchair (he crashed a plane as a newbie pilot) or just what happened to his dear old dad (he was in that plane) actually paled in comparison to the on-island action.
After all, when last we left Sawyer’s renegade band of Losties — i.e., Jin, Sun, Hurley, Kate, Claire and Frank — they were staring down the barrels of several guns held by Charles Widmore’s flunkies. Since then, said gun-toting flunkies transported the gang to the old polar-bear cages — the ones Sawyer and Kate got so cozy in a few seasons back.
But no matter how reassuring Widmore’s “I’m doing this for your own good” may have been, there was nothing cozy about this confinement.
Maybe that’s why Jack was so quick to jump on board Smokey’s plan to rescue the attempted escapees. Presumably, it was an extension of Smokey’s other big plan, the get-everyone-on-the-plane one.
So, like a big breeze of pure evil, a black plume of smoke shot by the cages and killed one of Widmore’s men. Jack — with an “I’m with him” swagger — swooped in and unlocked the cages, leaving everyone free for a hike to the runway.
Smokey must have taken the shortcut, as he beat the rest of them with enough time to kill a couple more members of Team Widmore. He even searched the plane before the gang — now joined by Sayid — caught up with him. That’s when Smokey delivered the news: The flight had been canceled.
According to the big guy, Widmore sabotaged the plane with C-4, as evidenced by the load of explosives in Smokey’s hands. Now the submarine would be their only hope to get off the island.
One more hike later, Smokey’s plan B was in effect. They made it to the sub, but Jack and Smokey kept to the rear to fight off a few more of Widmore’s redshirts. The Locke-alike wanted to handle the dirty work himself, so he tossed a backpack to Jack and told him to go on. Jack and everyone else — save Claire and Smokey — made it to the sub. Claire was devastated, but Smokey smiled at what he saw as a stroke of good fortune.
As it turns out, the real plan B included being left behind. It’s not like Smokey wanted to be on that sub when the gang discovered he sent Jack in with a backpack full of C-4, complete with a quick countdown clock — not that it took them long to make the discovery.
In fact, as the sub went deeper, Jack and the others quickly found themselves examining their options and ordering a return to the surface. If only they had an explosives expert. Hey!
Enter Sayid. No, not the morally gray, thoroughly zombified Sayid of recent episodes. This was the man fans knew and loved — at least he was for a little while.
Sayid gave his best advice for disarming the bomb, and Sawyer was dead set on following it. Jack, on the other hand, had a different idea. It occurred to him that maybe Smokey never needed everyone to band together and leave the island as a group. Maybe, in order to make his big break, Smokey needed everyone to get together and die — only he couldn’t pull it off.
According to Jack’s theory, if they just let the timer run down, they’d all be fine because Smokey couldn’t kill them himself. But if they tampered with the device, they could cause their own destruction. Sawyer, still not a huge Jack fan after Juliet’s seemingly senseless death, didn’t buy it. He pulled the wires Sayid told him about anyway.
Unfortunately, Jack was right and now the timer raced down to just seconds before detonation. That’s when Sayid really went into action. He told Jack about Desmond and the well, and about Smokey’s desire to see Desmond die. Sayid said it was all-important because “it’s going to be you.” Who? Jack. What? The replacement for Jacob would be a pretty good bet.
With that message relayed, a heroic Sayid sprinted down the corridor followed, by a loud BOOM! He was dead, just like that. And everyone else would be, too, if they didn’t escape.
That was a lesson soon learned by Sun and Jin. Yes, of course, the negative news doesn’t stop there. Heck, with finale night just over two weeks away, there’s always room for more death and destruction.
By the way, hope everyone enjoyed that long-awaited reunion of theirs last week. As it turns out, it was just a brief warm and fuzzy respite leading up to one more letdown for the couple. Well, “letdown” might be putting it lightly. While everyone else — with the possible exception of Frank and few more redshirts — made it out of the sub, the Kwons did not.
Somewhere out there in the original reality, little Ji Yeon Kwon is now an orphan. In the alt reality, she doesn’t even exist. Either way, not cool, “Lost.” Not cool.
So thanks to one tricky, smoke-based man, death and destruction ruled the day. Get ready for a lot of grief and guilt from backpack-carrying Jack. And maybe even enough rage to show Smokey he can’t get away with that kind of con.
Until the next time not-Locke gets away with it.
After all, beyond the latest entries in the death pool, who lives and who dies (and in which reality) remains to be seen.
Ree Hines is now an official resident of the alt-reality, where Sun and Jin are still alive and well, and Sayid continues to be easy on the eyes. C’mon and join her there or on Twitter at twitter.com/ReeHines.