Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thoughts on The Last Recruit...

BIGMOUTH: Unfortunately, my recaps will be abbreviated for the next few weeks due to work obligations.  Thanks to you all everybody for your understanding!

I give "The Last Recruit" a 6 on the Sickness Scale (3 for mythology, 3 for character).  This was probably my least favorite episode of the season thus far -- even worse than "What Kate Did," in my opinion.  The purpose of the episode was obviously to position the characters and set up the storylines for the last few episodes of the series.  But with so little time left, and many mysteries still left to be answered, an episode with no mythological revelations of note was a luxury LOST just can't afford.  I can't help thinking that the awkward pacing of this season is a function of the Mirror reality, which has sucked away time from what many, myself included, really wanted: a satisfying end to this story and these characters whom we've come to know and love the past six years.

Speaking of the Mirror reality, nothing in this episode changed my view that it exists to give our characters happy endings.  In my recap of "The Package," I predicted that Mirror Sun would survive her gunshot wound, but the baby would not.  It turns out I was only half right -- silly me for thinking that the baby would have anything but a happy ending.  As I also suspected, our characters seem to be converging on St. Sebastian's Hospital, where they will presumably recover their memories of the Crash reality en masse.  And that brings me to one last spoiler-free speculation for your consideration:  Sawyer was the one Juliet shot in the outrigger canoe.  In an upcoming episode, we will see him shot in both realities simultaneously.  He will be taken to St. Sebastian's, where he will meet Juliet and remember their love.

The two will make plans to go for coffee and live happily ever after... LOST.  That's all from this end -- sorry again for the abbreviated recaps this week and last.  I'll try to make it up to you all everybody after the next episode in two weeks.

* * *

WAYNE: I give this 7 on the Sickness Scale, 4 for character and 3 for mythology.

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson shows Satan gesturing his pitchfork at a regular schlub. who has to choose between two doors. One reads "Damned If You Do," the other "Damned If You Don't." That's how I see LOST right now, with the two realities. We've seen great scenes in Mirror reality (Keamy and the Kwons, this week it was Ford and Austen), and in Crash reality (Hurley and Isabella is the instance that shines the most).  But by dividing up these events, much of the excitement from past seasons are gone. 

I'm still enjoying the show, and the Island scenes are for the most part compelling, although my judgment may be clouded because we aren't seeing a bunch of shiny, happy people in the Man in Black's camp. We're seeing the unshaven and the scruffy, sweat-stained group that have been our personal Constants since September 22, 2004 of our Meta-reality.

Constants With A Consciousness. In the Mirror reality, it is becoming apparent that each character that suffers a near death experiences recalls a near-duplicate moment in the Crash reality. Sun reacts to the Man in Black as she is wheeled into St. Sebastian's alongside the injured John Locke, just as Desmond recalled Crash Charlie's "Not Penny's Boat" admonition after finding himself underwater and staring at Mirror-Charlie, who was making no effort to leave the sinking car. (Mirror Charlie also presumably did not think about Claire, until he was busy choking on his heroin stash.) In the case of Hurley and Libby kissing, I lean towards the soul-mate angle as being bogus and would rather see the two recalling a similar beach and how Libby was killed by Michael soon after she shared that other first kiss with Hurley.

I can argue the same for Daniel and the redhead; sure, Danny boy is telling Des all about true love, but the Constant part of the two realities is that Faraday held Charlotte in his arms as she died in Crash reality. And, yes, there's the incident where Desmond passed out after shaking Penny's hand in the Mirror reality, but he's the wild card in all realities.  Perhaps his consciousness is a portal to the entire multiverse. In addition, he not only has Penny as a Constant in the Crash reality, he also has that whole Faraday-Desmond-Penny three-way from back on the Kahana. ( A minor note: Minkowski and Desmond were also paired together in both realities, via the nosebleeds and the time-tripping.)  I'm not into the soul-mate thing at all. Collective consciousness is my bag.

Sweetzer-Verdansky. Ilana is a lawyer here in Mirror reality. Sweetzer is one street in the intersection where Desmond and Penelope would have their coffee date. Let's get to the significance of her last name in a moment. First, the logo on the door to the law firm: SV, the abbreviation for Svalbard, an archipelago in Norwegian waters. Makes me think of the listening station that was hooked up with Penny's phone, snowy landscape and all. We've seen this small isle referenced before via the ubernet: in "The Constant," we learned that Desmond was based at Camp Millar in Scotland during his short stay in the military. Yet there is no such military base in Scotland. Back to the interwebs: There is a Camp Millar in Svalbard, and in Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials, Svalbard was a gateway to multiple universes.

Which brings us back to Ilana and her perhaps-relative Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky. Through correspondence with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the concept of the noosphere came into being. Bigmouth has discussed de Chardin's discussions of the Omega Point, and Flannery O'Conner took one of his quotes for the title of her book Everything Which Rises Must Converge. Jacob was reading that book as Locke was pushed from the hotel window by Anthony Cooper in "The Incident." The noosphere is where it gets trippy, because it plays on everything Lost and all its ARGs are about, as well as a riff on Jacob hating technology.

de Chardin believed that with every passing day, it becomes a little more impossible for us to act or think otherwise than collectively. Verdansky's noosphere, on the other hand, was about the collective unconscious. A world that operates out of habit, by events that lead towards connectivity through advancement of skills. The spoken language becomes the written language. We've seen the Others speaking Latin and glyphs beneath the Temple. Verdansky wrote of the biosphere becoming the technosphere, starting with the atomic bomb and leading up to the crazy gadget named Google that gave me all the information about Svalbard. On Lost, we had Jughead and Apple computers. And in our Meta-reality, we have blogs and message boards.

The noosphere is a sphere of human thought. That's why so much of the Mirror reality is contradictory. The altercation between Sayid and Keamy occurs within a day or two of Oceanic 815's return to Mirror LAX. So how could Sun, having been accidentally shot in the aftermath, be brought to the hospital at the same time John Locke was, when the hit-and-run by Desmond occurred a week later? (The timeline is even referenced by Ford, when he is talking to Kate at the station house.) These aren't mistakes, rather, it shows a two-dimensionality to it all, like when the smoke monster scans someone's brain and comes away with the memories of other people in that mass of gray matter.

As an example, when Kate was scanned along with Juliet in "Left Behind," would the smoke monster then have vague memories of James Ford's becoming con man Sawyer in order to kill Anthony Cooper? I had hoped we would have seen much earlier in the season that this plastic dome of reality would be the visual for the Man in Black's allowing his recruits to see the world that could have been theirs, a world where Jacob did not touch them (because Jacob was dead at the point that this universe--past, present, and future--was created. Again, two days is a week in Mirror-reality. 1976 is 2004 is 2007, as well.) Since we've yet to see anyone in the Crash reality acknowledge its Mirror counterpart, I'm still at a loss. But I do not think of it as an escape hatch for happy endings. The cork between the Crash reality wine bottle and the invisibly connected Mirror reality is represented, I believe, by the imploded Hatch. An event will occur to make the realities almost touch, perhaps even be visible to each other, and then things will go all to hell. What if St. Sebastian's is a Mirror-reality analogue for the imploded Hatch?

Random observations. Is this the well where Desmond is trapped within vicinity of the Swan, much as there was a well near the Orchid? Is this why the Man in Black chose this location to hide "the package," because any electromagnetic activity would render any type of tracking device Widmore's crew might have placed upon Desmond useless? And, most of all, does that well seem very much like that structure in Tunisia where Ben had hidden his passports and money in the Deleted Scenes selection on the Season 4 DVD set? (The Romans would certainly have continued to build on the Island whatever structures they built before -- and however -- they were eventually displaced.)

Get off my damn boat. In closing, I bring up Jack's question to Sawyer, the one that got him booted off the Elizabeth (I hereby dub that group the "E6"). "If that thing wants us to leave, then maybe it's afraid of what happens if we stay." Easy answer: Jacob wins the game. Tougher answer: I still don't have a clue.
blog comments powered by Disqus