All right; let’s get this out of the way right off: I’m pretty sure Lapidus is full fathom five. They made his death a little too Boba-Fett-in-the-Sarlaac pit for my personal taste, and there is hope in that a little something like a flying bulkhead to the solar plexus and an apparent drowning is the sort of thing that Lost regularly throws at its characters who otherwise come out unscathed. Lapidus; you should have had a polar bear bite your head off or wrestle a giant squid so your friends could get away or something. But there’s a few things here at the end that is making it not look too good for my man Frank: 1., He’s not a main character; 2., In terms of the narrative, they’re weeding out everyone they don’t need as they get to the climax of the show; 3., He’s surplus to requirements now that it’s been revealed that Sideways Locke had his private pilot’s license. Sure; there’s a real-world difference between private and commercial aircraft, but, hey! it’s a TV show. So it’s not looking good for Lapidus. Although we haven’t seen him in the Sideways world yet, one imagines he’s out there taking ‘er easy fer all us sinners, like a wiser fella than m’self once said. So who knows? If the whole point is that it only ends once and everything else is just progress, maybe we’ll see Frank again. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.
1. “I THINK YOU’RE A CANDIDATE”: Check out Locke’s reaction to that line. He’s feelin’ the other universe, oh, yes. Between that and “Push the button” and “I wish you believed me” and the return of zoo jail and “He’s coming” and all the various reflections and mirrors and whatnot this episode, it’s almost like they’re making their own dim sum order from the menu of all the previous episodes.
2. “THANK YOU FOR SAVING HIM”: While creepy Doctor Shephard is getting inappropriate hugs and kisses from grateful fiancees in front of their own betrotheds and gets shocked back to Hydra Island, I couldn’t help notice that throughout this episode most characters were patronizing him in our timeline as well as in Dimension X. When Jack asks Bernard incredulously how he remembers Anthony Cooper’s name: That was three years ago; you just remember that?” Bernard replies, “Of course I do, Jack.” Because, you know, at this point Desmond, Charlie, Hurley, Libby, and probably Sawyer, Miles, and Sayid all remember their other lives or at least have flashed on them at some point. Like the Video Gum people say, everyone within fifty feet of Jack’s hospital was apparently on Oceanic 815 and yet Doctor Squarejaw hasn’t figured this out, yet?
2a. “BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO BE YOU, JACK”: And just for good measure in the patronizing department, Sayid goes out like a bad-ass in the moral inverse of a suicide bomber (which, ya gotta admit, is a pretty bold storytelling choice for the only Muslim character on TV) while almost simultaneously telling Jack what everyone following this show has known for a while. The first shot of the first show is Jack opening his eyes, and, thematically, the whole series has been about Jack having his eyes opened metaphorically. So who do you think is going to take over for Jacob, Jack? Come on.
3. “FEEL LIKE WE’RE RUNNING IN CIRCLES, BACK IN THESE CAGES.”: Speaking of zoo jail, the thematic mirroring of the narrative was pretty overt in this ep, too, with Sawyer saying to Kate “…’cept last time the gun was to my head” and the music box that plays “Catch a Falling Star” and yet has an actual mirror in it to show us the duplicate Claires and Jacks.
4. “IF IT’S ANY CONSOLATION, HE KNEW I WAS GOING TO KILL THESE MEN”: One of the very interesting long-con things about Fake Locke I really enjoyed this week was his bending down to take the digital watch off Broken Neck Guy before he discovered the C4 on the Ajira plane. Getting everyone on the sub was his plan all along. Widmore and his men didn’t wire the plane; Fake Locke did. Or, conversely, Richard, Miles and Ben did, and Fake Locke knew about it, like he knew standing on the dock that the sub had sunk. Either way. Passing the backpack to Jack as Sawyer wrangles things to have Jack and Fake Locke stay behind was great. But what a plan, huh? Knock him in the water? The murderous, homicidal, unstoppable dude who can turn into smoke? That’s your plan, Sawyer? No wonder everybody died.
5. “WE’RE NOT STRANGERS; WE’RE FAMILY”: So, yes, it’s a little creepy that Jack X asks Claire X to move in with him, but at least it’s nice to see someone in some universe is not leaving Claire behind again. Especially since in nearly the very next scene, the sub gets outta Dodge and leaves Claire on the dock again with Fake Locke. Make sure to check out EJ Feddes’ hilarious and yet quivering recap of the ep; the big softie gets all verklempt about Jin and Sun, but also gives Lapidus his props while at the same time admitting nautical terms are not his strong suit.
6. “THERE IS… ANOTHER”: …and honestly, now that Jin and Sun are dead in this timeline (the emotional resonance for me was pretty blunted by coming back from commercial and seeing Jin X walk past Locke with a bunch of flowers for his wife in the hospital bed), that whole Ji Yeon thing I wrote about here is starting to look pretty good, isn’t it?