Oh, Ana Lucia. We hardly knew ye. And most of us liked it that way. This is your Lost swan song, kiddo, and a lesson learned for all Lostaways: as soon as you achieve closure, be prepared to hit the road, Jack. Just don’t hit the road after you’ve gone on a Christian Shephard-like bender: ABC tends to not like that very much.
Two for the Road
4) In Short
"The killer in me is the killer in you/I send this smile over to you."
8) On the Island
We start right where the last episode ended, with Michael on the ground. Rather that tend to him, Jack instantly starts looking for any Others in the area. After Kate admonishes him, he picks Michael up over his shoulder and starts to carry him back.
In the hatch, Ana Lucia brings Henry some food. She notes his hunger strike is still ongoing, and further notes that unlike most killers, Henry doesn’t talk much. Henry starts to whisper, which brings Ana Lucia closer, which gives Henry a chance to clean her clock with one blow. He starts to choke her, calling her the killer for taking out two of his people ("good people"), and only Locke’s intervention stops Henry from killing her on the spot.
Ana Lucia tends to her wounds on the beach, while Libby warns her to not do anything stupid. In the jungle, Ana Lucia approaches Sawyer, who’s been picking mangos. Looks like this ex-cop wants a gun. Looks like James Ford ain’t handing them out. A little later, she makes another attempt at his hardware, and then goes after his, um, hardware, as the two have a nice little bout of hate sex.
Locke examines the blast doors, then goes into the armory. "Why?" asks Locke, with Henry noting the broad nature of the question. Locke wants to know why Henry hurt Ana Lucia and not him during the events of "Lockdown." Henry notes he’s one of the "good ones," meaning either he has moral superiority or invisible Island body armor. You be the judge, readers! Henry insists that he’s dead either way: either Jack will return empty-handed, or the man in charge of his people will kill him for failing his mission: obtaining John Locke. (Goose bumps.) Before Locke can further question Henry, Jack and Kate return with Michael.
Back on the beach, Hurley wants the radio from Sayid to provide a little mood music for a potential date with Libby, dropping Say Anything references to a confused Sayid. A little later, Libby catches Hurley shoving some food into his bag. He confesses that he was packing a picnic lunch for her. It’s totally charming, and totally heartbreaking.
Over in the Swan, Locke wants to know if the Others made the trade, given that Michael is with them. Ana Lucia eventually joins them post-Sawyer sweatiness, with Locke and Ana Lucia both hiding the true nature of Ana Lucia’s head injury. Kate calls over to Jack: Michael’s awake, and he’s found the Others. He says they lives in tents, wear old clothes, and suggests they are vulnerable to attack. Once he returns to strength, he wants to lead the Lostaway Army to victory. It’s not the St. Crispin’s day speech, but he does mention we few, we crappy few, we band of liars.
In the dome, Jack apologizes to Locke about being wrong about Henry. Locke senses this confession is leading to another one of Jack’s brilliant and ill-advised ideas, and he’s right: Jack wants to storm the Death Star, of sorts, and follow through on Michael’s plan. Locke’s on board, and the two of them plus Kate go to get the guns from Sawyer. This leaves Ana Lucia in the hatch with Michael and Henry. Ruh row.
In the jungle, Libby notes that she and Hurley are lost on the way to the secret beach Sayid mentioned earlier. Like a typical man, Hurley does not ask directions. They end up back on their own beach. When Libby realizes that Hurley is not wise in the way of picnic etiquette, with no blankets or wine in tow. She offers to get blankets, if he grabs some wine from Rose and Bernard. Hurley suggests if he gets drunk enough, he’ll remember where he knows her from. Her look is one of heartbreak, but he’s too happy to notice. The fact that Jin gives him a nearby "thumbs up" only screws the knife in tighter.
The Three Armory Amigos accost Sawyer on the beach: they want them guns, and they want ’em now. They want ’em so bad Jack pulls their only gun on James. James tries to go for his, only to realize that Ana Lucia sexed him out of it. Cut to Ana Lucia pulling it out of her boot. She tosses a knife over to Henry, ordering him to cut himself loose. Henry tells her that Goodwin used to think she was "worthy" and how he could "change" her, but clearly he was wrong.
We see Ana Lucia idly playing with the gun outside the armory. Ana Lucia gives Michael the Cliff Notes version of the man in the armory, noting that she couldn’t kill him, and that she can’t do "this" anymore. Michael offers to kill him in her place. She gives him the combination, and he repays her by shooting her in the chest. Libby walks in with a few blankets, surprising him in the process, and she gets two to the gut for her troubles. Trembling, Michael walks over to the armory, opens the door, confronts Henry, and proceeds to shoot himself in the shoulder. So, um, yea, that happened.
15) Off the Island
Ana Lucia’s mother comes to her in the parking lot of their precinct. She wants to know where Ana Lucia was last night. After Ana Lucia gives a stock answer, her mother suggests they talk a drive. The two visit the morgue, where the body of Jason is revealed. (This places this flashback less than 24 hours after her last one.) Teresa wants to help her daughter, but Ana Lucia refuses, quitting the force in the process.
Now working as a security guard in an airport, Ana Lucia orders her drink of choice (tequila and tonic) at the airport bar. And who would be next to her but everyone’s favorite connective character tissue, Christian Shephard. He’s downing drinks like it’s last call. We learn he’s just learned his license has been revoked thanks to Jack’s intervention back in "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues."
He notes he’s heading for Sydney, and asks her to come along. "Maybe fate has just thrown the two of us together," he suggests. He needs a bodyguard for potentially dangerous work down there. They give each other aliases: Tom and Sarah, and she’s on board with his plan.
In Australia, Ana Lucia fixes a drink in the middle of the night when a slovenly Christian knocks on her door and announces it’s protection time. Turns out he’s been drinking for four days, and now fate’s a-callin’. They drive in the rain to a suburban residence. She stays in the car while he knocks on the door. We see the encounter from Ana Lucia’s perspective, as a woman answers the door. A verbal fight ensues, with words such as "I have every right" and "I pay the mortgage on this house" and "I wanna see my daughter" escape his lips. Ana Lucia manages to pull Christian away as he nearly tears the door off its hinges.
The following morning, Ana Lucia and Christian both talk about the things they ran away from back in the US of A. He suggests they further drink their troubles away, but Ana Lucia refuses. As Christian gets out of the car, who should walk into their car door but Sawyer. Ana Lucia tries one last time to get Christian to come back with her, but he cryptically states he can never go back.
We’re back in the Sydney airport, watching the same flashback we saw back in Season 1’s "White Rabbit." Jack’s pleading with the ticket agent to let Christian’s casket on the plane, and Ana Lucia, hearing his plea, decides to call her mother. (I’m guessing she has Verizon. That airport ain’t no dead zone for her, y’all.) She admits to her mother that she’s ready for help, and ready to come home.
16) The Mythology
Two biggies this week: Did Jacob send Ben for Locke? And why was Christian really in Australia?
Let’s go to the specific dialogue concerning the first item.
Ben: Because the man in charge — he’s a great man, John, a brilliant man — but he’s not a forgiving man. He’ll kill me because I failed, John. I failed my mission.
Locke: What mission?
Ben: When that woman caught me in her trap I was on my way here, John. I was coming for you.
Now, it’s really almost never ever ever a good idea to take what Ben says as face value. That’s a given. But Ben also has a way of slipping in absolute truths into the mix in a way that completely denies anyone listening a chance to separate fact from fiction. So let’s think about what we know to this dialogue and revisit the age-old question, "Why was Ben headed for the Lostaways?"
The events of Season 4’s "Cabin Fever" shed some light on this dialogue, in that we learned of John’s primal importance to the state of the Island itself. The actions seen in those flashbacks, coupled with Jacob’s "Help me," in Season 3, lead credence to the fact that Jacob may have indeed summoned Ben to get the real deal King of the Island. But just as Denethor didn’t much wanna give up the crown to Aragorn, Ben’s not one for ceding power so easily.
What’s really missing here is another scene I wanna add to a future "Ben’s Greatest Hits" episode, in which we see all the super important scenes involving Ben that connect the various dots on the show. So, in addition to scenes such as "Where Did Ben Go After Walking Through the Hieroglyphic Door?", we have a summit scene between Ben and Jacob after Oceanic 815 crashes on the Island. I want to know exactly when Ben learned of Locke’s existence/importance: because I think it’s equally as likely that he knew of Locke’s centrality as a teenager, post-Purge, or when Jacob spoke to Locke and not him in "The Man Behind the Curtain." I think all are in play, and you can make a strong case for any of those scenarios.
If you’re for the first two, then everything Ben does in this season is in direct defiance of the Island power that he’s served for so many years. It’s either his first major defiance, or a continuation of the work done with fertility that Richard Alpert suggests isn’t in line with the true nature of the Island. But if you assume it’s the third option, with Ben merely feeding Locke’s ego to serve the simple purpose of escape, then you have Jacob (and potentially Richard) sending Ben into a trap in order to liberate the once and future King of the Island.
As far as the Christian/Claire stuff goes: all that slurred talk of fate sounds the first time around like a man seeking to blame external forces for internal problems. But as I’ve constantly noted throughout the "We Have to Go Back" series, Christian seems like a man who’s seen his future and is powerless in the face of it. Drinking for four days was a semi-last ditch attempt to betray these forces and connect with his daughter before the events to come. And when that didn’t work, when that last play fell short, he soon died, in essence yielding to the power he fought for so long.
This of course makes the Cabin Christian dynamic all the more intriguing, as the two of them are "reunited" in a way during Season 4, although obviously there’s more to it than that. But I can’t help but feel that the real Christian saw something that he had to warn Claire about, but the Cabin Christian element of the Island stopped him from achieving his goal. This left him no other place to go but the bottom of another bottle.
23) The Moment
Does a double homicide qualify? I think it does.
42) In Retrospect
- Loved the pseudonyms "Tom" and "Sarah." There are two Toms on the show: Mr. Friendly and Claire’s baby daddy, with Sarah being the name of Jack’s ex-wife. I’m sure those psychologists who are Lost fiends had their heads exploding by the implications of these names.
- The rainy scenario under which Christian looks for Claire shows that the eerie, localized, and violent weather patterns that plague the Island might not simply be confined to the Island itself. (There’s further evidence of this when a massive storm crushes Desmond’s boat in a few episodes from now.)
- Watching Hurley’s happiness is like watching an impending accident that you are powerless to stop. Absolutely brutal.
- Nice to know that Walt later agrees that Michael’s implementation of Ms. Klugh’s plan was a touch over-the-top.
108) In Summary
Ana Lucia is one of those characters that sounds great on paper and just falls flat in execution. I’m not a Michelle Rodriguez hater: but I’m far from an Ana Lucia fan. I criticize the show quite often, even while constantly extolling its status as the greatest show I’ve ever seen. I’m the show’s biggest homer, but I’m far from its biggest apologist. And I say all this as a way of pointing out that it’s super easy for me to hate on Ana Lucia, but super hard for me to point out what I would have done to fix her had I been in the writers’ room. These guys get it so right, so much of the time, that asking for perfection seems a touch silly and quite unfair.
Watching this Season over the course of a few weeks, one realizes that the trifecta of Ana Lucia, Eko, and Libby really didn’t dominate the narrative in ways one incorrectly remembers. They are dominate in maybe the first eight or so episodes, but the annoyance mainly came from the fact that we as viewers had to wait an entire summer to get back to Lost only to spend time with a host of characters we didn’t even know.
All this raises the interesting issue once again: what’s the best format in which to watch Lost? Socially speaking, watching new episodes on a weekly basis is the most fun, in that you can communally piece stuff together while hurling the occasional message board insult. ("Yea, yo momma is a TAILIE!") But in terms of appreciating the scope and breadth of the show while not having to wait 9 months for a deliberately paced season to unfold, DVD/on-demand cannot be beat under any circumstances.
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