'Lost' review: Follow the Leader

Trevan McGee

shares his thoughts on Wednesday night's episode of "Lost."

Read Trevan's take on the entire season here.

“Follow The Leader”

Alright, penultimate "Lost" is here.

While descriptions of “Follow The Leader,” the final episode before season five’s two-hour finale next week led us to believe the episode would shed some much needed light on Richard Alpert, the raccoon-eyed eternal that has been on Magic Time Travel Island for who knows how long, in truth, the episode was more about three threads being drawn closer together.

The episode’s cold open picked up where last week left off, Eloise Hawking has unwittingly shot and killed her son, Daniel Faraday, while Jack and Kate look on, hidden in the bushes. They’re soon discovered by an older Charles Widmore, freshly back from a cover shoot for a Danielle Steel novel, and taken hostage. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Juliet have been detained by Radzinsky, Horace and Phil and are given a good beating for their trouble.

Sidenote: How great is Patrick Fischler at playing skeevy, beady-eyed characters? His decision to start working over Juliet in front of Sawyer made him instantly despicable. For further proof of his ability to provoke audiences into instant hatred, see Mad Men season 2, where he plays the loudmouth entertainer Jimmy Barret. See also: David Lynch’s incredible Mulholland Drive.

And the show’s third story arch followed Locke and Ben Linus as they returned to The Others’ camp. Locke moves with a confidence and certainty that is new to the character (being brought back to life will do that to you) and it was fascinating to see Ben genuinely terrified of Locke’s newfound strut and his own uncertainty.

The episode’s big reveal, that Locke is going to kill Jacob, didn’t really hit home, mainly because we don’t know anything about Jacob.

Based on the limited interactions the characters have had with him, here are my observations:

-Different people have answered to Jacob. The first time Locke meets him he’s an unknown, when Hurley meets him, he’s Christian Shepard. This makes me think he’s not so much a person as he is a consciousness. It makes sense that he’s piloting Christian Shepard’s body because Christian is dead, so his body’s really just a vessel.

-Both the disappearing cabin and Christian’s appearance in front of Michael seconds before his death emphasize his ethereal state.

-In “Dead is Dead,” Alpert responds Widmore’s complaints that little Ben was dying by saying, “Jacob wanted it done. The Island chooses who it chooses, you know that.” Jacob is either a proxy or a conduit for The Island.I don’t know what any of that means, but if Jacob’s some kind of spirit, how’s Locke going to kill him? Proton pack?

While there wasn’t anything Earth-shattering, “Follow The Leader” did a phenomenal job of balancing three storylines, but in devoting the second-to-last episode of the season entirely to setup with no delivery, it’s up to the finale to deliver. Granted, the last two finales were both outstanding, with “Through The Looking Glass” effectively saving the show from a rapidly waning audience and reminding a lot of doubters (myself included) that there actually was a point to the whole thing, that the writers were in control.

Observations-Oh god, the Sub’s departure looked awful. I haven’t seen CG that bad since the Kevin Sorbo Hercules made-for-TV movies.

-How did The Others’ get Jughead into their temple? My money’s on Smokey the smoke monster.

-Why is Kate doing everything she can to sabotage attempts to undo the future? She used the last-ditch, bad boyfriend defense for not supporting Jack, saying the equivalent to “Think of all the good time.” Later, she skips out on the plan and ends up on the sub with Sawyer and Juliet, either as an act of lazy writing or foreshadowing.

-Percentage chance Miles dies in the finale: 88.