LOST: “The Package”

Spoilers from tonight’s Sun and Jin episode, and other stuff, after the jump.

Links and miscellanea

Observations and speculations

  • The episode opens with some creepy POV shots through night-vision goggles with enhanced listening, from the perspective of some of Widmore’s men.
  • Not-Locke talks to Jin about Jacob’s seaside cave, and claims that he will need all of the candidates, “all the names that haven’t been crossed off,” to go with him to leave the island. I think it’s either that, or Not-Locke is looking to gather them so that he can kill them all and make sure that Jacob cannot be replaced.
  • At LAX, in LA-X, we return to the scene of U.S. Customs, where Jin-Soo Kwan is distraught that he has missed the meeting at “the restaurant” (and we already know how that is going to go for him), and that the $25,000 that Mr. Paik asked him to deliver with the watch has been confiscated.
  • Later, when Sun and Jin arrive at the hotel, we find out that they are not married yet, and Jin is extremely concerned about appearances, insisting on a separate room. (Incidentally, Sun’s room is on the 8th floor. And Jin’s room number is Room 842, for those of you still playing the Numbers game. 42 is the number associated with “Kwon” in both the cave and the lighthouse.)
  • Back at Camp Not-Locke, Sayid tells Mr. Black Smoke that he doesn’t feel anything anymore—no anger, no happiness, no pain. Not Locke tells him that maybe that’s best, “It’ll help you get through what’s coming.” Clearly, the “infection” (if that’s what it is) has affected him differently than it affected Claire; she is well-stocked in anger. Sayid seems to be becoming a zombie, though he’s not yet shown any brain-eating tendencies.
  • Jin doesn’t trust Not-Locke. Sawyer mentions a previous conversation in which he told Jin about his “deal” with Widmore. I like that there are lost of allusions to off-camera conversations—the survivors are talking among themselves more now than they did when they first arrived on the island.
  • Jin’s threat to leave camp in search of Sun appears to be the catalyst for the tranq attack. Interestingly, Team Widmore wants Jin not because of his possible candidacy, but because of the geological surveying he did when he was a member of the DHARMA Initiative back it in the ’70s. I didn’t see that one coming. They have no interest in Sawyer or any of the other members of Team Smokie. They also don’t seem overly interested in killing at this point, leaving open the possiblity that Widmore isn’t really the villain.
  • Back at the beach, Miles and Lapidus appear to be playing gin rummy. Miles has a pair of sixes, a pair of queens, a pair of kings and an ace, ten and seven of hearts. So they are in the middle of their hand. Ilana is cleaning her rifle and having a spirited discussion with Ben about what their next move is. Ilana still has faith in Jacob that Richard will bring the answer. She proclaims that “Jacob has never lied to me before.” This, of course, comes on the heels of Richard’s insistence that everything Jacob said was a lie. She seems certain, though.
  • Miles’ best line: “Unless Alpert is covered in bacon grease, I’m not sure Hurley can track anything.”
  • Sun returns to her garden, and Jack annoys her. Just like old times. Sun shuts Jack down—she doesn’t want to hear about purpose or destiny, she just wants to find Jin and leave.
  • Back in LA-X, Sun lures Jin into her hotel room and seduces him. Only later do we find out that the two had an ongoing, if illicit and covert, relationship. This is somewhat consistent with what we know of Sun’s backstory. For all of her sweetness on the Island, Sun has a history of causing problems for those around her and acting selfishly.
  • On the island, Not-Locke confronts Sun in her garden and tries to persuade her to go with him to Camp Locke where (he thinks) Jin is waiting. Sun distrusts Not-Locke, with good reason. She has seen Locke’s corpse and knows about the Temple massacre. And Locke could probably work on his people skills: “I didn’t want to hurt those people. Anyone of them could come with me, and I’m giving you that choice right now” really sounds like a threat. Sun turns tail, runs away into the jungle and, in the process, bumps her head on a tree. Although Not-Locke was about to overtake her, he doesn’t do her any harm himself.
  • In Sun’s LA-X hotel room, the morning after, Sun reveals her plan to run away with Jin. This parallels her Oceanic crash story line, except in that case the plan was to run away from Jin, not with him. An ominous knock comes at the door, and Jin hides in the bathroom, but before she answers the knock, she looks in the mirror and has one of those vague, deja-vu-like moments looking at her reflection in the mirror.
  • Keamy arrives, followed by Omar. Which raises a question—why is LA-X populated by so many characters we know from DHARMA, or the Others, or the Freighter? Were these characters’ lives to be intertwined no matter what universe they lived in?
  • Ben finds Sun in the jungle, post-head bump, but she doesn’t speak English anymore. Not-Locke returns to camp to find his team members tranqed and rouses Sayid, who doesn’t know much. And Jin awakes in Room 23 on Hydra Island.
  • Zoe tells Jin that the DHARMA Initiative used Room 23 to do experiments on subliminal messages. But we know that the Others also used it for brainwashing purposes. Karl was subject to this, and probably Walt as well. And one of the main messages in the creepy Room 23 movie is that “God loves you as he loved Jacob.”
  • Zoe, who it turns out is a geophysicist, wants Jin to help interpret his writing on a grid map that the DHARMA Initiative used to identify pockets of electro-magnetism. It seems that Team Widmore’s plan to defeat Not-Locke involves tapping into the Island’s electro-magnetic powers.
  • Back at Camp Not-Locke, Sayid and the team leader are planning a mission on the outrigger and Sayid keeping a gun wrapped in plastic. It’s unclear why Sayid is willing to go along, but he does. Not-Locke tells Claire that she is not a candidate. He also tells Claire that Kate’s name is not on the cave wall (“not anymore”), but that he needs Kate to get the other candidates. Then he pretty much gives Claire the go ahead to take her vengence on Kate once she’s served her purpose. “Whatever happens, happens,” he says, paraphrasing an episode title from last season.
  • Best Sawyer dialogue, and best dialogue of the episode:

    Sawyer: What do you need a boat for? Can’t you just turn into black smoke and fly your ass over the water?

    Not-Locke: Do you think that if I could do that that I’d still be on this island?

    Sawyer (with sarcasm): No, because that’d be ridiculous.

    I laughed, and it was out loud.

  • I’ve said it before. Keamy makes a great villain. Best Keamy line: “I feel like I’m in a damn Godzilla movie.” Keamy asks Omar to get Mikhail Bakunin to act as a translator, introducing yet another Other into the LA-X storyline. Recall that Mikhail was a sort of communications officer for the Others, manning the Flame station.
  • On the island, back on the beach: poor Ben. No one believes him now, even when he’s telling the truth. Jack diagnosis Sun with aphasia. Wiki:

    Aphasia is an acquired language disorder in which there is an impairment of any language modality. This may include difficulty in producing or comprehending spoken or written language.

    Depending on the area and extent of brain damage, someone suffering from aphasia may be able to speak but not write, or vice versa, or display any of a wide variety of other deficiencies in language comprehension and production, such as being able to sing but not speak. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage.

    Aphasia is usually the result of some sort of disease-induced brain damage, not a bump to the head, but it’s good enough for television.

  • I enjoyed the parlay between Not-Locke and Widmore. “Easy friend, I come in peace.” (Which was a nice sci-fi complement to Sawyer’s “take me to your leader” from two weeks ago.) Widmore says what he knows of the Smoke Monster is “a combination of myth, ghost stories and jungle noises at night.” Not-Locke is the island’s boogie man, essentially. I think it’s interesting that Jacob never clearly communicated the nature of the Man in Black to the Others, even those as prominent as Widmore.
  • Richard is now on a zealous mission to stop the Man in Black, and his plan is to destroy the plane. Not everyone seems on board with that plan, and especially not Sun. She’s not interested in the big game, she just wants to get her husband and get out. (I wonder how Mr. Paik figures into this meta-struggle. Presumably, he’d be a Widmore ally.)
  • In LA-X, Sun begins to figure out that things have gone bad when the bank teller informs her that her father closed her secret account.
  • In the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator, after strapping Jin into a metal chair with duct tape, Keamy tells Jin, “The heart wants what the heart wants,” which is allegedly what Woody Allen said to Mia Farrow to justify his affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi. Like Sun, Soon-Yi is also from South Korea. Then Keamy tells Jin, “Some people just aren’t meant to be together.”
  • Returning from his Hydra Island chat with Not-Locke, Widmore is upset with Zoe for taking Jin so quickly. “This was not supposed to happen for days. We had a timetable.” Zoe says they had no choice because Jin was leaving the camp. She adds, “Maybe you should have put a mercenary in charge instead of a geophysicist.” Widmore, however, has apparently learned his lesson from the last time his people made it to the island, and this time, he left the mercenaries at home.
  • Jin sees photos of Ji-Yeon for the first time on Sun’s digital camera. Widmore uses this as leverage with Jin, with good effect. He also mentions his daughter, Penny. He mentions her in the present tense, suggesting that perhaps Ben was not successful at killing her at the dock in Los Angeles. Widmore insists that “If that thing masquerading as John Locke were to get off this island … everyone we know and love would simply cease to be.” I’m not sure what that means, but it’s not good. It reminds me of Eloise Hawking saying, “Then God help us all.”
  • Finally, the LA-X storyline overlaps with Sayid’s off-island narrative, and Sayid gives half-hearted assistance, handing Jin a box cutter. Jin frees himself and manages to get a gun and kill Mikhail by shooting him in the eye. This dovetails with Mikhail’s state as we see him on the island, eyepatch and all. Meanwhile, Sun has been injured in the firefight, and Jin carries her away to find medical care, carelessly leaving the wounded, but still-living Keamy behind.
  • Jack and Sun have a moment on the beach. Jack draws on his experience as a medical resident and tries to bore Sun to wellness. Sun indicates that she does trust Jack. Jack’s manner is Jacob-like; If any of the candidates become Jacob’s replacement,my vote is for Jack.
  • Finally, we have the last reveal of the episode, with Sayid discovering the identity of the episode’s eponymous “package.” It’s Desmond, and he doesn’t seem to have returned to the Island by choice; he’s drugged and pretty beaten up. There’s a sort of congruity to this, even if it’s without explanation. We knew that Desmond would somehow be a key to the end game, since for whatever reason the rules don’t apply to him.

I liked this episode. I liked the mix of on- and off-island storytelling, and I think the plot was advanced nicely. There was still a lot of setting the groundwork, and it wasn’t my favorite of the season, but it was solid.

What did you all think? Did “The Package” inspire any new thoughts or theories?

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33 thoughts on “LOST: “The Package”

  1. Greg,

    Excellent episode. So nice to see Desmond back.

    They also don’t seem overly interested in killing at this point, leaving open the possiblity that Widmore isn’t really the villain.

    I’ve never thought him to be the villain. But then again, he’s no saint either.

    Were these characters’ lives to be intertwined no matter what universe they lived in?

    That was my thought too, and ironically some meet the same fate it seems. It’s a strange fate that seems to meet Sun and Jin, destined to be apart no matter what they do.

  2. I’ve never believed Widmore to be a bad guy – primarily because it’s usually been Ben who says he is.

    I do like the continuity in that Widmore is more interested in the island’s properties than its mythology. I wonder if his banishment was less about his off-island treks (as per Ben) and more about not buying into Jacob’s doctrine.

    Note that we’ve also seen him researching the Black Rock, and now that we know that it was piloted by a Hanso. It seems to me that Dharma was either interested in the island for the same reasons the Black Rock might have been heading there, or Dharma was at least in part about finding out what happened to the Black Rock and why. And Widmore seems to be interested in the same things. (If Paik is wrapped up in this, I suspect he’s an investor interested in the potential for financial gain – he might have even been after Jughead, but we’ll likely never know.)

    So once again Widmore brings a team of scientists to the island, and once again brings his/Daniel’s (same thing) lab rat along with him. This is great news for me, because I prefer the science, history and paranormal angles as opposed to the sci-fi sides of the story.

    Happy that Keamy is not quite dead – homage to Pulp Fiction, no? Seeing characters who you know are already dead, and oh wait not yet!

    And Mikhail! His demise was far too early I thought – so much more could have been done with his character. His interactions with Sayid remain among my favourite memories of Lost.

    Trivia: the actor who plays him, Andrew Divoff, does speak 9 languages, although according to imdb, Korean is not one of them.

  3. Why in the world would Sun trust Jack!? I mean his plans have worked so well in the past. In fact he has made the promise to her and Jin on a plane and off the Island before. It didn’t go so well. Also is it possible that Smokey’s cave list isn’t up to date? Kate’s name was still on the Lighthouse’s list. He could be making a very big mistake here. Also wasn’t Littleton on one or more of those lists? Though it’s probably crossed off due to craziness. I don’t think Widmore is Bad but I don’t think he’s really looking out for anyone’s interest but his own.

  4. Does anyone else get the feeling that Ben and Widmore are going to have to put aside their differences to work this out? I can see that now that reformed Ben is willing to be a good guy. Maybe this is a stretch.

  5. I can see a possibility where Ben and Widmore realize they have been on the same side the whole time.

  6. My sort-of-theory about Not Locke is that he can only leave the island if Jacob (or Jacob’s replacement) takes him off the island willingly. That would explain why he’s so interested in getting all the candidates to go with him.

    Also, I snorted during his speech to Sun about how he’s all about letting people make their choices freely: they can switch to his side, or darnit, he’ll have to kill them. But it’s TOTALLY their choice, and he’d never take that from them.

  7. Excellent theory Allison – he doesn’t know who the prime candidate is (nor which Kwon), so he’s gathering them all to facilitate his departure.

    Makes perfect sense. (Well, in the same way a smoke monster makes sense!)

  8. After I saw it was a Sun/Jin episode I gave up hope that Desmond would be returning last night, but then when they started talking about a “package” I knew it had to be him. I was worried they weren’t going to tie up the whole “desmond is special” thing from last season in favor of 1st season mysteries, so it looks like my faith in the writers has been restored :)

  9. The question is, what role do we think Desmond will play? Is he the constant that Faraday referred to? Is he somehow special in that the smoke monster can’t hurt him or is he special in that he can manipulate the electromagnetism of the island due to his first experience, which left him without his pants?

  10. Does anyone have a real plan? Stop Smokey. Ok but then what? Can he be destroyed? Should he be? It seems like everyone’s end games are a little different so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

  11. Widmore seems to have a plan – he referred to Jin not being scheduled for several days for example, and he certainly seems to have taken care in assembling a team and packing up the right equipment. He’s also done his research.

    MIB doesn’t seem to have a plan beyond getting off the island at all costs, Ilana’s plan relies on the instructions of a dead man and his disillusioned lieutenant, and everyone else seems to be winging it.

    Personally, I’d be on Team Widmore :)

  12. Jenny said:

    “everyone else seems to be winging it”

    Does this include the producers? :) Or does this just include the ABC executive who decided to put a giant red “V” on the tv screen for an hour with a countdown that blocked some of the important writing of one of the characters?

  13. That countdown clock drove me insane! It did not however make me want to watch V. I think Widmore has a plan for Smokey but beyond that I’m not sure he does.

  14. Hi all. Just a guess about Desmond- since his role in the past has been to connect different timelines, perhaps he’ll have a role in experiencing/affecting the alternate timeline in which the island doesn’t exist. This would be in keeping with Juliet saying ‘It worked.’

    Despite him being more of a supporting character, he’s always been one of my favorites; any episodes about his backstory have been the most enjoyable from a sci-fi aspect.

  15. I hope the smoke monster kills those stupid lizards in their human suits.

    I hope they explain more about Dharma. It was nice to see the “subliminal” room again – although it was more fun as a Kubrickesque torture room.

  16. I’m kinda bummed about Sun and Jin not getting together. “Some people just aren’t meant to be together?” (I may be misquoting.)

    Looking back, I wonder what purpose Sun’s inability to speak English served for the plot. Will it be important later?

  17. A quick guess on Sun’s inability to speak English: perhaps 2004 Sun and 2007 Sun merged.

    My guess is that at the end of this, 2007 folks are going to sacrifice themselves so that 2003 Losties can live.

    Looking at all of the flash side-ways, it seems that most of them are better off having never been to the island and that much of their issues/baggage pre Flighgt 815 have been resolved.

  18. If any of the candidates become Jacob’s replacement,my vote is for Jack.

    Mine too. I mean, this story has always kind of been about Jack. Just to repeat my earlier theory, Jack replaces Jacob and Locke replaces MiB, and they continue the game that’s apparently been played between the two for a long time.

  19. Tim, I think that would be a rather unsatisfying conclusion after all we’ve been through.

  20. We are getting to the point where almost anything will be unsatisfying for a conclusion based on where this had gone. If it is something too simple, then people will ask why the waste of time. If too complex, people will complain about the lack of answers. It all has to fit somehow but I don’t know what these guys are doing.

  21. I’m still unsure how this will end, but I feel much better knowing that I’ve sat through my last Sun and Jin episode.

  22. I can see that, Tim.
    Closing scene of Lost: Jack and “Locke” sitting on the beach.

    Locke: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?
    Jack: Yes.
    Locke: One of these days, sooner or later… I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.
    Jack: Well, when you do, I’ll be right here.

  23. Locke: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?
    Jack: Yes.
    Locke: One of these days, sooner or later… I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.
    Jack: Well, when you do, I’ll be right here.

    …and then both look towards the sky as another plane prepares to crash-land on the island.

  24. I liked the subtle parallel between Sun’s sideways story and the final reveal. We learn from the sideways story that Sun’s father was trying to bump off Jin because of his relationship with his daughter. And later we see that Widmore has Desmond abducted, drugged, beaten and brought to the island. Widmore tried to break up Desmond and Penny in the past, so I’m sure he was not overly concerned with Desmond’s comfort on the voyage.

    My question about Widmore’s motivation is this: is his primary goal to kill Smokie? Or is he after the exploitation of the Island’s electromagnetic properties for financial gain (and he needs to kill Smokie to do so)?

  25. While I used to be attached to the idea the flash sideways being something after the finale. I’m coming back to the idea it’s not. I think they are parallel tracks, Widmore knows this, and is going to unify them thereby screwing up the Locke body.

  26. I am curious about the “through the looking glass” vibe from all of the Losties as they examine themselves in the mirror.

    After last night, with all of the parallels mentioned, I wonder if one timeline will have to die to save the other?

  27. well they can’t be exactly parallel, because the other timeline takes place in 2004 while the guys on the island are in 2007.

  28. Yes but if the nuke created the alternative time lines they are in each time line starting the moment after the bomb. So different absolute years but identical subjective years.

  29. I’m still not sure that the timelines diverge the moment that Jughead went off in 1977, or that the island sank at that point.

    The thing that’s not fitting is Ben’s conversation with his Dad, in which they talk about being with Dharma. His father says something like “we shouldn’t have left” or “we should have stayed.”

    That’s not something that a person who was evacuated would say, even if he didn’t know what happened after they left.

    I still think (and could be completely wrong of course!) that the “reset” that ignites the LAX timeline has yet to happen.

  30. Yeah, I’m not sure either Jenny. And that’s exactly the main reason. But I’m moving back to the jughead answer. I mean the bomb must have had some effect!

  31. Jenny, I agree with you, and I think the reset may have something to do with Widmore’s plans regarding the MIB. That may be where our Time-Traveling Scot Desmond comes in.

    I keep thinking about Eloise Hawking’s comment to Desmond during his time tripping (after he activated the Hatch’s fail safe device). She said that the Universe was course-correcting, which she demonstrated with the man on the street being killed. This was reinforced later when Desmond was unable to ultimately prevent Charlie from being killed.

    And yet we have an alternate timeline that is not “correcting” itself from the other timeline. Charlie lives in LA X time, as does Roger Linus and (probably) Anthony Cooper and (possibly) Keamy.

    Perhaps all these people were not supposed to die, and the LA X timeline is, in fact, the course-corrected timeline. And Desmond — being the one person for whom the “rules don’t apply” — may be the person who is central to the reset, and allows the Universe to course-correct.

    And in a course-corrected Universe, where the Island sits at the bottom of the ocean, is there even a place for Jacob and the MIB? If not, all the “candidates” can get on with their own lives, as we see them doing in LA X time.

    But to echo Jenny’s qualifier: I may be totally wrong…

  32. Why are we assuming that these are alternate timelines and not perhaps alternate universes? I’ve always found the theory of universes where the flip side of choices we made play out totally intriguing. It could be that this other universe where 815 didn’t crash has always exsisted. It could be that something has changed perhaps creating a link or a crack linking this with the universe we know. Could be that Desmond can travel between the two. More likely I’ve just been reading too much sci-fi and watching too much Doctor Who.

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