Earlier this year, I wrote that there are four times when I am super-mega excited for an episode of "Lost": a season premiere, a season finale, the week after a great episode and the week after a terrible one. I need to add a fifth instance: when the season finales of "24" and "Heroes" suck. Such a total letdown on both fronts. I was angry about "Heroes" for two days straight -- all that buildup was for that? Very disappointed. Needless to say, if "Lost" doesn't deliver the goods I am going to have to be severely medicated for my own protection.
For all you "Lost" Diary newbies, here's how it goes. I gather with a group of friends watching "Lost," writing what happens on the show as it happens, and throwing in my two cents along the way. This week the crew is Ari, Lauren, Marisa, April, Matt and Michelle (making her debut). It's two hours of "Lost" goodness tonight. Let's roll:
9:01 -- Jack is headed back to Los Angeles (on Oceanic Air, mind you) and with a full beard. Looks like he stole it from Mr. Friendly's fake beard collection.
9:02 -- Moving along slowly, something in the newspaper has Jack broken up as he pulls over to the side of the road on a bridge. Is a failed suicide attempt in his future? Oh no, Jack -- please don't drunk-dial your ex.
9:03 -- OK, seriously, what has Jack so despondent right now? This whole thing doesn't feel right.
9:04 -- Jack's suicide is going to have to wait, as a massive car accident just happened. Someone we know, perhaps?
9:05 -- As the Losties prepare for the Others invasion, a few readers made a great point: if the Others are coming a day early, and Juliet marks the tents, won't they know something is up since she shouldn't have marked them yet?
9:06 -- I was amazed last week at how many people said they don't like Rose and Bernard. They're awesome.
9:07 -- Subtitled goodbyes always get me. "Awwww, English." -- Lauren.
9:10 -- Naomi fell from the sky and has been in camp for like two, maybe three days, and even SHE doesn't trust Juliet.
9:11 -- Charlie is getting his ass handed to him by the LGBs (Looking Glass Babes). It's like "Lost" porn to me.
9:12 -- So whoever these girls are, they know Ben. That would make them Others -- but why doesn't anyone else know about them?
9:13 -- "You're inside a room full of equipment. There's a blinking yellow light above a switch. You flick the switch, light goes off, and you drown." -- Desmond. It can all still happen just the way he predicted it.
9:14 -- "But if Juliet told them about the Looking Glass, what else did she tell them?" -- Mikhail. So no one else knows about the Looking Glass. I still think maybe Richard might.
9:15 -- The tents are marked a day early and the Others don't seem to care. Idiots. Gotta say though, I don't want to see Mr. Friendly die.
9:16 -- The room breaks out in applause after each tent explodes. Bernard held his own, but Jin didn't, and now he's being held at gunpoint. I thought that was Kate's move. Oh well, at least they got a few of them before getting captured.
9:20 -- Jack's ex-wife looks a tad pregnant, doesn't she? That's got to sting.
9:22 -- Everyone's worried about Sayid, Jin and Bernard, but Jack's right. They have to keep moving. Though it would be the Jack thing to do to go back and rescue them.
9:23 -- Mark it down folks: the first time I ever truly like Charlie. I love that he's flaunting the certainty of Desmond's vision right in the LGB's faces.
9:24 -- Man, Henry Gale sounds nerrrrrrrrrvous.
9:26 -- (Shaking head) Oh Bernard. I bet they shoot him once he's done flapping his gums.
9:27 -- Something tells me Alex is grounded. No hatches for a month.
9:30 -- Um, what's the temple? Kinda funny that the Others have a bunch of unanswered questions. Welcome to the club.
9:31 -- "I'm going to talk them out of it." -- Henry Gale. Ok, he's good and all, but he's not that good.
9:32 -- "And since when did you start calling me Kate?" -- Kate to Sawyer. I'm holding firm with my prediction that one of them dies.
9:33 -- Oh yeah, Desmond. Almost forgot about him. And now he's making his way down to the Looking Glass. Not sure if I can deal with another scene of Desmond trying to save Charlie. Forget the fact that I want Charlie to die; they've done it too many times already.
9:40 -- Man, Jack looks like shit.
9:42 -- OK, I've got a few questions. First off, who is the woman from the accident? Secondly, when exactly are we? Because, and I know this probably can't be the case, but so far it sure feels like all this is happening AFTER the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. If not, where was Jack coming from and why does he look the Unabomber and what was in that newspaper?
9:43 -- Sawyer is a man with a death wish and he's going back to the beach to save Sayid and company, and it looks like Juliet is going to go with him. Lauren just called Juliet a name I can't repeat.
9:44 -- "Don't wait up." -- Juliet.
9:45 -- Next up at the Looking Glass, Mikhail, sans the eye patch. Charlie is trying to play Mikhail against the LGBs and, again, I'm kinda digging it.
9:46 -- Mikhail is pissed and now Henry wants him to kill everyone. It's like, "Hey, sorry I lied on all these years, but can you do me a favor and kill a bunch of people for me? Thanks, you're the best." Only Henry Gale could pull that off.
9:51 -- "So, you screwing Jack yet?" -- Sawyer.
9:52 -- "No, are you?" -- Juliet.
9:53 -- So not only are there no guns, but now Hurley wants to help too. Ari is convinced Hurley will save the day. Lauren thinks it will happen by accident.
9:54 -- "Why do you have to stop them? Why won't you just let them leave?" -- Alex. That's the million dollar question, ain't it?
9:55 -- Ladies and gentlemen, the man you've all been waiting for. The man the island talks to. The man Jacob asks for help. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the show ...
9:56 -- JOHN LOCKE!!!!! (Applause)
9:57 -- AND WALT!!!!!!!! (Probably not really him, but still)
10:00 -- "Because I love you." -- Jack. Make up your mind Jack: Kate or Juliet. Can't have both. Or can he?
10:01 -- Jack is still rocking the beard, still holding on to that newspaper clipping and headed to a funeral parlor. They are sure dragging this whole thing out.
10:03 -- Who's in the coffin? Apparently Jack is neither friend nor family to the deceased. I can't think of anything that could have Jack this messed up.
10:04 -- Anyone else notice how weird the music has been this week?
10:05 -- "Hello, Jack. We need to talk." -- Henry Gale. Oh it is so ON!!!!!
10:10 -- Mikhail takes down one LGB.
10:11 -- But Desmond shoots Mikhail before he can kill the other one. Now Desmond and Charlie have someone that can give them the code.
10:12 -- Jack vs. Henry Gale doesn't have the same oomph as Locke vs. Henry Gale does.
10:13 -- Rockbottom Jack is struggling. Alright, I am just going to say it: since nothing, and I mean NOTHING is happening in this flashback, it isn't about WHAT happens, but when. Since this whole episode is about them getting off the island, I think this flashback happens after the island -- it's a flash-forward. The whole room in agreement.
10:14 -- "The woman you're traveling with, the one who parachuted onto the island from a helicopter. She's not who she says she is." -- Henry Gale.
10:15 -- So Henry Gale is saying that Naomi is from a group of people who want to kill everyone on the island, if they can find it. He's giving Jack a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of proposition. Is he telling the truth? I say yes.
10:16 -- Now Henry is threatening the lives of Sayid, Jin and Bernard. Yet another no-win situation for Jack.
10:17 -- R.I.P. Sayid, Jin and Bernard?
10:18 -- Jack, we're cool. I kind of like you, when you're not being a whupped little mama's boy. But please stop hitting Henry Gale. We can't be boys anymore if you're going to beat my main man senseless.
10:19 -- "I'm going to lead my people up to the radio tower, and I'm going to make a call, and I'm going to get them all rescued -- every one of them. And then I'm going to come find you and I'm gonna kill you." -- Jack.
10:23 -- "OK, Bonnie, we're both going to die down here, let's be perfectly honest. That one-eyed maniac just killed your friend and shot you in the back. It would appear your glorious leader Ben put him up to it. Are you a sodding idiot? You have the opportunity to make Ben very, very angry. Why would you not take that?" -- Charlie. It's like last week they wanted to redeem Charlie in the eyes of all the women who watch "Lost," and this week it's the men. This is definitely the coolest he's ever been.
10:24 -- R.I.P. Bonnie, but thanks for the code.
10:25 -- "Alex, this is your mother." -- Henry Gale. Reunited and it feels so goooooood.
10:27 -- Do you think Sayid, Jin and Bernard are really dead? I'm kind of 50/50, but if I had to choose, I'd say no.
10:28 -- "Because I want him to see it. I want him to experience the moment we get off this island and I want him to know that he failed. And then I'll kill him." -- Jack. Foolish man, none of those things are happening.
10:29 -- Guess they're still alive. "THANK GOD!" Lauren just yelled at the top of her lungs.
10:30 -- Here he comes to save the day! Hugo Reyes is on his way!
10:31 -- "That's for taking the kid off the raft." -- Sawyer. R.I.P. Mr Friendly. Alright, my predictions have been terrible tonight, but here's another one (or at least an amended one): not only does Sawyer die, but the Smoke Monster (Jacob?) does him in.
10:35 -- Rockbottom Jack is now stealing drugs. Jack mentioned his dad before, but we never saw or heard from him. Worth noting.
10:36 -- "Do you have any idea what I've been through?" -- Jack. Yeah, I think we do.
10:37 -- Another mention of Jack's dad, but we don't actually see him.
10:38 -- It just hit me: this is all like the plot of "Return of the Jedi." One team takes out the shield (in this case, the jammer), while the other team destroys the Death Star (or uses the satellite phone).
10:39 -- "Yeah dude, I told you. I saved them all." -- Hurley. Don't mess with Hurley.
10:40 -- "So much for fate." -- Charlie. Wouldn't light the victory cigar yet.
10:41 -- Penny?
10:42 -- Who is Naomi?" -- Penny. Uh oh, Henry Gale may have been telling the truth. And what is that banging?
10:43 -- Mikhail lived -- again -- and now he has a grenade. Charlie slams shut the door to the communications room, trapping himself inside and keeping Desmond away from Penny. And now, it's happening ...
10:44 -- I don't know what to do with myself. The words I have been longing to type and I can't bring myself to do it. Aw hell, yeah I can!
10:45 -- R.I.P. Charlie.
10:46 -- "Charlie just got us rescued." -- Naomi. Oh, really? Maybe Naomi doesn't quite know who she works for.
10:48 -- "We're here." -- Rousseau. Whenever those words are said on "Lost," cool shit usually happens next.
10:49 -- "I'll celebrate when we're home." -- Jack.
10:50 -- Locke to the reverse rescue!
10:51 -- Even if Locke shoots Jack, he's still going to have everyone else to deal with. Don't know how he's planning to pull this off.
10:52 -- Man they are setting this up to end really, really badly for the Losties.
10:53 -- What's with all the maps, Rockbottom Jack? Who died? When is all this happening? Who is he calling? Juliet maybe? Penny? Kate?
10:54 -- Who's in the car? I am dying here!!!
10:55 -- Kate, I knew it. Damn she looks good. Being able to shower on a daily basis really does wonders.
10:56 -- "Still pulling people out of burning wreckage?" -- Kate.
10:57 -- "Because I want it to crash, Kate." -- Jack.
10:59 -- "We made a mistake ... We were not supposed to leave." -- Jack.
11:00 -- "We have to go back!" -- Jack.
So the whole point of Jack's flash-forward was to show us that Henry Gale was right -- whoever Naomi is with are the bad guys. I kind of like the idea of showing us everything leading up to Jack making the rescue call, and then showing us that it all went to hell, without actually seeing any of what happened in between. Since every season had a theme (the crash, the hatch, the Others), you have to assume that season four will be about whoever was on the other end of that phone.
While there may not have been any "major" questions answered -- the numbers? Jacob? Michael and Walt? -- We did learn why Henry Gale does what he does. Why does he jam communications off the island? Why does he keep such a tight hold on information? Why doesn't he let people off the island? Because people are looking for the island and they want to destroy it. I've said it once and I'll say it again -- you have to trust Henry Gale when the chips are down. He doesn't lie about the important stuff. He's always right.
Other than that, I am just going to start throwing out thoughts as they come to me:
-- "Lost" was 120 minutes tonight. Let's take away 30 for commercials, leaving us with 90. Of said 90 minutes, Locke was in two of them. Not a good ratio.
-- Oh, and Jacob was in none of them.
-- Are we done with flashbacks? Are flash-forwards the new thing? Or was this a one-time deal? Feels like just a one-time thing.
-- Charlie, we've had a long history. Wish I could say I was sad to see you go, but after all the buildup, you literally had to. At least you went out on a high note. See you in another life, brutha.
-- As for Charlie's death, a few people asked me, "Why did he close the door? Why didn't he swim out the window?" Because Desmond told him he had to die for everyone to be saved. He wanted Desmond's vision to come true, down to every last detail.
-- I wish Richard was more prevalent tonight. Here's to hoping we see more of him next season.
-- Can Mikhail ever be killed?
-- Jack referred to his dad a lot in the future. Is he alive?
-- Is Kate with Sawyer in the future? Was Henry Gale the one who died? Who else made it off the island?
This episode felt to me like it was such a setup for next season, I don't even feel like I could give it a grade. It would be like talking about "Kill Bill Vol. 1" without making mention of "Vol. 2." This episode felt more like a season premiere than a finale. That said, obviously it was amazing.
So it's over, huh? Where did the time go? But don't worry, I'm not taking eight months off like "Lost" is. Over at TheLostDiary.com, I am going to re-watch Season 1 (and probably 2 as well) and post new Diaries for them every Thursday. I haven't seen any of the episodes since they originally aired, so I think it will be interesting to watch them again.
Meanwhile, on Mondays, I'll be posting the Q&A columns -- and I imagine this week's will be crazy. E-mail your questions to email@example.com and hopefully we'll get enough throughout the "offseason" to keep the Q&A columns going as well.
It's been quite a season. I went back and read the first Diary from Season 3, and man have things changed. That column only got 46 comments. The last two weeks got over 1,300 combined. You know what the first timed entry of the first column said? "9:00 -- Right now if I had to rank the best characters on TV, Henry Gale would be top 5. Charlie would be somewhere around 10,451." Some things never change.
See ya next season, bruthas.