To be honest, I’m starting to get a little bored with the whole alternate universe thing. I mean, I understand: we’ve already hit rewind and fast forward, so placing the characters in an alternate reality makes the most sense. I guess. A friend and I were discussing this earlier today, and we agreed that while we wouldn’t be surprised to find that there was a method behind the madness at the end of the season, right now it’s a little lackluster. Because honestly? It feels like reading scattered, meandering fanfiction. Yes, there was a time in my life where I read fanfiction.
Alternate Comic Book/Fan Fiction/Roleplay/Whatever Universe
Episode Four begins with Locke returning home from Australia and coming home (well, actually more like crawling across the lawn. Damn handicap vans.) to his fiance, Helen. Yes, that Helen. The same one who rejected his proposal back in a Season Three flashback. Looks like these two crazy kids have found a way to make it work. She’s wrapped up in planning their eventual wedding, but encourages alternate Locke to take up alternate Jack on his offer of a free spinal consult. Alternate Locke isn’t feeling it, however, because in this version of events, he’s not so much a man of faith as he is a man of God-I-Hate-My-Life-Because-I’m-Stuck-In-A-Wheelchair. He can’t see why people believe in miracles, he can’t see why people enjoy sunshine and rainbows, and he sure can’t see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He’s just bitter.
Bitter to the point where, after being fired from his job he doesn’t really care to look for another, more fitting position until the combined powers of Alternate Hurley (who owns the company) and Alternate Rose (who unfortunately – though I guess not surprisingly – still has cancer) end up placing him as a substitute teacher at a middle school…working alongside none other than Alternate Benjamin Linus. In this version of events, the master of psychological warfare is an AP Euro teacher and the school’s resident Dwight Schrute. It’s hilarious how much sense it makes. Even while he’s making coffee, Benjamin Linus always has a plan. So does Helen, apparently. After finding out that Locke went on a walkabout, got fired from his job, and doesn’t hold any hope that he’ll ever be freed from the wheelchair, she rips up the business card Jack gave him as a sign of accepting Locke for who he is, not who he could be. Aww. Yawn. Wake me up when something serious happens. So far, the alternate universe is feeling a little canonical…and boring.
Meanwhile (?), on the island…
This is where the action was this week. We first see the Smoke Monster (TM) waking up a bloody, beaten (and somehow, still weirdly sexy? Don’t judge me.) Richard Alpert, and giving him some answers. The first thing we learn is that the Smoke Monster has taken the form of Locke because Locke is (well…was) a “candidate.” for becoming “the next Jacob,” as we later discover. With Jacob having been dethroned, the island needs a new mystery enshrouded mascot. Not surprisingly, Locke was being considered for the job – until Ben went and killed him. Which was a little awkward.
Alpert is freaking out so hard, his eyeshadow’s starting to look smudged – he’s a little useless at the moment. So the Smoke Monster takes off in search of the next nearest candidate, who turns out to be Sawyer, who is marinating in Whiskey and dirty boxers back at the house he and Juliet used to share. I would like to mark this moment as the one and only time in recorded Lost history that I was not attracted to Sawyer. I mean…there’s just nothing sexy about an unidentified stain on the back of a guy’s underwear. Just saying. Sawyer knows right away that the Smoke Monster isn’t who he’s pretending to be, and in return for his personal brand of uncensored honesty (“I don’t care if you’re alive or dead. Whoever you are, you get the hell out of my house.”) he is promised to be shown the reasons behind his being on the island if he follows said Smoke Monster out into the jungle. Which is, you know, like the “Lost” version of luring a kid into the back of an unmarked van with the promise of candy. After everything else he’s been through, Sawyer figures he probably doesn’t have much left to lose, so he follows…after a change in attire, thank God. One pair of jeans and a button down later, Sawyer is back to being sexy and all is right in my world.
After walking for awhile, Sawyer apparently comes to realize that it’s been awhile since he pointed a gun at someone, so he makes a few “Of Mice and Men” references (I guess he did get a lot of reading done back on the beach) and threatens to shoot the Smoke Monster…for seemingly no reason beyond him being cranky and irritable. Before that little plot twist can develop any further, a random little boy appears out of nowhere. I’ve heard theories painting him as the child version of Jacob, which I’m not sure about but could totally see. Either way, the Smoke Monster chases the kid deeper into the jungle, and is told that he can’t kill Sawyer, because it’s “against the rules.” Uh, where has this kid been for the past five seasons? You don’t tell John Locke what he can’t do. Even if it’s actually a disembodied Smoke Monster (who claims that he used to be a man) taking on the form of John Locke. Come on, now.
Back on the beach, the Ajira plane survivors get ready to leave, but Sun insists that they bury Locke first. So they carry him to the makeshift graveyard, dig a makeshift grave, and have a makeshift ceremony. Ben’s eulogy (which ended with “and I’m sorry I murdered him.”) absolutely reinforced my love for his character. He just. doesn’t. give a damn. He needs more screentmie, immediately. Meanwhile, the Smoke Monster leads Sawyer down the side of a cliff and into a cave. This is where he explains the meaning behind the whole candidate thing – the island is looking for someone new to protect it. The candidates, as you might have guessed, are Locke (4), Hurley (8), Sawyer (15), Sayid (16), Jack (23) and Jin/Sun (42). Noticeably missing from this list – Kate. Hopefully this means that she is disposable, and that the writers will have pity on an audience who had to put up with her ruining everything for six seasons. Also noticeably missing from this list – Desmond. Actually, Desmend’s been noticeably missing from this whole season. What’s with that? I miss the days where he was tearing across the island, leaving a path of death and destruction in his wake as he tried to reunite with his long lost love Penny. Hopefully it’ll all come together soon. In any case, the Smoke Monster gives Sawyer three choices – accept the job, ignore the job, or get the hell off the island. One guess which option Sawyer decided to go with. I’ll give you a hint – it doesn’t involve becoming the next Jacob. Not by a long shot.
So, I’m still waiting to hear what Claire’s been up to these past three years. I’d also like to know why the Smoke Monster picked Sawyer, of all people, to try to escape the island with. The guy hasn’t had the best luck with trying to jump ship – anyone remember the exploded raft? The helicopter incident? The submarine…thing? And I still want to know what’s up with Sayid. Stop stalling, Lost – the season’s almost over and we need some answers!