Before we get into it, I want to pose a question to you as we head into the last week of waiting this season.  I can't believe next week's two hour show is the end of it.  We're done with the season, and then next year, it's one last blast of episodes and we're done.  So my question to you is this:  what is the one thing that you absolutely, positively, no argument HAVE TO HAVE ANSWERED before the show finishes next year?  Either leave it in the comments or e-mail it it to me and we'll talk about them in next week's recap, which will also serve as a wrap-up for the season.

Can I just say how much I like watching Ben and Richard look like they have no idea what the hell is going on?  After watching them smile and gloat and sell the idea that they have all these answers they're just not sharing, it's nice to see that they may, in fact, be big fat liars who are just as confused as anyone else.  I'm not sure what was going on in that one little sotto exchange of theirs, but their relationship, which has always seemed tense at best, may be more complicated than previously suggested.

Big week for the couples on the island.  Jack and Kate are pretty much completely opposed in how to handle things, and the way he casually hurts her with his determination to "fix" everything is a fairly realistic emotional touch.  I like how he doesn't even seem to fully understand just what he's doing to her each time he talks about wiping clean "all the misery." 

[more after the jump]

Meanwhile, with Juliet and Sawyer, they seem more united than ever, and that scene on the sub is sort of wrenching.  You can see the impact Kate's presence has on Juliet.  She knows there's a change in Sawyer whenever "Freckles" is around, and what's worse is that he knows he's doing it, and he still can't stop himself.  I wish the show had a happy ending in store for Sawyer and Juliet.  I would love to see them head back to the mainland and live out the '70s and '80s the way Sawyer described, getting rich off bets on Super Bowls and unlikely stock purchases, and just basically treating time travel like the best con ever created.  I think I'd watch that spinoff show just as religiously as I watch "Lost," so get on that for me, ABC.  Thanks.

Miles and his dad came full circle this week.  Predictable, but I like how quickly all of this was introduced and paid off.  This is how the show keeps moving forward while still teasing out the central puzzles.  I think it's been well-played, well-paced.  My one big question now is what this does to Dr. Chang and his role with Dharma moving forward.  Has he made the videos yet?  That's still got me totally confused.

Speaking of which, this was the first episode where my wife turned to me halfway through and just threw her hands up, exasperated.  "Okay, I don't understand how any of those words even fit together in a sentence.  What the hell is going on?"  Next week's going to have to do some really remarkable narrative pirouettes if they want to leave viewers feeling satisfied for a season.  They've got to bring everyone back together in the present, and how that's going to happen is the thing I'm most curious to see this year.  There's so much ground to cover still, but no matter what Jack or Kate or Sawyer or Sayid or Hurley or anyone does... there's no way anyone is going to prevent Flight 815 from crashing.

Whatever happened, happened.  If the bomb goes off and does something to the energy, that's what always happened.  If the bomb doesn't go off and the energy accident happens, that's what always happened.  Jack doesn't get it and never will.  There's no changing it.   "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  Hurley is perhaps the most hilarious example of that saying, but Jack... he's playing out a sad farce here, and it's interesting that he sounds like the old Locke while the new Locke...

... he's got a purpose.

There are many performances that I think define "Lost," but the one that really seems to me to be the most special, the most iconic, the one that may well serve as the thing that encapsulates the show as a whole, is Terry O'Quinn as Locke.  I may forget sometimes, but then they give us an episode like this, where he's having so much damn fun that it's impossible not to join in.  What I really like about his work is the way he buys into the world completely.  That's an important quality in genre fare, and it's harder to come by than you'd think.  I'm talking about people who absolutely believe in the fantasy world in which they're performing, like Mark Hamill in the "Star Wars" films or Bob Hoskins in "Roger Rabbit."  Terry O'Quinn believes in "Lost," and I'm not sure if that's just because he's always played the Man Of Faith on the show or if that's because O'Quinn is just that in synch with the producers and their vision.  Whatever the case, he sets such a great tone in this episode, and in particular during the final scenes involving Jacob.

Anyone else notice that young Eloise is packing some serious junk in the trunk?  Widmore is an ass man.  That's a scientific fact.

How do you decide to detonate a hydrogen bomb?  You think they taught Jack that in med school?  I wouldn't know the first thing about safely rigging a controlled explosion using a decades-old device.  And I suspect the good doctor knows just as much as I do.  So I'm curious to see how they handle that next week.

I want to see how and why the sub brings Juliet and Kate and Sawyer back.  I'm sorry it happens, but now I want to know why.

Finally, when Locke says that the Island is telling him to do things, do you think he literally means it?  I think he does, and I want to know when he's talking to it and what it sounds like.  I used to think both Richard and Ben had some sort of special relationship with the Island and with Jacob, who I've always assumed is part of the Island itself.  Now i'm not so sure.  What if Locke is the first one to really have an active relationship with it?  Even more than Richard or Ben or even Jacob?

Whatever the case, I'm on the road next week, but I'll still be watching and recapping, and I may even try to do it as a liveblog depending on the wireless set up at my hotel.  We'll see.

The season finale.  Seven days from now.  See you then.

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