If I were Ben, this post would be filled with lies

Diane,

Sorry for my recent lack of communication.  I have been redirecting my creative energies to new pursuits, and it turns out I really only have enough of those energies for one obsession at a time.  My little messages to you have gotten the shaft… in the butt.  They’ve been butt-shafted.  Rear-porked, if you will.

But I won’t leave you completely without the sweet water of my words while you wander in the desert of the internets.  I come today with a canteen sloshing-full of “Lost.”

Now almost at the halfway point of season 5, the show has suffered no decline whatsoever, at least in my rather jaded eyes.  They are picking up the pace and answering questions left and right lately, but as last night’s episode showed, they still have the knack for introducing tantalizing mysteries and letting character development drive the show.  In an hour where we found out one huge piece of information about the island (that it is always moving, explaining why our castaways were never rescued and outsiders have such a hard time finding the place), “Lost” still put sci fi gibberish in the back seat, and left one of our heroes, Jack, at the wheel.  His conversion to a bearded pill-popper the last season-plus felt a little rote to me, but it came to fruition last night when we saw how it was setting him up to finally become a man of faith.  And the message was delivered with an emotional blow when he finally read Locke’s suicide note – a one-line uppercut that said simply, “I wish you had believed in me.”

Wow.  Good writing.  When your viewers have invested so much in the dynamic and friction between two of the show’s biggest characters, and one of them recently turned up in a coffin unable to speak for himself any more, THAT is an interesting way to keep the conversation going.  I only hope that a return to the island can revive Locke enough for him to see Jack finally believing in him, after all.

Last night’s episode felt very much like something from season 1 – still the show’s best work – and it wasn’t just because there were some very familiar scenes of Jack waking up in the jungle in a suit, etc.  No, this was the writers demonstrating that they can come down from the intense action of recent weeks (weeks where, for example, Sayid can’t seem to go ten minutes without killing someone swiftly and brutally) and bring us home again.  It fills me with great anticipation for the home stretch – season 6, if all goes according to the plan in my head, will feel like season 1’s mirror opposite.  I almost want our characters to stay stuck on that island, just so the closing scenes feel as much as possible like the opening ones from the first few episodes of the series.

Bonus theorizing: How did the Oceanic Six (or some sub-set of them) end up back on the island, and back in time?  And what happened to the Ajira plane they were on?  My theory is that their previous presence on the island somehow caused them to flash backward in time to rejoin their stranded fellow 815ers as soon as they got close enough to the island.  The plane DID crash (or maybe went down in the ocean) – but after they had already been shifted through time back to the good ol’ Dharma days.  We’ll probably find Sun and Locke’s body there with them, and if/when they ever get back to the present timeline, there will be survivors from the crash hanging around – and possibly also firing guns at them from their canoes…

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