The No Place Like Home Best Mind Game

This is part one of the three hour season finale and it’s obvious why the producers wanted three hours to tie up the season – a lot is happening and a lot more is on the way. The episode opens with the Oceanic Six arriving home together. This is one of those scenes that are not necessary but it’s highly anticipated nonetheless. Seeing the six of them carrying the weight of the events on the island on their backs was riveting.

There’s some discussion prior to their appearance in front of the press with Jack and the gang going over the story they’ve decided to tell. It’s pretty obvious that the Six have been adhering to some fake story but it was good to see the setup for that story played out. The story was told to the press a bit too stiffly by an Oceanic rep (Admiral Cane from BSG).

The majority of the action in this episode happened on the island though – and it happened all over the island. There’s a lot of dashing back and forth across the island with various groups running into each other and changing course, typical lost stuff.

Everything will come to a head at the Orchid base over the next few episodes. This week Locke, Hurley, and Ben went to the Orchid to “move the island” and Kenny and his men are waiting there because they know that’s where Ben will go.

Jack and Sawyer went to the Orchid out of concern for Hurley. Eventually Say and Kate race into the forest to catch up with Jack and Sawyer to back them up. So, yeah, there’s a lot of back and forth through the forests of this mysterious island. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it just really stood out in this episode more than others.

Anyway, at the base Ben – not surprised by anything as usual – gave Locke instructions on how to access the Orchid base and then surrendered himself to Kea my who responded by knocking Locke out with his gun.

Ben is a fascinating character on this series and many of the show’s questions center around his character. Seeing him submit himself to Kea my was intriguing but in a way not surprising.

Alpert has been appearing in flashbacks here and there but this week he finally returns to the here and now with a bunch of “Others” to capture Said and Kate. Many people on the island appear to age but not Alpert. Could it be that Alpert is more connected to island than the show has revealed? Could he even be Jacob?

The creators have done a good job of sprinkling him into the series just enough to make him interesting. It’s good to see him back on the island in current time. Hopefully in the next two hours there’ll be some new information about him. It’s also about time the “Others” came back into the picture. They’ve been off the show for too long.

We’ve seen the Oceanic Six but they don’t match the first six castaways that left the island for the freighter with Daniel. Unfortunately other than Jin, Sun, and Aaron the rest of the inhabitants of the raft are probably red shirts. One of the best scenes in the episode comes when Jim and Sun meet Michael on the freighter.

They didn’t accept him or trust his story, as they shouldn’t have. Jin can be a fairly intimidating presence and that presence comes through when says to Michael that he understands what Michael is saying. Sun can be pretty tough herself and she gets a chance to show it in a riveting flash forward scene with her father.

Michael did fix the engine but apparently a boat load of explosives is messing with the instruments the ship needs to navigate so they are just stuck in the water. Obviously the device strapped to Kea may’s arm controls the explosives. The people on the freighter, not the castaways that have come to the freighter but the actual deckhands and such, are the most cardboard background characters that have ever appeared on the series.

It’s also a little odd just how few of them there are considering how large the boat is. This is a minor complaint but it’s worth mentioning because it stretches even to Kea may’s mercenaries.

Who are they?

So much happens in this episode it’s almost worth multiple viewings. Information saturation was expected since the producers asked the network for an additional hour to tie up the season. Damon Lin dale and Carlton Cues, the creators of the series, wrote a deep episode with solid setups for what’s sure to be a riveting finale. All cylinders were firing this week from the Sun and Hurley-eccentric flash forward to Ben’s mysterious ego, to Sawyer’s angry return to the group.

This week appeared to be more of a setup for answers to questions rather than simply answering them but the anticipated answers are big ones. The two week wait to the season finale is going to be a long one.

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