Spoiler alert. If you are into Lost and have not seen last night's episode . . . blah blah blah.
This has never been a Lost blog, and it is not going to become one now so close to the end of the series. But with only seven episodes left (assuming you count the two-hour finale as two episodes, otherwise there are only six left), the show officially entered the gun lap with last night's installment, "Happily Ever After."
For those of you who came to the show in the traditional manner, watching each week and waiting several months in between seasons, your long-running frustration and love-hate relationship with the show has been well-chronicled here. And for those of you who, like me, came to the show via shortcut, the advantages of that approach are noted here.
Either way -- whether you are a dinosaur like Open Bar who watches TV the old-fashioned way, or a cutting-edge techie geek like me -- you could not help but appreciate "Happily Ever After." I will not try to do a long exegesis of the episode (and besides, this guy did a much better job than I could anyway). Instead, I will only say that with this episode, we are starting to see glimpses of where the show might be headed for its grand finale.
Perhaps the biggest question of this season -- other than the obvious "how's it going to end" thing -- is whether and to what extent there is any connection between the people who are on the island, and their mirrors in the so-called "flash sideways" scenes. When Daniel Faraday/Widmore tells Desmond that he thinks he already blew up a nuclear bomb, and when Desmond gets into his car and tells his driver that he wants to find the other passengers from the Oceanic flight, we know that the "flash sideways" sequences are going to unfold in a way that is not at all disconnected from what is happening on the island. (side note: did you recognize the driver? He was George Minkowski - the sick communications officer from the freighter in the Season 4 episode, "The Constant" (which is the single best episode of the show, in my opinion). "The Constant" is the other episode in which Desmond becomes vaguely conscious of the fact that he is vacillating between two realities, and in which his love for Penny anchors his ability to manage the strain of that experience. A nice juxtaposition there).
In fact, in addition to the significant development of the plot (indeed, one of the biggest criticisms of the show is that nothing happens -- questions are raised, never answered), there were a number of wonderful juxtapositions in this episode. The above-mentioned return of Minkowski, now as driver, but still a "guide" for Desmond as he navigates between two realities. Also, in the scene in which Desmond finds Penny running in the stadium, we see a complete reversal of the scene from Season 2 where Penny finds Desmond there, and they plan to be apart (he is preparing to leave for the yacht race) rather than together (for a cup of coffee, in an hour). Lastly - and by far most poignantly - as Desmond tries to rescue Charlie from the submerged car, Charlie places his hand on the glass . . . revealing, but not really, those fateful words from the Season 3 finale:
Not Penny's Boat.