Friday, July 10, 2020

LOST Rewatch: Live Together Die Alone (COV120D-19)


Can you believe that we have reached the end of Season 2? It has been a very long and interrupted journey. I am excited to examine new plots in season 3. I am excited to remind myself about "The Oceanic Six." (Intrigued? Stay tuned!) And I am excited to swap out the Season 2 logo for another of a different color.

But before we get to those things, we need to examine "Live Together Die Alone." Do you remember those words, spoken by Jack in Season 1 . . . back when he was a bit more admirable . . . a bit more heroic . . . and bit less churlish and quick to anger . . . a bit more humble? That was then. This is now. And now, angry Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Sawyer (a.k.a. The Only Lostaways That Matter*) are headed off with Michael to confront the pitiful--so Michael says--band of primitive Others on the far side of Mystery Island.


Remember that Sayid had identified Michael's odd behavior? And how he warned Jack that Michael had been compromised? Well, he and Jack have a plan to circumvent whatever plan Michael may be following through with the Others and Henry Gale, because Sayid is going to sail around the Island with Jin and Sun to get to the Others camp while the rest of Michael's crew cut through the slower jungle overland route.

Where did they get a boat? Oh--I forgot to tell you about who was on the sailboat that arrived at the end of "Three Minutes." It was Desmond! He came back, against his will, he said because the Island doesn't want to let him leave.

It is in this FLASHBACK that he learn much more of Desmond's backstory. We learn that he used to be a part of the Royal Scots armed forces. That he was in military prison for something and then discharged after serving his sentence. We learn that he is disliked by a gruff, Tywin Lannister lookalike actor who's character name is Charles Widmore. We learn that Desmond is in love with Penelope Widmore--the daughter of Charles, and that Daddy doesn't like it. So much so that Charles is willing and able to try and pay Desmond off to keep him away from Penny forever. We learn that Desmond ended up on the Island because he was trying to win a Widmore-sponsored solo round-the-world sailing race, mostly to spite Charles and also to earn enough money to buy back Penny's love (maybe?). We also randomly learn that Desmond's boat: the one that sailed him around the world and accidentally to the Island, and then back again (currently being used by Sayid) was first owned by the recently departed Libby. And we learn that Desmond is a committed Charles Dickens fan.

We further learn (this is a two-episode length finale, y'all!) that while on the Island, Des was saved by Inman--formerly an American soldier who worked with Sayid in Iraq and now a part of DHARMA. Inman is down in the Swan Hatch alone and desperate for a button-pushing partner. 

Speaking of the Hatch and the button . . . in the non-Flashback B plot, John Locke has teamed up with current Desmond to simulate a Lockdown and trap Mr. Eko outside of the computer station. John and Desmond was to prove once and for all that this button nonsense is just that . . . nonsense. They are going to make the counter go to 000 00 and see what happens. But Eko responds by enlisting Charlie to find the leftover Black Rock dynamite and blast his way back to the computer before the world ends.

While waiting for the timer to count down, Desmond gets second thoughts, remembering his time with Inman. He comes to (re?) believe that the button is actually doing something real. Because one time when he didn't punch the numbers in fast enough* bad stuff actually started happening. Such as:
  1. weird hieroglyphs took the place of the zeros on the counter
  2. the warning speaker kept repeating SYSTEM FAILURE
  3. everything began shaking like an earthquake
  4. all metallic items were drawn to and stuck upon the concrete bunker wall in the most dire-seeming fashion
Thinking back upon this Desmond realizes that this moment of SYSTEM FAILURE was the same day that Oceanic 815 crashed. So, he believes that there IS a purpose to the button and this Incident that is mentioned in the Swan Orientation film is something to be taken seriously.

And by now the timer has hit zero. And all of the above is happening. And John realizes that . . . he made a mistake and famously says (with a worried look) "I was wrong." But shit is happening now and how to fix it?!

They can't!

Only Desmond has the key--literally--to fix the problem. Something else he inherited from Inman in the FLASHBACKS--a DHARMA shaped key that can be inserted into a small lock under the floor of the Hatch. The keyhole is ominously labelled Failsafe and Inman drunkenly told him once that activating this would release the magnetic pressure building up behind the wall. But he also thought that it would destroy the Island and themselves at the same time. But Desmond will sacrifice himself to save others.

But not THOSE Others . . . because while all of this is happening at the Swan, Michael and his suspicious band are still traveling to the Others camp. And by now Jack has told them of his worry that Michael is a liar. And thus trapped, Michael has admitted that he killed Ana and Libby to free Henry--all done to save Walt and get him and his son off the Island. They are captured by the Others and taken to a dock where they are bound and gagged. Then Henry appears with the Season 1 ending boat to give Michael and Walt freedom. As all of this is transpiring, the Failsafe is triggered on the other side of the Island, the sky turns purple, a deafening thrumming noise fills the sky everywhere, and something happens at the Hatch. 

We see that Charlie made it back to Lostaway beach. But we don't know Locke's, Desmond's, or Eko's fate. And we don't know what will happen to Jack, Kate, or Sawyer who are being held by Henry and the Others. Also, Sayid, Jin, and Sun were unsuccessful in sneaking up on the Others, so we don' t know if they survived the Failsafe event.

The final scene? Two scruffy scientists in some Arctic setting get a computerized warning that a magnetic anomaly was detected. They quickly make a phone call to Penny Widmore to tell her that they think they have found him!

Next Season!

* both to the viewing public, as well as to the Others?

* He was chasing Inman--who was stealing away to taken Desmond's sailboat to escape the Island, then accidentally killing Inman in the struggle, then quickly returning to the Hatch because he knew time was running out.

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