Lost 5.3: "Jughead"
Where'd that name come from? How about the Mark 17 nuke, the first hydrogen bomb mass-produced by the U.S. Read on to find out what an A-bomb has to do with the Lost crew.
The Happenings: This week's episode alternated exclusively between the Island folks, consisting of both Faraday and company as well as Sawyer, Locke and Juliet, and Desmond. The latter has arrived at Oxford and begun his search for Faraday's mother. Only no one at the University admits to knowing anything about Faraday -- because of "what he done to that poor girl." Desmond searches out the "poor girl" and finds her incapacitated. It's revealed that Widmore had been acting as Faraday's benefactor, supporting all his research, and that he has continued to pay for the girl's care. Having learned this, Desmond seeks out Widmore and gets from him the address of Faraday's mother -- in Los Angeles!!!
The Islanders have found themselves in a familiar position, for viewers anyway: while Juliet, Sawyer and Locke have captured a pair of Others, Faraday and company have been captured by Richard Alpert and his band of armed Island defenders. And that's where the bomb comes in. It turns out the for some as of yet vaguely explained reason, the U.S. has placed a nuclear weapon on the Island (Faraday says testing. Sure.). The bomb has been compromised, and Faraday negotiates with Richard to be allowed to fix the situation. Meanwhile, Juliet, by speaking Latin, convinces one of their captured Others to lead the way back to Richard's camp. Before he can begin however, the second Other kills him. He runs off, but they all meet back up at the camp eventually anyway. There's some discussion, and then the Islanders jump in time again.
The Craziness: Faraday confirms what we've all suspected when he compels Richard to allow him access to the bomb by admitting his love for Charlotte.
Richard explains that the Others had previously killed a battalion of army men, who had shown up on the Island.
During a discussion between Locke and Richard, the old man of the Island lays the ground work for many future events that we have of course already seen -- primarily the encounter between Richard and young Locke, but also the later meeting where Richard heals Locke's gun shot wound.
The granddaddy "surprise" of the episode, which was foreshadowed enough that I caught on last week, was that the Other who killed his own kind rather than reveal their camp's location was in fact a young Widmore. Interestingly, the name on his shirt says Jones.
The Verdict: "Jughead" was what we've come to expect from "Lost" over the last 20 or so episodes: it revealed some information that provides context to things we've already seen or suspected, while also setting up some new plotlines that we'll have to store away in the mental filing cabinet for some undetermined amount of time. What's somewhat startling is to think back on the first 10 episodes of the show, and look at how unbelievably far we've come. It's why the scene where Hurley tries to explain everything to his mother was so funny. When you do lay everything out linearly, it seems borderline nonsensical. Yet this episode, like so many others before it, was downright enjoyable from beginning to end. I felt like we took a small step back in the excitement department this week, but that's to be expected every once in a while. Overall, it was still a solid showing.
The Wild Speculation: The tighter focus on a smaller group of characters provided us with some targeted new information to speculate with. For me, the craziest question is to what extent does Locke's interaction with Richard in the 1950's create a self-fulfilling prophecy in the future? Locke told Richard that he (Locke) was their (the Others') leader. So when he reappears decades later, perhaps Richard is primed to believe him.
The other question that presents itself for mass speculation is what of the bomb? At the episode's close, we have jumped, likely forward again, in time. The camp is gone, but if we are truly forward somewhere, then the bomb must be around. Faraday told the girl (whose name escapes me) that they needed to bury it. We can assume that in present day, it is still buried. Does the bomb interact with the island to create some of the phenomena that we have witnessed? In 1950, Dharma did not appear to be involved in the life of the Island (though the U.S. government was), but couldn't the bomb have factored into the Dharma inititatives plans in the future? Does the bomb in fact create the time skipping problem? I'm sure there are harder-core "Lost" fans with more concrete ideas. But I'm not able, right now, to tie all those threads together.