Lost Episode 5.03 "Jughead"

I didn’t get to watch this live, but on Wednesday at 9:50pm EST, I received a text message from a friend on the east coast that read something like this:

“Holy ****.”
Having now caught up online, I agree.
Before I start theorizing, I just want to comment on how beautiful this episode was: all of the Island scenes were breathtaking. “Jughead” was only Rod Holcomb’s second episode in the director’s chair, but I’m hoping the producers ask him to helm a few more.
“Because they’re Others.”

This was the ep’s first big surprise. Back in 1954, the Others wiped out a battalion of US military men, took their gear, and moved into their campsite. Kind of reminds me of what the Others did to Dharma.
I’m a little fuzzy on the H-bomb. Sure, the US did some nuclear testing in the South Pacific back in the 50’s, but I thought the Island was nearly impossible to stumble upon. How’d they transport an H-bomb? Why would they blow the Island up in full knowledge of its inhabitants? Doesn’t compute.
By the way, Ellie (above)? That’s got to be a young Mrs. Hawking (whose first name is Eloise). And at this point, it’s pretty obvious that Hawking is Daniel’s mother. That would explain why Ellie looked so familiar to him.
Here’s my rundown of what we learned about the Others:
– They all speak Latin.
– In 1954, they were primarily British (notice all the accents?).
– Richard was once their leader. Though “he’s always been here” according to Juliet.
– Both Charlies Widmore and Eloise Hawking were Others.
Speaking of…
“Put the gun down, Widmore.”

Wow. One of the best Lost reveals of all time. I loved Locke’s beguiling smirk, and how omniscient he seemed in this episode compared to Richard. It makes you understand why Richard and the Others were in such awe of Locke back in Season 3.
But I’m still curious about Charles Widmore. How did he come to be an Other? How does he get separated from the Island? Is Ellie (Hawking) his sister? Young Widmore’s “Shut-up, Ellie,” rang with a certain fraternal tone.
I’m desperate for more information on the Others. Less than two seasons left, and we still don’t know why they’re on the Island, who they are, what their culture is like, or even what they call themselves. And the appellation, “Others,” needs to go; it was fine back in early seasons when they were just shadows in the jungle, but it sounds downright silly now when Ben or Juliet uses the word. (I once had a dream where Ben told me they called themselves the Elect).
“I’m the only one who can help them.”

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Desmond and Penny. The characters and the actors. After Locke, Desmond’s my favorite. But the off-Island action in “Jughead” was a bore. Partially, I blame Elizabeth Sarnoff: the episodes she co-writes are often slow and try too hard to be sentimental.
Did we need an entire episode to watch Desmond discuss his mission with Penny and wander around London? Like Hurley’s story in The Lie, this off-Island arc reeked of no-no words like stall and filler. It was nice to learn about Dan’s girl in a Minkowski time-coma, and about Widmore’s funding, but most of us have guessed who Dan’s mother is by now (and where she is), so let’s get on with it.
And this sounds terribly mean, but I’m hoping Desmond and Penny get separated again soon. On screen, they work better as lovers longing for reconciliation, not as a domestic couple.
Conclusion
Everything on-Island, A+. But the off-Island arcs need a faster pace. I’m praying that it won’t take all season for the Oceanic 6 (plus Ben, plus Locke, plus Desmond?) to get back to the Island.
Stray Thoughts
– I’m loving the pulpy adventure feel to this season. We’re trailblazing across the world, the Island, and the space-time continuum.
Widmore didn’t seem surprised to see Desmond. I’m sure he’s using his son-in-law to find the Island again.
– Locke’s destiny is befuddling. We thought Richard watched his birth because he was special. We thought he visited toddler Locke with the litmus test because he was chosen. But this season has shown the real reason for Richard’s interest in Locke: Locke told him he was sent by Jacob back in 1954. It’s a paradox. The only reason Locke ultimately becomes the leader of the Others is because…he goes back in time and tells them it will happen? That’s the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.
– Is Richard really immortal? Juliet seems to think so. I’m still betting he’s from the Black Rock. Or I suppose he could be a four-toed native. I found it odd that Locke’s mention of time-travel seemed so ridiculous to Richard. In 2004, it sounds like a widely-accepted attribute of the Island among the Others. Doesn’t 50’s-Richard know about the frozen donkey wheel?
– Now we know for sure that Jacob is not a Machiavellian invention of Ben’s. He was the leader of the Others long before Ben was born. Now, who is he? Cap’n of the Black Rock? Arrr?
– Dan was great in this ep, as was Sawyer, albeit in a very different way. The writers and actors have got these characters down to a science.
– Best Line of the Night: “Their leader is some sodding old man. What, you think he can track me? You think he knows this Island better than I do?”
Charles, meet John Locke.
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