Am I the only one who was disappointed to find out that there would be no Lost-Archie Comics crossover on Wednesday's episode? It's a shame: I had a ton of "jalopy" and "Midge" puns at the ready. So who or what is "Jughead" then? By the end of the hour, we've found out, but it's perhaps the least fulfilling of the many revelations of this fast-paced episode, which contained far fewer "flashes" than last week's episode. Desmond begins his quest to find Daniel Faraday's mother — whatever her name is — and in the process learns more about her time-hopping physicist son, and the company he keeps.
RETURNING TO "THE ISLAND"
Poor, crazed Desmond is running around a fishing village looking for Efren Salonga, who turns out to be a doctor, and in short order, he delivers Des and Penny's bouncing baby boy! Newborn babies always look too big on TV — for obvious reasons, I guess. (Aside: A banner in this scene reads "MABUHAY," which is Tagalog for "Welcome," so I used my sophisticated detective skills to surmise that DesPen are in the Philippines.)
We flash-forward approximately two years to Des having a tender moment with his boy on the deck of the boat, telling him about "a very special island, I left it a long time ago, never thought I'd see it again... it's called Great Britain." Heh. Yes, Desmond has decided to take Daniel's subconscious advice and go find Mama Faraday in Oxford, England, evil father-in-law be damned. "Everyone on that island is in danger, and I'm the only one that can help them," he tells Pen nobly.
Penny is all, "Fine. Whatever. But I am not funding a second rescue mission — we just dismantled the Antarctic research station and sent those Portuguese guys home," or something to that effect — "so promise me that you'll never go back to that island again." "Why in God's name would I want to go back there?" he foreshadows.
SEARCHING FOR MRS. FARADAY
The costume department has decided to dress Des like he's an extra from an Elton John video for his mission, but even wearing pimp shades and an opera scarf he is unable to seduce Oxford's starchy administration, who remain steadfast in their denial of Daniel Faraday's very existence. Des sneaks into Faraday's lab (remember, he's been there before), and finds it packed away, in an apparent cover-up. Why all the skullduggery? A helpfully indiscreet janitor is there to explain. "Can you blame em," he asks, "I mean, after what he'd done to that poor girl?"
That poor girl is Teresa Spencer, who we see in happier times in a romantical photograph with Faraday, but who is now in a coma of sorts. Her sister, Abigail (who resembles the Oceanic Air gate agent from last week, no?), explains that Teresa "is 'away' right now," as she comes in and out of consciousness, and each time she thinks she's at a different point in her life. That sounds a little like... time travel, no? We learn that when Daniel abandoned her to move to the States, it was Daniel's benefactor, Charles Widmore, who continued to provide for Teresa. "He funded his research, and he took responsibility for the results of it," reveals Abigail. Thump.
SAWYER, JULIET and LOCKE
Hey, guess what? The two soldier boys who attacked the Lostaways on the beach (RIP Frogurt) have a secret language: Latin! More shocking: Juliet is fluent! When Latin is spoken, doesn't it sound like every word has two or three extra syllables, like Gibberish?
Since Juliet knows the figurative secret Other handshake, she convinces one of them to take her, Locke and Sawyer back to their camp so she can speak to Richard Alpert. Quick as a flash, before his companion can give Juliet directions, the more aggressive of the two (his uniform reads "Jones") kills the other Other and escapes into the jungle. "Why didn't you shoot him?" asks Sawyer. "Because he's one of my people," Locke replies. Intriguing.
CHARLOTTE, DANIEL and MILES
Let's talk about the cranky, pretty lady-Other named Ellie, she of the sun-streaked, braided locks and the Green Beret-caliber stance with a rifle. There is a fairly popular theory around TVGuide.com HQ that Ellie is actually a young Danielle Rousseau. It's a plausible guess, but I'll throw another into the mix, just to really bake your noodle: She's actually a young Mrs. Hawking, which, if she turns out to be Daniel's mother, explains why he appeared to recognize her on some level. Besides, if Ellie is Rousseau, that means her story about how she got to the island was a lie, which, now that she's dead, doesn't seem likely.
Anyway, Ellie and crew meet cute, Lost-style, with Charlotte, Daniel, Miles and various unnamed (and now presumed dead) Lostaways by a creek, where they've accidentally set off some tripwire-fitted landmines. Ellie is accompanied by the most hilarious-looking archers, whose vicious facial expressions and dainty weapons reminded me of how giggly I got every time Orlando Bloom was on the screen during the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That hair! Ha. Classic. "You just couldn't stay away, could you?" Ellie says to Daniel, quixotically. She is under the impression that it was Daniel and his people who rigged the creek with explosives, and as a result she's bringing them all to see Richard. Clearly, this is a case of mistaken identity, but who does Ellie think Daniel is?
Miles helps fill in the gaps with a well-timed ghost whisperer moment when they pass over a fresh grave in the jungle. After a few silly wide-eyed head swivels, he informs Daniel that it contains four U.S. soldiers who have been dead for just over a month; three of them were shot and one died of radiation poisoning. "Did any of them happen to mention what year it is?" Daniel asks. Heh.
RICHARD, DANIEL and ELLIE
Once back at the Others' camp (is this tent city the original Otherton?), Richard and Daniel face off. "I assume you've come back for your bomb," Richard says matter-of-factly. Daniel decides it's in their best interest to pretend to be an American military unit. Richard exposits that, in the past, U.S. soldiers attacked the Others, and he killed them all. Daniel BS's (and quite well, I might add) that they are there to get their hydrogen bomb, whose presence he guessed based on a few facts: 1) One of the Others sports some nasty radiation burns on his hands, a sign that the bomb's housing has degraded; 2) The U.S. government used to test H-bombs in the South Pacific in the 1950s (What's that? Yes, IN THE 1950s.); and 3) Last week we learned that Daniel has flirted with some island-based time-traveling, so he's probably already been here before.
Daniel offers to take a look at the bomb, see if he can fix it. When Richard suggests that he could be on a suicide mission, Daniel says he couldn't be, because he is with the lady he loves (Charlotte), and wouldn't do anything to hurt her. Aw. Richard is apparently sufficiently romantic to buy this explanation, so Ellie and Daniel toddle off to avert nuclear catastrophe. All in a day's work!
On the way, Daniel tells Ellie that she looks like someone he used to know, and because of the narrative structure of the episode, I think we're supposed to think he means poor Teresa Spencer back in Oxford, but, well, obviously I have some other ideas (see above). Ellie is a smart cookie, and she's on to Daniel's trickery, but if he can disarm the weapon, she'll abide it. Daniel inspects the bomb, which is named "Jughead" (aha!), and reports that they need to fill the crack with lead and bury the bomb in concrete, which will render it inert. "How do you know that?" Ellie asks. "Because 50 years from now, this island is still here," he replies. Thump.
"Are they from the future too?" Ellie asks when Juliet and Sawyer catch up with their freighter pal and play a brief game of chicken with a bunch of rifles. "Why don't we all put our guns down?" Juliet asks, as if refereeing a playground squabble.
PENNY AND DESMOND ARE GOING TO L.A.!
Des has had just about enough of Charles Widmore's omnipresence in his life, so he takes the direct approach and barges into his office and demands that he tell him where Daniel Faraday's mother is. Widmore gives him her address (in Los Angeles, natch), but warns, "I suspect she won't be pleased to see you; she's a very private person." (I hear she likes wearing hooded cloaks and hanging out in church basements too.) It was nice to see a slightly softer Charles Widmore in this scene, concerned as he is for Penny's well-being now that Ben has threatened to kill her.
Des lies and tells Penny that Faraday's mom died a few years ago, and of course she knows. She also knows that he is going to have to see this latest mystery through to its logical conclusion, so she tells Des that she and the baby are going with him to Los Angeles. (Also: The baby's name is Charlie. Sniff.)
MEANWHILE, BACK IN OTHERTON...
Richard doesn't recognize Locke, of course. But once Locke adds that Jacob sent him, Richard is all ears. (Weird question: Is Locke lying when he says this?) This irks the hot-headed "Mr. Jones" from the earlier, neck-breaking scene. "Put the gun down, Widmore," Richard says. Yep, John confirms that Jones is actually a young Charles Widmore. "Nice to meet you," Locke says with a smirk.
So Locke gets his sit-down, during which he presents Richard with his own compass and tells him that he's from the future. He also tells him that he's his leader. Richard replies that the process for selecting their leadership is very specific, and starts at a very young age. (You don't say...) It's then that we have confirmed what we've already guessed: It's 1954. Richard is naturally skeptical about John's fantastical tale, so Locke instructs him to come visit him in two years — on May 30, 1956, in Tustin, Calif., to be precise, the day that Locke is born.
Next order of business: Locke asks Richard to tell him how to get off the island. At that moment, there's another flash (of course) and then it's just the six of them again. All these time jumps have given Charlotte one doozy of a headache, and with a very bloody nose, she collapses. Thump.
Here's a question: We know what the Lostaways see when there's a flash, but what do the people they're with see? Do they see a person disappear? Is there a similar flash of light? Do they have no memory of it at all? I'm curious to see if we'll ever see a flash from that perspective.
Did you miss the Oceanic 6 this week? Will Desmond and Penny meet up with them in L.A.? Did you like seeing more of the island's history? Is Charlotte dead?
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