Lost Luggage: ‘The Package’

Finally – the reunion we were all waiting for. No, not Jin and Sun finally getting back together in the Island-verse, as cruelly teased throughout this week’s episode, ‘The Package’, but rather Pop Culture Zoo’s EIC Joe Dilworth’s triumphant return to Lost Luggage! He’s back and he’s ready and willing to talk up some more Lost.

So, were you satisfied with the contents of ‘The Package’? I thought it was a pretty alright episode that covered a lot of ground, literally. And then the big reveal of Desmond’s new nickname — ‘The Package’ — was pretty sweet. Were you expecting that?

Joe: Well, on the one hand I had expected it to be Walt, so I was a little disappointed.  However, Desmond is one of my favorite characters on the show and has been sorely missed this season.  In that regard, I was pretty happy to see him show up.  Of course, there is the question of where Penny and baby Charlie are.  What do you think Widmore has done to our poor time dancer?

RI: I don’t really have any theories about Desmond’s appearance, lame me. But kids being left behind is a super-reoccuring thing for our castaways. Not great parenting going on here. But I did notice Henry Ian Cusick’s name in the credits for last week’s episode, so I figured he’d be showing up soon. Not to jump the gun, but did you see the preview for next week, where we got lots of epic looking scenes set to a bagpipe version of ‘Amazing Grace’? Seems to be foreshadowing something potentially disastrous and Scottish.

Speaking of disastrous, how annoying was the countdown for V in the corner of the screen?

JD:  Here’s the thing, I am a fan of this new V series.  However, that totally distracting countdown briefly made me hate the show and consider not ever watching it again.  Bad move, ABC!

RI: Yeah, at one point,  it even blocked Sun’s note to Jack. But you know what was an even bigger television crime? One of my local television stations put on Sketch Artist 2: Hands That See up against Lost. And yes, I am referring to that Sketch Artist 2, starring none other than Jeff Fahey – Frank Lapidus –  in a 1995 classic where he plays a police sketch artist who works that works with a blind witness to track down a serial killer.  It was a tough decision, but ‘The Package’ was worth watching over that. But still: well played, TV, very well played.

JD: I have to say that is pretty epic that you were torn between Lost and Sketch Artist 2. Reminds me of the time when I had to choose between the series finale of Friends and a local TV airing of the Bryan Brown classic F/X. Good times.

RI: Changing gears, what did you make of Sun’s Island-verse story, with her bonking her head and forgetting how to speak English? Is the show getting dangerously close to Gilligan’s Island territory here?

JD: Ha!  I don’t know if we’re getting to that point.  Yet.  I did think it was a really strange thing to do to the character.  I would have almost bought her getting amnesia instead of losing the ability to speak English.  Of course, the whole running into a tree deal seemed to be awfully contrived.  If it becomes a major plot point I may change my opinion for the negative.

RI: I thought the aphasia thing was a definite nod to Gilligan and crew, but I think it runs deeper, too. In this week’s Doc Jensen’s recap, he posits that UnLocke may have taken away Sun’s English because she was opposed to going with him. He also throws it out there that Smokey is actually conning Team Jacob to go over to Hydra Island  – and that he’s using Alpert to do so.

But, the other thing I liked about Sun’s loss of verbal English was another nod to a theme that’s becoming more prevalent in the final season, which is the need to be understood and the value of communication. I guess it’s always been an idea that’s been front and center with a show about a bunch of strangers living together, but I started thinking about this last week, with with the parallel between Ricardus and Sun both learning English pre-arrival on The Island, as well as the premature death of the Lennon, the seemingly-useless translator. Also, in general, there are a lot of characters that are totally misunderstood.

JD: I think I would be ok with the aphasia thing if it does turn out to be a punishment by Smokey.  Especially after his conversation with Crazy Claire, I could totally buy that.  Speaking of that, I think Smokey completely burned the sympathy card in that one conversation.  There was at least the kernel of doubt about him being evil before, but, yeah, he’s a bad guy through and through.

RI: I’m not so sure about that. I had always thought Ben was beyond redemption or pity, but I’m feeling pretty sorry for the guy at this point. To bring it back to my last point: maybe Smokey’s just misunderstood?

And speaking of potentially misunderstood characters, I don’t know if you heard about this – and it is a potential SPOILER, so be warned – but Sheila Kelley, who plays Zoe, said in a recent interview that This beautiful journey of this entire show, between good and evil, between science and faith, lies within Zoeand she also says that she believes her character will be crucial in revealing the big answers of the finale.

Joe:  That’s….really?  I’m not liking that idea at all, to be honest.

RI: Yeah. I don’t think anyone’s psyched about that comment. She’s definitely been the season’s weak point for me.

JD: I actually don’t care for her character all that much, to be honest.  It might stem from my disappointment at seeing a bunch of new mysteries and characters show up at the end of this show.  What do you think of Zoe?

RI: I’m not a fan, but I have faith in Darlton.  She does definitely seem to have a Clark Kent thing going on, where there seems to be a mystery hiding behind the thick frames. But instead of a cool superhero underneath, it seems like she might be hiding a suburban temptress from an early 90’s erotic thriller underneath it all–or maybe a character from Sketch Artist 2. All in all, there’s something about her that comes off as kind of phoney.

But, not to be completely dismissive, there are a couple of potentially intriguing things about her, too. First, could it be a reference to Zoe of Rome, who was really into St. Peter, and who was made a martyr of for her devotion to him. If you think back “The Lost Supper” promo image that was revealed before the season, Sawyer was believed to be in St. Peter’s spot, and Zoe’s first appearance did take place in Sawyer’s episode ‘Recon.’ Could it be a subtle clue about her shifting allegiances in the future?

Also, her occupation as geophysicist ties into the fields of physics and archeology (at least according to Wikipedia) -both of which happen to be Farraday’s and Charlotte’s respective fields. Farraday and Charlotte were also brought to The Island by Widmore, like Zoe was. I think it’s possible Farraday and Charlotte failed in getting something done when they were sent to The Island and Zoe might be the all-in-one cleanup hitter, ready to finish the job.

Finally, and this is a total stretch, but the glasses/super-scientist combo reminded me of another bespectacled character who had an interest in Earth-shaped structures: Radzinsky.

Is it possible that an Earth scientist and a grumpy creator of an Earth-shaped structures share some sort of distant connection based entirely on the fact that they wear glasses? Probably not. But based on their interest in electromagnetism? Maybe. Ultimately, if any of the above actually turned out to be true, the pressure is officially on to see if Zoe can become cool.

JD: I guess we will find out, eh?  Oh!  I did really love that this episode continued the Season Six tradition of bringing back everyone, including minor characters.  How cool was it that Mikhail Bakunin made an appearance?

RI: Yeah, that was good. As cool as it was that he got shot in the eye, too. I’m a tad disappointed that Jin couldn’t find a spear gun in the restaurant, for old time’s sake. Say, before we go, you got any parting monster theories you’d like to lay down on us?

JD: The only theory I’m prepared to bring up right now is that I think Jack is our new Jacob. He’s been acting and sounding more and more like the Man in White and, considering Smokey is now stuck as Locke, I find it would be fitting to end the entire series with Shephard and Flocke sitting on the beach having a conversation much like Jacob and MiB have had. Just my two cents. I’ll likely be proven wrong in the next episode.