If this man checks our bags tonight, we are doomed.
Travel plans will make it impossible for us to watch “Lost” in real time tonight, meaning our recap will be a couple days behind schedule. (Look for it Friday or Saturday.) The least we can do is preview an episode which Tad Smith predicts “is gonna be a top five episode. Ever.” Pressed for details, Tad demurred: “I have no idea what it’s about.” We don’t either, except that it’s about Ben, and the Smoke Monster is involved.
So as not to incur Mike Allen’s wrath, we’ll link to Doc Jensen’s recap of last week ( “Whatever Happened, Happened”) and his preview for tonight. He, like Tad, is thinking big: “Do I dare hope for all-time ‘Lost’ greatness?” All we hope is that our flight destined for Dayton does not land in the South Pacific (or 1974, for that matter).
It’s staggering to think (as Doc Jensen notes in his preview) that Benjamin Linus — or, as we first knew him, Henry Gale — was originally intended to be a minor character existing only in season two. Love him (Ben) or hate him (Erin), it’s hard to imagine “Lost” now without him. This would also seem to put to rest any claims of omniscience from the show’s writers that they had it all figured out from the start. To be fair, we’ve never heard the writers claim they did. But we have heard this suggestion from other quarters, usually fans who want to embellish the brilliance of “Lost’s” creators. Isn’t it just as brilliant to not have had it all figured out from the beginning? So that when a weak and seemingly harmless stranger turns up thirty-some episodes in and suddenly sucks everyone (and everything) into himself through the sheer tornadic force of his will, the writers were smart enough to keep him onstage?
Since we won’t be watching in real time, please refrain from spoiling anything for us, either in the form of long, rambling voice mails; long, rambling texts; long, rambling snail mail; comments attached to this post; notes with BEN’S DEAD! tucked under our windshield wipers; etc., etc. Thank you.
Also coming later this week: A full Denver recap (with pics), the next edition of “Voreplay,” and some long overdue book reviews.