(Before we jump into this, just a quick note: Hi, it's Mark! While Emily normally writes our totally boss Lost recaps, I jumped in to take the reins this week. Be gentle with me; hope you enjoy!)
From the moment that we saw that this episode was scripted by people other than Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we knew we were in for a largely thrill-less hour of exposition. Nothing of much consequence happened during this largely Miles-centric ep, but we did get some background as to why The Island's favorite Ghost Whisperer grew up to be such an insensitive dick. As we have come to expect from the oeuvre of J.J. Abrams, this has a lot to do with a whole mess of unresolved daddy issues. Other points of interest last night included Kate pounding back Dharma beers with Roger Linus, and Juliet flirting with Jack by flashing insane amounts of clavicle and an out-of-left-field Star Wars analogy. However, last night's episode will likely be most remembered as being the show in which the writers finally succumbed to a desire they had been able to suppress for the last five seasons. Yes, that's right, fart jokes have now invaded the Lostiverse.
The camera pulls back to show a creepy landlord showing an open apartment to a single Asian mother and her young son, Miles. The landlord explains that the apartment "is a steal at just $400," which immediately makes us pound our heads against the wall, cursing the fact that we pay nearly two grand a month for a 450-square-foot breadbox.
Miles's mother hands him a quarter to grab some snackage out of a nearby vending machine. He approaches the vending machine cautiously, and for a moment there, we're convinced that the scary homeless guy from Mulholland Drive is going to pop out at any second demanding Kit-Kats. Fortunately, that doesn't happen, but Miles's attention turns toward Apartment 4 (yep, you guessed it, it's one of The Numbers). Visions of sugar plums and dead people dance through the young Ghost Whisperer's head, prompting Miles to break into the apartment. He sees dead people (literally).
Flash-forward. Miles cracks open an issue of Sports Illustrated with L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda on the cover. Who knew that the USPS delivered all the way out to Dharmaville? Sawyer gives Miles a command to erase the videotapes of him dropping Young Ben off to the Hostiles, but before he can, he's confronted by Horace Nosebleed, who asks Miles if he'd like to enter his Circle of Trust. Unbeknownst to either of them, twenty-some years later, Jack Byrnes would ask Gaylord Focker the very same question. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF!
Miles accepts Horace's mission and hops in his microbus to rendezvous with Radzinsky. Rather than picking up a few cases of Dharma-brand beer, he's asked to secretly transport a dead body back to Dharmaville. We think we know where this is going.
Miles to Go Before We SleepFlashback! A younger Miles, replete with facial piercings and a skunky streak in his hair, shows up at his mother's apartment, where he is greeted by a caregiver who resembles a cross between Charlotte Rae and Large Marge. Miles and his dying mother have a deathbed heart-to-heart about the whereabouts of his long-lost father. Daddy issues go together with J.J. Abrams shows like peanut butter and Ritz crackers. Miles's mom tells him that his pops died a long time ago and that he will NEVER be able to find his body. Mwah-ha-ha!
Back in seventies-era Dharmaville, Miles gets another assignment from his new buddy Horace Nosebleed. This time, he's to take the package (a.k.a. the corpse) up to the Orchid and drop it off with Dr. Chang. Turns out Hurley is en route to the Orchid, too, so the two decide to carpool.
Cut to a tension-filled conversation between Kate and Juliet in Dharmaville's version of Seattle Grace Hospital. Ben's alky dad, Roger, busts into the hospital to visit his ailing boy, only to find out that Ben is nowhere to be found. Both Kate and Dr. J play dumb as to Ben's whereabouts, which sends Ben's dad in search of Island security and a rocks glass full of Wild Turkey.
Commercial break. Hey, a Star Trek commercial. More of J.J. Abrams and his daddy issues!
Okay, we're back. Miles and Hurley are cruising through the jungle in the microbus jamming out to some classic AM radio. Hurley takes a break from scribbling in his composition notebook to accuse Miles of cutting the cheese without passing out the crackers, at which point Miles cops to the fact that he's transporting a dead body across state lines. The two then have a heart-to-heart about how they can both talk to dead people.
Flash-forward! At least, we think it is. Miles is talking to a father of a dead football player, which makes us think of the "I love my dead gay son!" speech from Heathers. After feeding a line of BS to the father about his dead gay son, he is approached in the street by Naomi, who makes him an offer he can't refuse.Back to swingin'-seventies Dharmaville. Roger is sitting on a swing set pounding Dharma beers. Apparently his efforts to alert security about his missing evil son didn't go so well, because Kate just wanders up to him like their last conversation never happened. Sensing she's not exactly the Chardonnay type, he offers Kate a beer, which she immediately shotguns. Just for good measure, the butchy Kate then crushes the beer can on her head (not really).
Cut to Miles and Hurley, who have now begun bonding about their shared love of John Edward, of Crossing Over fame. They are interrupted by a surly Dr. Chang, who chastises Hurley and threatens to ship him off to Hydra Island to shovel polar-bear dung for the rest of his miserable life. Wait, what's that? HYDRA ISLAND? Polar-bear feces? It's all coming together now! (Sort of.)
Dr. Chang orders some grunt-level Dharmas to "put the package inside," but shockingly, no one responds with "That's what she said!" Ah, if only Michael Scott were on the Island. Hurley then calls Dr. Chang a douche, to which Miles responds, "That douche is my dad." Like, duh!
Commercials! Thanks to a crappy ad campaign by Universal, now we know that State of Play contains "a twist you'll never see coming." Well, maybe we wouldn't have seen it coming IF WE DIDN'T NOW KNOW TO LOOK FOR ONE. Worst!
Okay, we're back in the present day again (ish). A bossy Naomi leads Miles to a dead body in a meat locker to see if the rumors about him being a Ghost Whisperer are true. Thanks to some Chris Cunningham–style editing tricks and a lot of weird sniffing noises, Miles discovers that the dead dude robbed a bunch of graves and bought an old airplane at the behest of Charles Widmore before he died. Sound familiar? Naomi then tells Miles that she'll pay him 1.6 million clams if he follows her to a mysterious island, an offer that Miles gladly accepts.
Flashback. Hurley thinks it's weird that Miles's dad is Pierre Chang/Marvin Candle, at which point Chang/Candle asks Miles for a lift back to Radzinsky's work site. Great, some father-son bonding time!
Cut to a classroom, where sullen Jack is erasing blackboards containing what appears to be a lesson on ancient Egypt. In strolls a pretty buzzed Roger, still tossing back Dharma beers with reckless abandon. Continuity errors w/r/t how much the chalkboard has been erased abound. Roger starts asking Jack why Kate is so into Ben, whom he believes has been kidnapped. It's not at all clear why the other Dharmites haven't begun setting up search parties to look for Baby Ben. Instead of consoling a man whose son has just been kidnapped, Jack instead uses the opportunity to act like a condescending asshole toward Roger by calling him a drunk.
Cut back to the microbus, where Miles is driving and Chang/Candle is riding shotgun. Hurley is in the back, peppering Chang with questions about his 3-month-old son, Miles, and what a kwinkydink it is that there are two Asian fellows on the Island named Miles. Chang remains oblivious as the gruesome threesome rolls up to a construction site, which turns out to be ... wait for it ... the future home of the Hatch! Yawn. We really thought this episode was going to be more exciting.
After a commercial break, we Flash Forward to present-day (ish) Los Angeles, where Miles is enjoying a tasty fish taco before getting kidnapped by a bunch of black-clad goons. One of the goons just so happens to be one of the guys from October Road. He asks Miles if he "knows what lies in the shadow of the statue," a line we heard last week. Miles says "Hell to the no," at which point he gets a lecture about how not even $3.2 million will solve his daddy issues. Then he gets thrown out of a moving van. We have no idea whether he was able to finish his fish taco or not.
Flashback to the Island. Hurley engages Miles in a chat about how cool it must be to finally get to know his dead deadbeat of a dad, but Miles blathers on about how he never really cared about his father, blah blah blah, daddy issues, blah blah blah. Miles then steals Hurley's notebook, in which he has been writing a script for The Empire Strikes Back. Hurley explains that he wants to become the next Lawrence Kasdan and sell his script of the Star Wars sequel to George Lucas, but strangely, he never once mentions anything about trying to prevent the creation of Jar Jar Binks.Cut back to Dharmaville, where Sawyer finally returns to the Sawliet love nest. Juliet is wearing a red blouse that's showing insane amounts of clavicle. Before the two even get a chance to exchange kisses, Jack pops out of nowhere and explains to Sawyer that Roger thinks Kate kidnapped Ben. Sawyer seems semi-stunned that Jack and Juliet were alone together, especially considering Juliet was wearing such a clavicle-enhancing top. Jack excuses himself, and while Sawyer goes out to blow off steam, Jimmy Barrett confronts him on his porch.
"I know what you did last summer," Barrett says to Sawyer. Then Sawyer decks him.
Commercial. We'll gladly give ten imaginary dollars to anyone who can explain why Beyoncé is starring in a movie that Lifetime clearly passed on.We're back. It's present day. Miles goes back to the "I love my dead gay son" guy's house and gives him back his money. You see, Miles is feeling guilty about his daddy issues, so rather than just return the guy's money, he gives the dad a lecture about making the most out of the time you have with your children and how you should always, always tell your children how much you love them. If we were in that same situation, we probably would've just dropped a check in the mail, instead of going to the guy's house and accusing him of being a bad father right to his face in the days after his son died. But that's just us.
Flashback to Dharmaville, where Miles and Hurley are returning from their long day on the road. Hurley launches into a ridiculous speech about how Miles should really get to know his dad while he has the chance, all the while comparing Miles's life to that of Luke Skywalker's. Pierre Chang may be a lot of things (including Marvin Candle), but he's no Darth Vader. Creatively speaking, this speech is a series low point.
Feeling guilty about ignoring his deadbeat dad, Miles starts peering through the window at his still-alive parents. He gets misty when he sees his dad pick up the 3-month-old baby version of himself, as we all would. In a bit of fortuitous timing, Chang then receives a phone call and drags Miles along to the docks to pick up some special guests fresh off the submarine from Ann Arbor. To the surprise of no one, it's Daniel Faraday, who quips "Hey Miles. Long time no see." Annnnnnnnnd scene.
What We Know Now
• The Dharma Initiative is researching polar-bear feces on Hydra Island (this could also be filed under The Wha? Factor), and Pierre Chang thinks said experiments are crazy.
• It's official: Miles is the son of Pierre Chang, Candle Man.
• Widmore contracted some dude to dig up a bunch of graves and buy an airplane. And then he killed him.
• Kate likes her beer.
The Wha? Factor
• We made it through nearly five seasons without hearing one fart joke. Why start tonight?
• Whose team were those guys in the van on? And what's their problem with fish tacos?
• What prompted Miles's mom to take her then-infant son off the Island in the first place?