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Cindy McLennan: A | Grade It Now!
Live Alone; Die Together

A chain is drawn to the hatch, but on its way, it snags itself a Juliet -- right around her slender waist. Kate rushes from Jack to Juliet's rescue and pulls on the chain with all her might, but the magnetism is too strong. Sawyer calls out Juliet's name and runs over to her, snagging her hand right as she loses her grip on whatever she grabbed to stop herself from plummeting down the hatch. "Where do you think you're going, Blondie?" He yells for Kate to get Juliet's chains off, and reassures Juliet that he's got her. Kate can't reach Juliet's chains. Whatever she and Sawyer are leaning on then starts to fall. Juliet's crying and frightened to death. It's heartbreaking and I hate it and I hate her stupid red shirt. The struggle continues for quite some time with Sawyer sternly telling Juliet, "I got you. Don't you leave me. Don't you leave me!" She tells him, "It's okay." Sawyer cries, "No. You don't let go." Juliet says, "I love you, James." He yells, "No." She says, "I love you so much." Sawyer screams, "No, no," and Juliet's hand slips from his. We watch her fall until she's out of our sight and then Sawyer cries as he seems to will her to come back to him. When he realizes she's gone, he gasps and sobs like a baby. I immediately restore all love points and hand out some bonus points, but it can't help him, not right now.

Four-Toes Beach; 2007: Richard joins Sun on a rock and offers her some water. She says, "Do you have any alcohol." Richard says, "No. I sure wish I did," and swigs from the canteen. From the distance, Ilana, Bram, Sayid, and the what's-in-the-box-box approach. Their torchlight gives them away and Locke's people grab their weapons and train them on the interlopers. Ilana raises her hands and says, "Don't shoot." She and her crew lay their weapons on the beach and she asks, "Which one of you is Ricardus?" Richard approaches her and says, "It's Richard, actually." Ilana's got a one-track mind, so she doesn't even seem to take in the pretty and gets right to her now well-worn point. "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Richard pauses then says, "Ille qui nos omnes servabit," which means He who will protect/save us all. Ilana and Bram let out a big breath; she introduces herself, and says she has something Richard needs to see. When she tells her crew to, "Open it up," Locke's people all cock their weapons, but Richard talks them down. Frank just stands there, when you think he'd give Sun a heads up, or something. The crew takes the lid off the what's-in-the-box-box, and they tip it on its side. The camera takes its sweet time panning over the side of the crate to reveal the lifeless form of a man, but THEY DON'T SHOW US HIS FACE. I mean, I think we've all figured it out now, but still. SHOW US HIS FACE, DAMMIT. Richard stammers. "Wh-where did you find him?" Ilana says, "In the cargo hold of the plane we came here on." The music spins up and out and we cut from Richard and Sun looking down at the body, and just as we FINALLLY see that it's John Locke, Ilana adds, "In a coffin." We stare at dead Locke for a moment, and then Sun says, "I don't understand. If this is Locke, who's in there?" The camera pans to Four-Toes and Ilana's eyes widen. Richard looks back down at Locke as do we, at least until we cut to...

Inside Four-Toes: Oops, we're still looking at Locke, but this here Locke has got to be Esau, right? Ben doesn't know that though, so he follows Esau-Locke's lead, just like Smokey-Alex told him to. Of course, Smokey-Alex was probably Esau, too. They reach the inner chamber and the big fire is still burning in the center. You'll be glad to know that there is an opening over it, which seems weird since they're in the base of a statue, but whatever. Oh, right. The statue's but a ruin, now. Ben looks up through the gaping hole and at the night sky, then back at Esau-Locke. Knife in hand, he then walks over to Jacob's tapestry, which is complete. Lostpedia has a good description of the tapestry, here and I see no need to re-invent the wheel. With the help of the fine people over there, I'll note the tapestry contains two quotes from Homer's Odyssey, written in Greek. The first translates to: "May the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires." The second can be rendered as: "May the gods grant thee happiness." Lostpedia has an article on Odyssey references in Lost, if you're looking for more info. As Esau-Locke's attention is directed toward something else at the other end of the chamber, Jacob watches Ben from behind a column, then finally says, "Do you like it?" He's seated, I believe, in a rocking chair, but it's hard to tell in the dark.

After Esau-Locke greets him, Jacob says, "Well, you found your loophole." Esau-Locke replies, "Indeed I did, and you have no idea what I've gone through to be here." Jacob's eyes look sad to me as he appraises his old companion. Ben asks the two if they've met before. Esau-Locke says, "In a manner of speaking." Ben's all wound up and ready to kill Jacob, so Jacob says, "Benjamin, whatever he's told you, I want you to understand one thing: you have a choice."

Ben looks at Jacob with hate in his eyes. "What choice?" Jacob says, "You can do what he asks, or you can go -- leave us to discuss our...issues." Ben's voice trembles as he says, "Oh, so now, after all this time, you've decided to stop ignoring me. Thirty-five years I lived on this island, and all I ever heard was your name, over and over. Richard would bring me your instructions -- all those slips of paper -- all those lists. And I never questioned anything. I did as I was told. But when I dared to ask to see you myself, I was told, 'You have to wait; you have to be patient'. But when he (meaning Locke) asked to see you? He gets marched straight up here as if he was Moses. So...why him? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?" It isn't fair. I've had enough now, I want my share, can't you see.... Ahem. Excuse me. Jacob stares at him then inclines his head as he says, "What about you?" Shoot, Jacob, I think Ben was hoping for something more along these lines. Ben's eyes grow wide -- no really, even wider than that. He says, "Well," and then plunges Esau-Locke's knife into Jacob's chest -- twice. Jacob falls against Ben, before sliding to the floor. He spits out his own blood as he gasps something unintelligible. Esau-Locke crouches down to hear him and says, "What? I can't hear ya." Gee, maybe that's on account of the fact that your minion left the guy with a sucking chest wound, Esau-Locke. Jacob's nicer than I am, so he repeats himself with what seems to be his dying breath: "They're coming." Esau-Locke looks alarmed. He rises to his feet and standing over the kneeling Jacob's dying body, he kicks him right into the fire. Ben seems aghast, but Esau-Locke just glares at his dying nemesis. But we don't have time to stand around here and yell, "Holy crap," like we need to, because instead, we have to jump to...

The Swan Site; 1977: Everything that's ever even stood next to anything metal is now getting sucked into the hatch. We watch Jack struggle to regain consciousness as we hear Kate warn Sawyer to "Get off of there." Jack joins her and together, they try to pull Sawyer away from the hatch -- away from the place where he lost Juliet. They get him out in the nick of time before a thousand and one objects fall/get sucked in by the electro-magnetic energy. At the bottom of the hatch, poor Juliet isn't yet dead. She shakes and cries until she spies Jack's bomb which must have landed on the one soft spot down there that wasn't under water. Hacking and coughing Juliet turns herself over, grabs a rock and starts pounding on the Jughead's core. "Damn you. Come on!" One, two, three, four, five, six, seven times she bangs, crying all the while. "Come on, you son of a bitch." She bangs the eighth time and KABOOOOOOOM! Everything goes white. The title card is white too, and this time LOST is written in black. DUN! Bad robot!

I don't even know what to say. When we first saw the what's-in-the-box-box, I wondered if it could have carried Locke's casket, but I only gave about a second's thought to whether or not the Terry O'Quinn standing on the beach was live Locke or Memorex. He ate fruit and relished in the eating. In hindsight, I guess I should have seen it. His confidence wasn't the give-away, so much as the fact that after Ajira crashed on Hydra, Locke never once made a wrong move. And when he disappeared before Smokey appeared, I always figured that for a misdirect. Now, I'm not sure Esau is Smokey, but it seems far more likely, now -- mostly because it was Smokey-Alex's warning to Ben that made Esau-Locke's plan fall into place. I'm wondering about all Smokey's judgments -- of character like Eko, Ben, and even maybe Locke (which was maybe more of a a sucker-assessment). One of the translations of Satan is the accuser. He stands before God and prosecutes us, in a sense. I'm not saying Esau-Locke is Satan. Lost's pantheon is vast and I don't want to hem it in with my own theology,

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