“Follow the Leader” was the penultimate episode of Season 5. It was also one of the most fast-paced hours of TV I’ve seen in a long time.
Sawyer and Juliet are interrogated by the Dharma Initiative. Dr. Chang finds out Miles really is his son from the future. And Jack decides to carry out Daniel’s mission and detonate the Jughead bomb, which he believes will prevent the Incident from taking place at the Swan station, which in turn will keep Flight 815 from crashing, and so on and so on.
You have to know when a man has decided to set off a hydrogen bomb, he’s either come full circle and believes whole-heartedly in his destiny, or he’s got a serious hankering for suicide and mass murder. I personally don’t see how a hydrogen bomb will solve all their problems, but Jack seems to think that as long as he follows the instructions in Daniel’s little cookbook, then all will be okay.
I’d say he’s just as crazy as poor dead Danny-boy if he didn’t get other people (and Other people) believing him. Take Eloise Hawking for instance. Eloise spends the episode in a bit of a daze. Understandable considering she shot the future version of her son. Imagine the guilt of knowing your destiny is to send your unborn son back to an island where your younger self will kill him. It goes some way toward explaining the cold demeanour of the present-day Eloise. Just try to imagine what was going through her head every moment of every day she spent with her son.
Some other things I liked about this episode:
I thought it was great that Hurley confronted his greatest fear: someone asking him who the president was in 1977. And I loved his response to whether or not he fought in the Korean War. “There’s… no such thing.” Poor Hugo.
I also liked the scene where Sayid tells Kate and Jack in a reassuring tone that he’s already taken care of the future by shooting Little Ben, followed immediately by his crestfallen expression when Kate tells him that Ben is alive and she was the one who saved him. What, you mean I shot that boy for nothing? Shoulda gone for the headshot Sayid.
And I liked Sawyer’s parting line of “Good riddance” as he looks at the island for what he believes will be the last time before entering the sub. It’s not the first time he thought he was leaving for good (remember the raft?), and I can’t help but think the ol’ sub will be making an unexpected stop.
One of the theories about Richard Alpert is that he was a crewman aboard, or maybe even the captain of, the Black Rock. That theory was given further weight in “Follow the Leader” when we saw Richard building a ship in a bottle — a ship that looked very much like the Black Rock. Ben says that Richard is a kind of “advisor” and he’s had this job “for a very, very long time.” Place your bets, folks. Is Richard the captain of the Black Rock or is he the physical incarnation of the Egyptian god Ra?
Oh, and that scene with Locke and Richard out at the drug plane? The producers have said the compass is an example of an object stuck in a time loop. Locke gets it from Richard in the present after he’s shot by Ethan, but Richard got it from Locke when he jumped back to 1954, who then gives t back to Richard in the present so he can give to himself in… Okay, I think that’s enough time travel talk for one year. I need a break. Maybe I’ll go see that new “Star Trek” movie…
By the way, was I the only one who wanted to strangle Kate when she busted in on the scene with Juliet and Sawyer in the sub? The look that Juliet gives Sawyer is classic: “Wow,” she seems to say, “this is going to be one looooong ride.”
The biggest revelation of the episode was John Locke’s declaration that he intends to kill Jacob. Did he mean literally, or is he only planning to kill the “illusion” of Jacob? Locke seemed to doubt his existence, as have some of the fans since the elusive leader of the Others was first mentioned way back in the third season. So, is Locke really going to kill Jacob? Is Jack really going to detonate a hydrogen bomb? Will we ever see Vincent the dog again?
We should get some answers tonight. And probably more questions.
This is “Lost,” after all.