Two for the Road

Holy shit!


I’m not used to having a television show, even the ones I like, make me genuinely feel anything, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, just sitting there like I’d just been in a car accident or something, with that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach and thinking, “No way did that just happen.”

Now I’m even dreading watching the next episode and having to see the fallout. Until then, I guess it’s poring over The Hanso (1-877-HANSORG).

And after all that build-up, the spoiler warning: Seriously — if you’re thinking you might watch “Lost” at some point, skip the rest of this post. It’s for your own good. (And it won’t make any sense if you don’t watch the show anyway, so there’s no use in spoiling it for yourself).

Sure, Ana Lucia I can see. All she really had left to do for the series was have her redemption flashback episode, and she might as well have had a vulture sitting on her shoulder the whole time. (And that’s not to say that I saw it coming; I was totally surprised by it. Just in retrospect, it seems natural.)

But Libby? I thought they said her blood alcohol content wasn’t that high!

So yeah, that’s the obvious speculation — write both the DUIs out of your cast in one episode. And in an episode called “Two for the Road,” even, and with bits about the both of them drinking (Libby wanted wine for the picnic). But is that what really happened? I don’t read any of the behind-the-scenes stuff or gossip sites, so I don’t know. I did think it was weird that both of them got pulled over on the same night; maybe it was the night they found out they’d been written off the show, and they’d gone out to celebrate? I just don’t like to think the writers are being that arbitrary with a storyline they’ve built up to this degree.

Still, if they can make an arbitrary, somewhat petty decision to write actors off a show, and end up with something this powerful, then more power to them. If I were Mr. Eko or Bernard, though, I’d be pretty worried…

I’m not worried that they’re going to leave us hanging as to what Libby’s role in the whole thing is. They wouldn’t have had Hurley remind us all that he’d seen her before. My speculation: she’s totally one of the Others. (Maybe that was obvious after seeing her in the psych ward? Or even earlier?) Michael shot her by accident, after all. She met a Hanso representative while in the mental ward, and was recruited for the Dharma Initiative. Her mission was to bring back Hurley, just like Henry Gale said his was to bring back Locke.

Whether Michael had become one of the Others, or had just made a deal with them to GET BACK HIS SON! (Whose name I forget… starts with w I think). I really hope he’s been turned into one of them; anything less would feel like cheating. And I hope that it’s one of the central conceits of the third season, that he’s now a bad guy.

One of the recurring themes that goes around when people talk about “Lost” is “how long can they keep this up?” and “are they going to end it gracefully or let it go on long past the point of suckitude?” After the last two episodes, I’m thinking it’s got a lot of life left in it. They’re almost done with season two, they’ve still only gone through about two months of story time, and they’re still throwing significant revelations into the mix. Rose knowing about the island’s healing power. Why Hurley was in the mental ward. The lockdown and the map. They haven’t even used up all the stories from the airport ticket counter!

Plus, two seasons and some of the biggest questions are still unanswered, like what caused Locke’s injury. And now, who’s Jack’s sister. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve never had a better time being strung along.

Update: According to this interview with the guys in charge (thanks for the link, Rain), the ending of this episode had been planned all along. And for what it’s worth, I believe them. They preface it by saying that it sounds like spin, which would be dumb to draw attention to if it were spin. They’re forthcoming about other changes in the storyline they’ve made as they went along. They did have the plan to kill off Jack in the pilot just for shock value, so it’s an idea they’ve been tossing around for a couple of years now. It does tie in with the themes of this season: Michael and WALT!, the tailenders, Ana Lucia’s whole redemption bit, and how much the Others can infiltrate a group of people. And, it’s coming up on sweeps.

So if true, it means that the fact that the two actors arrested for DUI on the same night have their characters killed off in the same episode, which has a title that alludes to drinking and driving, and shows characters ruining their lives with alcohol, is all just a coincidence. In a series that’s all about fate and coincidence and seeing patterns that aren’t there.

Which is really freaking my shit out.