I thought the show would pick up once the Oceanic 6 stuff was finally, and thankfully, over. But the DHARMA in the 70's and Ben/Locke/Sun arcs were frankly not living up to expectations. This episode renewed my enthusiam for Lost. The home stretch for season five now looks promising.
I gave this one a 4, and I think I was being generous. This episode felt dumbed down in so many ways. None of the "reveals" worked because we had long since figured out that Miles was Chang's son, that Ellie from 1954 was Eloise, and that Eloise and Widmore were Daniel's parents.
Daniel's been away for a long time, possibly the better part of 3 years, but we don't learn anything about what he was doing. Research. Right. Then, after spending the season drilling into our heads that WHH, all of sudden Daniel announces that he was wrong about everything. They can change things. What? The man obviously has a few screws loose and is totally obsessed with his desire to prevent Charlotte's death, but of course Jack is going to ignore all that because he suddenly sees a chance to erase all his personal failures AND be a hero to boot. Of course he's all for Daniel's plan to detonate an H-bomb and undo the crash of Flight 815. Mr. Fix-it hasn't learned a thing.
Then we have the guns. It was stupid to take them out of the gun case to start with, so that's on Kate. They needed the guns so we could have the ridiculous John Woo shoot-out, featuring Jack in the action hero role he's so patently ill suited for. All I could do was laugh at the absurdity. Then again, this show desperately needs a Sawyer since the real Sawyer is still in lotus-land with his nuts in Juliet's purse and his edge a vaguely exciting memory. So by all means give the shirtless scenes and the running through gun fire to Jack, no matter how silly it looks.
While we're on the guns, let's address how ridiculous it was for Daniel to go wandering into the Others' encampment waving a gun around. Especially since he had already seen Locke walk into their camp unarmed in 1954 and accomplish his goal of having a conversation with one of them. Daniel just looked dumb with that gun, and Jack and Kate looked just as dumb for letting him go there. I wasn't the least bit surprised Daniel got shot... it was the only logical outcome of his waving a gun around and threatening Richard.
As for who did the shooting, that too was absurd. This woman shoots her son in 1977, and then spends the next thirty years raising him and sending him along the exact path that will lead to it. There isn't a woman alive who would do such a thing.
The only good thing about the episode was Phil in Sawyer's closet, marking the end to the Dharma chapter that has been stretched out overlong by at least a few episodes. It was fine to show us how the Island-5 had survived their three years, but after the third episode or so of that it just became increasingly soporific. The only reason I gave this episode a 4 instead of a 1 is because there was actually some amusement to be found in their scenes this week. Sawyer had some funny lines for a change and almost sounded like himself a couple of times, Then I laughed when Juliet got her jealous snit on over Sawyer addressing Kate as "Freckles" in such honeyed tones - she couldn't spit the code out fast enough. It was good to see some cracks in that frothy little bubble of a relationship - finally! And then there was the packing scene. Heaps of clothes and Dharma foodstuffs all ready to be packed for their trek into the jungle. Those two have gotten so soft they're downright idiotic! Wake up, already!
The Constant was awesome, but this wasn't even in the same league as an average episode of LOST. I'm sorry to say it was a real let down. We've seen Dharma but we've really learned nothing new about them at all. What is their purpose? Do they even have one? If we had at least been given some big reason for their existence, something along the lines of the Valenzetti equation, then THAT would have been exciting. Instead, we merely have this pack of drones doing various experiments, but seemingly having no central philosopy to tie it in to. Very disappointing waste of a potentially interesting opportunity.
Gave it a well earned 8.
+++ Lots of back story, character development for Dan, a nice explosion, and some tension among the Losties.
--- But Radzinski is annoying! Delusional paranoia! He comes on the screen and I just want to punch the screen. Explain why he's so darned paranoid every time we see him, or kill him off. Please?!? I know we haven't seen Sayid in a few weeks, but where the &#@! are Rose and Bernard??