LOST: Please Tell Me They're Not in Purgatory

| Thu Feb. 12, 2009 3:54 PM EST
The title of last night's LOST episode should have been a giveaway: "This Place is Death." But I'm hoping to Hurley the island-bound Losties are not in limbo, or in purgatory, or just plain old dead because the show's creators promised they wouldn't be.

That sinking feeling aside, some really interesting information is helping progressing the series toward a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. We now know the smoke monster used to guard a temple inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs, the same glyphs seen when Desmond's hatch computer was allowed to time out. The Egyptian symbols, together with Charlotte's Tunisian Dharma Initiative research, and the slave ship the Black Rock, gives this season a bit of an African flavor, but it's hard to tell what the link is between Africa and the island.

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Another theme that's been marinating for a while is babies. The island seems to be able to import human life (from planes, ships, etc) but is incapable of producing it organically. Women who land on the island pregnant can give birth, but women who get pregnant on-island miscarry and die if they stay there. Perhaps the island has a radiation-like effect: a little dose can kill a cancer, a huge does can create it. I don't think this will be the last we'll hear about the island's effects on babies, especially the ones born there.

All thematic motifs aside, the episode got back to the character-driven scenes and good acting that attracted many people the show's first season. The director got tears from actors without it feeling schmaltzy (Sun talking to her daughter on the phone) and that just-right mix of pathos and humor (Charlotte's deathbed ramblings). Quote of the night came out of left-field from Miles, when asked to translate for Jin, "He's Korean. I'm from Encino." So true. And Locke's expression when redheaded, freckled Charlotte started translating instead: priceless. I'm hoping for some Hurley-originated non sequiturs next week, as the off-island folks make tracks to wherever, and whenever, the island currently exists with a little help from Daniel's mum.
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