Last night's episode served to get everyone into place for the start of the endgame. With the battle escalating, Mocke has been put in zugzwang by Widmore, and is forced to make his move, saying, "Here we go."
What was nice was that we had a mystery directly answered before the opening credits. Mocke admitted that he was, indeed, impersonating Jack's dad, Christian Shepherd, on the Island.
What I'm confused about is the time that Jack saw his father—after leaving the Island and becoming a junkie—in the lobby of a medical building. When he saw him, a smoke alarm had been set off in the building. So if Smokey was able to leave the Island for that apparition, then why does he need this big complicated plane strategy? I'm sure we'll never get the answer to that one. Also, did you believe him when he told Jack that he was trying to lead him to water in order to help him? Considering that, posing as Christian, MIB gave Locke a direct order to "sacrifice" his life, and then in last night's episode, gave Sayid a direct order to kill Desmond, I'm thinking that he's only really interested in helping himself.
After his heart-to-heart with Mocke, Jack is reunited with his half-sister, Claire. They mention that they're related, and they discuss how they both know that MIB had posed as their dead father. What's infuriating is that neither of them talked about how fucking weird any of that is, or about their relationships with their father (when he was alive, that is), or that Jack had met Claire's mother (who mysteriously is no longer in a coma, and no longer has those large fleshy moles on her face).
The most interesting thing Claire said was that Jack had already decided to join Locke because he let him talk to him. Apparently, that's what happens. (More on that in a bit.)
First, let's flash sideways for a second, where Claire and Jack also learn that they are related. In the alternate universe, Claire goes to an office building to visit an adoption agency where she not-so-coincidentally runs into Desmond. He gets all in her business about the adoption and very strongly recommends that she get legal counsel on her adoption, otherwise she could find herself "in a situation that's irreversible." (Odd, considering that in the season premiere, Jack tells Locke that "nothing is irreversible.") Anyway, Claire agrees to visit the lawyer with him.
And the lawyer turns out to be Ilana—Ilana Verdansky. It seems that Zuleikha Robinson's memory of her character's last name was a bit off.
I tried really hard to see if "Ilana Verdansky" held some kind of significance or clue, but the best anagram (in my estimation at least) I could get out of it was "Snaky Anal Diver."
It turns out that it's an incredible coincidence (or not) that Claire walked into Ilana's office, since Ilana had been handling Christian Shepherd's estate and Claire was mentioned in his will. Jack and his son David show up, meet Claire, and it seems as though this is going to be one of the grinning-est will readings since that of Anna Nicole's husband.
But there's an emergency at the hospital, and Jack is called away.
The emergency is Locke.
He was mowed down by Desmond, and his life is hanging in the balance. In the ambulance ride over, he seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness, and at one point mentions his emergency contact, Peggy Bundy, and says, "I was going to marry her." My immediate reaction to this was that Locke really thought he was dying. And like others in the sideways world who have momentarily died, I'm wondering if he was switching back and forth between realities.
Ben tells him that he's still going to marry Helen, and refers to him as Mr. Locke. That's when Locke said, "My name is John." It didn't sound so much like he was trying to get on a first name basis, as much as it sounded like he was correcting him. So do you think that MIB was kind of trading off with Mocke, in this switcheroo of timelines? Maybe MIB's name is also John (I mean, it is really common).
Supporting that theory is that as Locke is being rushed into the ER, his gurney travels side-by-side with Sun's.
She, too, is dipping in and out of consciousness after being shot in the gut, making me think that she, too, is switching between universes. She takes one look at Locke and starts to freak out, saying, "No! It's him!" I don't think she would have an aversion to the real John Locke, so I think the "him" she's referring to is MIB.
Moving on, Jack walks into the OR to perform super special spinal surgery. He looks down at the mirror, and recognizes Locke (as the man he spoke with at the airport, or brutha from anotha life?).
My guess is that Jack will correct Locke's pre-existing spinal injury during this surgery, enabling Locke to dance at his wedding. (Kinda like how Jack did with his ex-wife from the original timeline.)
OK, so back to Mocke's talking powers. It's been said that as soon as he speaks to you, you're automatically on his team. So I was wondering why Debbie Country was able to talk to him—when threatening him with bombs if Desmond was not returned—and still remain on Widmore's team.
I don't think Debbie Country is on Widmore's team anymore, after speaking with Mocke. I'll explain in a second, but first, let's get to what we've all been waiting for.
Reunited, and it feels so good—until Debbie Country harshes everyone's mellow by pointing guns at them. Wasn't it weird how Widmore pulled a 180 on his deal with Sawyer? And wasn't it weird that no voice was coming over the walkie talkie when she was supposedly talking to Widmore? I think it's because she was not talking to Widmore. And I'm thinking that Widmore had not backed out of his deal with Sawyer. Here's the thing: When she first threatened Mocke with the bombs, showing him what "we're capable of," DC told him, "Next time, we won't miss." But after apprehending Sawyer and the gang, she had shots fired toward Mocke (before nightfall), and missed—several times.
(We already know from previous episodes that Widmore doesn't like doing things before planned, as a way to avoid being in a zugzwang of his own.)
I think it was all part of Mocke's plan. I think he got in her head. And I think that he had her fire missiles in his direction so that he would have the opportunity to save Jack, finally getting him off the damn fence and onto Mocke's team.
And now that Sawyer, Sun, Jin, and Hurley think that Widmore doesn't like them anymore, they might be forced to take Mocke's side, too.
So if this is a big game of chess, how will it all end? Well, it would seem that Mocke is a bad bishop right now, meaning that he's hemmed in by his own pawns, and thus, is burdened with defending them. (Mocke needs all those candidates in order to do what he needs to do!) And perhaps, if we're looking a few moves ahead, getting Widmore's pawns (his team of scientists) to defect by going on on a different color (dark vs. light!) than Widmore, this automatically makes Widmore a good bishop, giving him much more mobility. But bishops working on opposite colors are notoriously drawish, and either side could trade down their endgames just to avoid a loss. Which maybe might happen? A tie game is kind of like an even scale, right?
Lastly, I thought it was interesting that all of the people on the boat of Sawyer's Great Escape, headed to Widmore's sub were the exact same people who were part of Jack's Great Escape, headed to Widmore's freight a few seasons back: Lapidus, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, Sun, Jack, and just trade Aaron for Claire. This time however, Sawyer didn't jump into the ocean and swim back to the Island—Jack did.
And if these two escapes continue to mirror each other, we can predict what's going to happen: Widmore's freighter was blown up by one of his own mercenaries. It would be fair to say that his sub will be blown up by own of his own scientists. (I just hope Jin isn't on it this time!) So it looks like the gang might be boarding that Ajira plane after all.