I like it Hoth. I really do. Not only because it's one of the strongest episodes of the season. But because it gave us such a flurry of answers, and quite a few questions as well. It was a wonderful first centric for Miles, and I hope we get to see many more from this great character.
But let's first get down to business -- Pierre and Lara are Miles' parents! As soon as I saw little Miles run into the first scene, I almost spilled my Dharma mug of coffee all over my jumpsuit. It's not that I hadn't been expecting it; fans all over the internet had been theorizing about this ever since we heard that little baby crying in the Dharma booth video from last summer's Comic-Con. I was just excited that they found a child actor who looked astoundingly like both Ken Leung and Francois Chau. If you add that to the young Widmore we saw at the beginning of "Dead is Dead," you can definitely realize that the casting directors on this show are geniuses.
The question of how Lara survived the Purge was easily answered in the next flashback, in which she told a very punkish Miles (perhaps a reference to Leung's character in X-Men: The Last Stand) that his father had kicked them out when Miles was still a baby. At first this made me scratch my head as to why Pierre, who seemed so loving to his wife in "Because You Left," would do such a thing. And then, it hit me, and it made perfect sense.
In the aforementioned Dharma booth video, Candle reveals that a pinhole has been opened in time, and that he has been able to discover that he would die in the Purge, among other things. During this video, baby Miles can be heard crying, and Pierre yells for Lara to take him outside. This means that the fallout happened after this video was filmed, and therefore Pierre knew about the Purge. I think Pierre made Lara and Miles leave the Island to escape the Purge, and that the only way they would go without him is if he kicked them out, and they had no way to go. Am I right, or am I right?
The only other significant flashback featured Bram, an Ajira 316 survivor who had been partnered with Ilana at the end of last week in kidnapping good ole Frank Lapidus as he arrived back on the Hydra Island. Bram kidnapped Miles in a van, and offered him answers as long as he didn't go to the Island. He also asked Miles that same question, "what lies in the shadow of the statue," that Ilana asked Frank last week. When Miles didn't know, he used this as evidence that Miles wasn't ready to go to the Island.
Is this why Ilana knocked Frank out? Because he just wasn't ready to be on the Island? And who exactly do Bram and Ilana work for? Definitely not Widmore, the number one fan pick. According to Bram, Widmore's on the side that's not "gonna win." So do Bram and Ilana work for Ben? Or some other unknown person?
By the way, I just thought I'd throw in that I really like Bram as a character. I don't know why...he just seems like the kind of guy that you could just go and hang out with or something...just a friendly guy. Maybe that's because he played the best friend in Choke, I dunno.
Now, finally, to the Island business. Miles first scene in the security booth felt a little too much like a recap... the line, "you mean your friend, Sayid" should have been unnecessary in the context it was used in, and was obviously a ketchup line for those who missed the past...three weeks.
I must say, I facepalmed when Miles left the tape sitting out in the player when Horace walked in (although Horace was looking very '70s in that ponytail, which makes sense I guess). It was like watching one of those disaster comedies where you can see things going wrong and you just can't do anything...it was cringe-worthy, in a good way.
Horace's little "circle of trust" quote was both incredibly naive and at the same time dangerous. Horace, like Bram, seems like a guy you could just be pals with, and you'd want to be in his circle of trust...but there's also another side to Horace that makes you afraid to break the circle. And thankfully, Miles didn't. But LaFleur may be in some trouble. By the way, did anyone think about Meet the Fockers when Horace mentioned the circle?
Radzinsky was the same as he's always been in this episode, basically a DHARMA Frogurt. I really want to see a sympathetic side to this character, because I want to like him. I just can't bring myself to.
The corpse in the promo which sparked all kinds of theories turned out to be a never-before-seen DHARMA worker named Alvarez. I really felt sorry for Alvarez; lovestruck guy who just got a cavity and the wrong job at the wrong time. But I had to giggle, even if it made my entire family look at me like I was sadistic; the mental image of some guy's fillings popping out of their head made me think of a scene from Tropic Thunder, where a soldier's helmet is shot and fountains of blood come out. Eh, I'm throwing around too many pop culture references.
But at least I'm not rewriting The Empire Strikes Back like Hurley was trying to do in the van. Even if it does seem a little lame to Miles, it's actually a pretty good idea; not only would Hurley have become filthy rich if he beat George Lucas writing the script, but he could have edited out some of the more annoying factors of Star Wars. Because really, the Ewoks do suck.
Sawyer's plan also got found out by Phil, who I knew would never do anything good for Sawyer in the long run -- except that he went to Sawyer first. I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy...he was trying to help out a friend before selling him out to Horace, who would undoubtedly be disappointed with the break in the circle of trust. But no, Sawyer destroyed all these chances of escape with one right hook that laid Phil out cold.
The final scene of the episode was the best, with Miles actually shedding a tear as he watched his father reading a book with his younger self. I think this is the point where he decides to give his dad another chance. Will he tell his dad that he's his future son? That seems more likely with the arrival of Daniel Faraday, who sounds eerily familiar to the voice we heard arguing with Pierre in the booth video. If Pierre grasps time travel, it seems most likely that Miles will tell him what's going on...because every build-up must have a result.
Speaking of which, we saw that Faraday had been gone to Ann Arbor, MI for a while, which is quite interesting, because that obviously means that his scientific talents have been grasped by DHARMA. That makes it obvious that the opening scene of the season happened before this episode, probably way before. So what happened in between? (EDIT: Several of users have called out my mistake in this paragraph. It instead appears that the season opener happened AFTER this week's episode. Sorry for the confusion.)
My money is that we'll find out in two weeks, in the episode "The Variable." The last math-term-titled episode, "The Constant," focused highly on Daniel, so it only makes sense that "The Variable" will too. And it's interesting that constants and variables are direct opposites. Hmm... And now that I'm thinking of it, wasn't one of the season four episodes that got cut due to the strike called "The Outlier?"
Anyway, that's all for this week. Hope you've enjoyed it, and I'll see you again in two weeks as I review "The Variable."