Once again, this is the type of L O S T episode I love. The Last Recruit basically ran like part 1 of a 4-act finale; it moved full speed ahead, there was a collection of flashes for several of the characters, not specific to anyone in particular, and was filled with intrigue, intensity, and surprises; basically all of LOST's greatest strengths.
Jack and Locke finally, finally re-unite! Something I've been loving the most about this season is trying to read people's faces- what they are thinking. Fake Locke has been especially intriguing, but no less interesting are the other characters' reactions to him. Jack and MiB have a pivotal conversation, and the issue of Locke Prime, the original man of faith, is a big theme. "He was a sucker," declared MiB. Ouch. Yes, Smokey was Christian, btw.
Loved the scene with Dr Linus and Mr. Locke in the hospital- and as fate would have it, Johnny Roadkill is going to the same hospital as Sunny Gunshot, who seemed to recognize him!
Jack and Claire got a nice scene on the island, seeing each other as brother and sister for the first time. Claire says Jack has decided to go with them even if he doesn't know it. He let the Man in Black speak. Hmmm. Seeing how the ep ends, there's a lot to read into that.
In Otherverse, Claire was visited by Desmond who insisted he meet his lawyer (Ilana, looking smokin) for assistance in the adoption matters- as fate would have it, Lil' Littleton and Papa Jack meet here too, as Claire was in Jack's dad's will. "He was my father too!" Sawyer, meanwhile, is ready to begin his Great Escape, and all our original heroes are invited, except The Crazies, Claire and Sayid. All Jack needs to do is bring his group to the rendezvous point. It was nice to see Sawyer trusting Jack again, and even nicer to see that he is a legitimate leader at the end of things.
Sideways Sawyer got a little flirty with Fugie Kate, but was all business cleverly apprehending murder suspect Sayid back at Nadia's house.
Sayid's assignment was to assassinate Desmond, who was down a well that looked a hell of a lot deeper last week. If there was anything special about it, as Smokey inferred, it didn't look like it. No one wants to see Desmond killed, and we're all hoping Dark Sayid can be saved. They had a conversation, but we never saw an execution. Sayid was really trailing behind Un-Locke's crew, much to his chagrin, but when they met back up, Jarrah insisted he did what he was told. We shall see...
I loved Dark Claire stalking the candidates as they snuck away from the group. I was eager for a big confrontation, but it was sort of anti-climatic. Kate basically just talked her down. On the one hand, it was reconciliation for the two characters. On the other hand, Kate robbed us of something that could have been a bit more exciting. But that's my personal blood lust. Whatevs
Aboard the boat, Sawyer and Jack have an even better conversation. "It doesn't feel right, leaving the island." Jack laments. Sawyer in 1 basic thought: Oh Hell. He iterates in 5 words: "Get off my damn boat." Jack truly has embraced this fate/higher meaning thing, and in the biggest move of the show, Jack jumps ship! Leap of faith indeed. Did he have a point about Smokey wanting them off the island? Maybe they shouldn't go.
The ep concludes with a huge reunion: Jin and Sun! However I don't think this had the intended emotional impact. These two haven't seen each other since the end of season 4, but really we've seen them together a whole lot since then. It never really felt like they were apart all that long- from a viewer standpoint. Magically, Sun can speak English again. This was lame. And made the whole asphyxia thing pointless in the first place. "Looks like someone got their voice back." Poor Lapidus. He just got the worst line in LOST history. Sawyer planned on seeking refuge with Widmore, and then turning on him to steal his sub. Looks like Chuck got the drop on him first, because the next thing we know, our castaways are face down in the sand, with Zoe pointing guns at their heads. Why that two-timing son of a...
Our cute Tina Fey lookalike gets the order, and they fire missiles back at Smokey, who now have washed-ashore Jack. "You're with me now."