Season 3 Episode 23

Through the Looking Glass (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 23, 2007 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (219)

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  • I'm not one to dish out 10's EVER, but I feel like sometimes, there are episodes of television that just set the standard for everything else. This is one of those episodes.

    As I mentioned in the summary, I've given maybe two 10's to episodes before, and I didn't give them easily. It's hard for a lot of episodes to symbolize perfection, mostly because there's always at least one little plotline that drags it down, or maybe some boring moments. However, Through The Looking Glass, along with a select few other television show episodes, is able to deliver with the intensity, action and mystery that the writers and directors promised, along with rebooting the show in one of the most amazing twists ever.

    Through The Looking Glass focuses on a plot that was introduced a couple episodes previous: Ben and the rest of the Others are planning on raiding the survivor's camp in order to kidnap their pregnant women. However, due to Juliet turning on them, Jack and the rest of the group are able to formulate a plan to kill the Others for good. While Jack prepares this, he also plans on taking the rest of the camp to a radio tower, where they'll use Naomi's phone to call for help on her freighter. While they set up that plan, everything hinges on Charlie, who prepares to face the death that Desmond had been predicting all season. He enters the Looking Glass station underwater only to find a couple of Others who are running the station. While he attempts to disarm the jamming mechanism that is preventing Jack from calling the freighter, he also most deal with these two women who want to stop him at any cost.. Oh yeah, and Ben is furious upon hearing about the freighter and treks across the island to stop them.

    I summarize all of this for people who haven't seen it (or even have seen it) because this two hour season finale never feels as long as it is. Each plot flows effortlessly into one another, and although we're given more questions as time goes on, a lot of them are wrapped up at the same time.. well, not wrapped up, but there's certainly some forward momentum, and that's good for a season that spent a majority of it wasting time doing nothing.

    There are a number of incredible moments that stand out above anything else the show has done, including the entire fight between the survivors and the Others. The anguish on Jack's face as he faces the reality that Sayid, Bernard and Jin may have to die in order for them to get rescued was heart-breaking and it was cathartic for us, the audience, to watch Ben once again get the crap beaten out of him.

    Through The Looking Glass isn't only an example of great television, but it shows how a show can sidestep growing stale by introducing a completely new story telling device. I always knew flashbacks would grow stale, but Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse set up the episode so we would have no idea what was going on. The flash forward was perfect, holding their cards to their chest until the final scene, where it's bookended with the promise of rescue.

    And who can say enough about Charlie's final appearance (at least as a main character)? It was a great death, not over hyped or over done, but filmed in a way that still made us feel great sadness. Charlie, along with Hurley, were always great comic reliefs, and the way the previous episode, Greatest Hits, tied in with this one almost makes me see Greatest Hits as equally important to this one. And the chills I get on seeing Charlie write "Not Penny's Boat" on his hand never goes away, even after a second or third viewing.

    It seems unlikely that Lost will able to one-up this finale, but the fact that a show can still provide impressive episodes like this is a testament to the show's talent. Nothing against the fourth and fifth season finales, but this one was perfect, not hinting at what the twist could be until the last few minutes. For a show that was threatening to grow stale and seemed to be close to losing people's interest, they come along with an episode like this and completely prove everybody wrong. One of the best two hours of TV I've seen, and I can't be budged on that.
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