Home > Lost, Reviews, TV > Lost, Season 1, Episode 15: Homecoming

Lost, Season 1, Episode 15: Homecoming

Welcome to the Lost Re-Re-Rewatch Project. In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. This is my fourth round-trip to the Island, but my first time attempting to chronicle my thoughts on the show on an episode-by-episode basis. The mission: A post per episode. Nothing so epic and theory-heavy as Doc Jensen’s great stuff at EW.com, which I highly suggest you read (the theory game is a bit moot at this point anyway), but hopefully it will help scratch both my writing itch and my Lost itch at the same time.

Episode Title: “Homecoming”

Overall Grade: B

In an effort to keep this coherent: Ten Things I Liked About This Episode (and a few I didn’t).

Aside: Interestingly, according to the Lostpedia entry (click the episode title above), producer Damon Lindelof lists this as his least favorite episode of Lost’s six-season run. I find that hard to believe. There’s a little cheesiness here, and maybe the backroom plotting came way off the rails, but I think this is a pretty solid hour of TV. I hear Lindelof liked Cop Rock, so whatever.

1. Based on the end of the last episode, you think it’s going to be Claire-centric, but it turns out to be Charlie-centric. Indeed, it’s one of the better flashbacks for Charlie, who will soon slip into semi-relevance for about two and a half seasons. Claire is the impetus for Charlie’s actions, which adds some much-needed connection between Island Action and back story.

2. Wet William Mapother. Ethan gets quite a bit of play, first threatening Charlie after smacking Jin with a slingshot. “If you do not bring her here, I’ll kill one of them.” Alas, it’s the last we’ll see of the muscled, chisel-jawed Ethan Rom, at least in this life brotha. Which leads me to…

3. The first REAL A-Team Mission. Jack. Sawyer. Locke. Sayid. Kate. Five guns.No Hurley. No Boone. No Charlie (well…). They’re using Claire as bait to trap Ethan. And it’s raining. Again, why do all of the good Lost fights happen in the rain? Jack gets his payback on Ethan and the team has seemingly taken Ethan alive. But then… (wait for No. 10).

4. Characters are fleshing out. Sun and Jin briefly discuss Claire’s baby, and you can sense sadness. By this time I suspect Lost was breathing easy for the rest of the season, if not season two, so little moments like that were tolerated.

5. Boone’s uselessness catches up with him. As the Men of the Camp stand guard overnight, Boone falls asleep. They wake in the morning to find the trap nearest him tripped and a castaway dead. Boone also falls when he things he’s caught the assailant, which turns out to be Vincent.

6. The payoff of the Scott/Steve joke. It’s a bit of Lost production lore that cast members, writers… no one could keep background characters Scott and Steve straight, so it became a part of the world. Scott (or was it Steve) was Ethan’s unlucky victim, but even at the funeral Hurley had to apologize for using the wrong name.

7. Another great Locke-Jack scene. Jack fesses up about the suitcase of guns, and Locke–as only Terry O’Quinn can express–was amused. “Why doctor, you’ve been holding out on us.” Jack asks him if he knows how to use a gun. Locke dismantles it and puts it back together in about three seconds. Jack looks scared, and Locke smiles his cockeyed grin.

8. Sawyer. Jacke beats Ethan up but it’s Sawyer who finally pins him down with a 9mm. Sawyer, holding the gun sideways with this hair all wet and hanging in his face. It almost makes you want to write fan fiction.

9. Charlie’s backstory (specifics): During Drive Shaft’s hiatus and the depths of his heroin problem, Charlie takes a job to con a rich man’s daughter and steal a valuable artifact from her home. But Charlie starts to like her–even takes a job–which make his employer angry. He’s cut off from a fix for 72 hours, and when he starts work he’s a mess. He steals the artifact, pukes in the copier during his presentation, and is chastised by his would-be lover: “You’ll never take care of anyone…” Zoom to Island times…

10. Charlie comes from the bushes, picks up Jack’s gun from the ground, and blows Ethan away with six rounds to the back. Hard. Core. Brit. The A-Team is dismayed. But Charlie is oddly pragmatic: “Do you really think he would have told us anything?” He was looking out for Claire, making sure she didn’t get kidnapped again, and because of a pertinent flashback, we think maybe we know why he did it. THAT’S GOOD TV!

Unfortunately there was a little of Season 1’s ham-handedness here, too. I didn’t like:

1. Charlie and Claire’s one-on-one dynamic is still off. Hitting on a girl with amnesia? That’s awkward.

2. Shannon found some spangly earrings. She never struck me as the kind of girl who shopped at The Icing.

3. Well, I can’t really think of anything else. This was a pretty nice episode.

“C’mon! You would have done Lord of the Rings if they’d asked you, too!”

Episode: “Homecoming”

Director: Kevin Hooks

Best Scene: The final showdown between the castaways and Ethan is pretty excellent all the way around. I like how it takes them all a whole minute or so to see how Claire is, even though she was just chased through the jungle at 9.5 months pregnant. Jack throws punches, Sawyer goes gangster, and Charlie unloads. Pretty cool. Bonus points for the askew camerawork and sad humor in Charlie’s flashback to his first (and last) day as a copier salesman.

Worst Scene: The Claire stuff. She’s confused and paranoid. Why talk to Shannon about it?

Best Line: “Nuh-uh, Jungle Boy. Not even for one second.” Sawyer in aforementioned fanfic-worthy fight scene.

Best Throwaway Moment: After Ethan’s attack, Sawyer says “So Steve drew the short straw, huh?” Hurley: “Dude, that was Scott.” Thankfully this meme disappears after this episode.

Revelations: Ethan is mortal after all; everyone’s (Jack’s, Sawyer’s) guns are on the table; Claire remembers nothing about her time away–is in fact blank all the way back to the crash.

Next Episode: “Outlaws,” which includes my single favorite conversation of Season 1.

(All images and ep-title links are courtesy Lostpedia.com)

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Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV
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