Home > Lost, Reviews, TV > Lost, Season 1, Episode 20: Do No Harm

Lost, Season 1, Episode 20: Do No Harm

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: “Do No Harm”

Overall Episode Rating: A-

Like many TV dramas, life and death are major themes on Lost. Sometimes it’s subtle, as with the earlier episode “White Rabbit,” when Jack’s father’s death is used as a counterpoint to Jacks’ come-apart on the Island. It ends with Jack’s “live together, die alone” speech.

At other times the theme is as subtle as a hammer between the eyes, as with this Season 1 tearjerker. In fact, the theme of the episode is so overt that it requires a whole new theme in Michael Giacchino’s score to illustrate the humanity.

This sounds like I dislike this episode. I like it very much. It’s just a SUPER packed episode. In fact, it’s s0 packed it shouldn’t have had a flashback at all. The one we get almost ruins the episode.

But where did we leave off: Ah yes, Boone got his torso turned inside out by a falling Beechcraft. Locke, who lied about the accident to protect himself and the hatch, makes no appearance in this episode, which is all about two things: Jack trying to save Boone and (surprise!) Claire going into labor at the worst possible moment.

It’s a wonderful dichotomy. All season we’ve been waiting for a patented Major TV Death. The Marshal didn’t count, and Ethan certainly didn’t, so we’re left waiting to see who would be the first Lostie to bite the big one. Until he fell from the canopy in the plane, I’m not sure anyone had Boone, but here we are at the beginning of the episode, with Jack (helped in no small measure by Sun) frantically trying to sew up his chest, fix his shattered leg, and transfuse blood. The point: to illustrate the lengths Jack will go to to “fix” someone. We’ve been made aware of Jack’s fixer-fixation earlier in the season, but it’s hammered home here as he punctures Boone’s collapsed lung, gives Boone his own blood with a crude transfusion, tries to figure out what happened to him during Boone’s moments of lucidity, and contemplates amputating the dead leg.

It is also hammered home, to significantly less effect, in the flashbacks, which show Jack at a pimped out beach resort, struggling to write his vows before his wedding to Sarah, who is played by Julie Bowen, of Modern Family fame, back when she was just “that chick who was in Happy Gilmore.” (Let it be said that Bowen is a wildly better comedic actress than dramatic. I don’t buy her as Mrs. Jack Shepherd for a second, though if you continue watching the series maybe that’s the whole point.) Jack is desperately hoping his father shows up–this is obviously prior to their biggest fights–and when he does, the poolside conversation is awkward as all hell, and brilliantly played again by John Terry (Dad: “Do you love her?” Jack: “Absolutely.” Dad: “Then what are you doing out here.”). As Jack flashbacks (Jack-backs?) go, it’s utterly forgettable.

Meanwhile, back at the beach, Claire ain’t feeling so hot. She goes looking for Jack and then wanders off. With the rest of camp preoccupied with Boone, she stumbles into Kate in the jungle, where she begins to have contractions. Rut-roh! Kate sends Jin for Jack, and Jin comes back with … Charlie. And instructions for Kate to delivery the baby herself.

Quick aside: I feel that this decision is an early signal of the identity crisis that Jack will deal with from seasons 4-6, as he instinctively chooses “death” over “life” (there are those words again). By staying with Boone, who is clearly a lost cause, instead of going to perform a dangerous delivery, Jack is putting two MORE lives at stake. Jack looks like a hero in this episode, but is he really?

Back to Claire and her bye-bee. I’m the first to dog Evangeline Lilly, but this scene is superbly done, even though the writing just oozes with melodrama (“This baby is all of us!” Kate says to Claire, though she’s not wrong.) Charlie paces, Jin kindly tells him to chill. And ain’t it nice to see Daniel Dae Kim smile. I’d be willing to say he’s the most unconventionally handsome fellow on the show… when he’s not scowling.

You see where this is going: Scenes of Claire delivering her baby–she names him Aaron–are alternated with scenes of Boone’s final breaths, after he wakes up and tells Jack to not amputate his leg, and let him go. It’s quite lovely. And one of the nice things about a re-(re-re-)watch is that you KNOW this scene is going to be powerfully recalled much, much later in the series… which makes it so much better the first time around.

After the commercial break, we get Giacchino’s most classical theme, the simple piano strains of “Life and Death,” which we’ll hear again… and again… and again as Lost‘s story continues (a clip here). Claire introduces her baby to the rest of the castaways–you can totally tell Sawyer has NO idea what to do with a baby–as Sayid and Shannon come back from a romantic overnight picnic, where she confessed Boone’s obsession with her; though presumably NOT her night of drunken mattress dancing with the future CW hunk. Jack shares the news of Boone’s death with her, she cries, and we quickly get the feeling that Shannon’s relevance on the Island just took a major hit, too. The video of the final segment–including the final lines where Jack goes looking for Locke, who he says “murdered” Boone–is below.

Before we go farther, let’s post a cheesy fan YouTube video to Boone. I’ll try to do this for each Lostie who kicks the bucket. At least the ones who are worth it.

Meet “The Little Prince.”

Episode: “Do No Harm”

What the Title Means: “Do No Harm” is a doctor’s mantra. But Jack’s efforts to save Boone’s life significantly harm his well-being during his few hours left on earth. It could also apply to Kate’s fear of delivering Claire’s baby (which she apparently does flawlessly).

Director: Stephen Williams

Best Scene: The last 10 minutes of the show are borderline flawless, unless you just can’t get past Maggie Grace’s acting. The silence of the final segment is powerful. I’m a little more susceptible to the tear-jerking baby scene than I used to be, so sue me. In truth the final “Jack’s angry” conversation with him and Kate doesn’t even belong in this episode; the emotional ending has all the impact needed.

Worst Scene: Jack and Sarah’s one-on-one banter is enjoyable, I don’t buy the dramatic chemistry. Her toast at their rehearsal dinner is eyeroll-worthy–though it does share clues about how they met–as is the wedding scene.

Best Line: “Tell Shannon. Tell her…” Boone’s last words. We’re not sure what he wanted, though we have an idea. Figured it would be good to include the first final words of a major character. Boone was annoying, but he didn’t deserve to be made into a aviation pancake.

Best Throwaway Moment: Aaron. No! I don’t mean Claire’s baby should literally be thrown away, but does anyone else think that Lost delivers the biggest, whitest, cleanest babies in television history? I mean, my god; Aaron pretty much walks out of there, drops his book bag at at Claire’s feet and asks to be driven for Fourthmeal. Also, the Jin/Charlie stuff is pretty good.

Revelations: Jack was married to a woman he saved from paralysis; Boone dies; Claire has her baby, a boy named Aaron; Sayid and Shannon are an item but she puts up the temporary stop sign.

Next Episode: “The Greater Good”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV
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