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Lost, Season 2, Episode 1: Man of Science, Man of Faith

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:Man of Science, Man of Faith

Overall episode rating: B

“Man of Science, Man of Faith” was Lost at its mainstream pinnacle. The audience had spent Season 1 gradually gravitating to the show, reaching a critical mass just as the season ended, and America was left with five months to speculate: “What’s in the hatch?”

You remember “Exodus,” the Season 1 finale. Locke and company blow the lid off the hatch in the jungle, while meanwhile the raft is blown up and Walt taken by some grungy looking fellows in a motor boat. Michael, Jin and Sawyer are left for dead.

So by fall 2005, audiences wanted some ANSWERS, DAMMIT (sound familiar?). This premiere did a nice job following up on one plot point, and completely ignored the other.

And it didn’t take long at all to answer the question of what was in the hatch, as we were treated to one of Lost‘s signature season-opening scenes of awesomeness. Behold (pardon the ad).

So, in just about three minutes, we learn that there is currently a man living in the hatch. He listens to record albums from the ’60s. He eats cereal and works out. He shoots weird substances into his arm. But we don’t even know that all of this is happening in the hatch, however, until there’s an explosion and we see he is extremely well armed. And as we follow the sight on his gun across a series of mirrors, the camera pans UP the shaft of the hatch and we see Jack and Locke, just where we left them, staring into the abyss.

How awesomely unexpected was THAT?

But you know what? After the opening credits run, there is very little left about this episode that is truly ingenious.

The flashback is the important but hardly season-opening worthy story of how Jack met Sarah Shepherd, his ex-wife. We knew he “fixed her” in the hospital, but here we see the story. It’s really rather trite; you can tell he falls for her, especially when her sleazy fiance, Kevin (played, IMDB tells me, by none other than Hell on Wheels star Anson Mount!) acts repulsed at the idea of her needing care for the rest of her life (“You mean, she won’t be able to go to the bathroom by herself?”). Jack, previously chided by his father (and on-island by Hurley) for a lack of bedside manner, goes to the other extreme: “I’m gonna fix you.” He says as she nods off in the OR. And, somehow he does.

Two interesting things happen along the way here:

1. The crash in which Sarah is nearly killed was a two-car crash. The other driver? Adam Rutherford, who we will only implicitly find out is Shannon’s father. He is sent to the same ER at the same time, but doesn’t make it (time of death? 8:15 a.m.). His death sends Shannon on a downward spiral that will be explained in an upcoming episode, but in the ER Jack has to make a decision: Sarah or Adam. Choices matter.

My suspicion is that the producers had bigger plans for Sarah as a character as of the start of Season 2. Julie Bowen is good here, especially the scene where they find she has regained feeling in her legs. Perhaps her greatest contribution to the show, though: Hooking up with Jack and making him get a damn haircut.

Jack and Desmond: REALLY early for the USC game.

2. After Sarah’s surgery, Jack has a bad feeling. He goes for a significant run, one that will be revisited from a number of perspectives over the course of the series. He’s running an excruciating workout (every step in the Los Angeles Colosseum) when he turns his ankle. To the rescue comes a grinning Scotsman. They talk about motivations for running so hard at such a late hour, and Jack spill his guts about Sarah. “I couldn’t fix her,” he says. “But what if you did?” the man, who identifies himself as Desmond, says. So they skip around the subject of miracles. Desmond finally says “You have to lift it up.” It’s a phrase loaded with meaning. Does he mean Jack should take it to the lord in prayer? Or does he mean Jack’s ankle? Oh Desmond, ever the double agent. He concludes the conversation with one of Lost‘s classic lines: “So long brotha. See you in another life, ya?”

(Lost veteran nerd talk here for a moment: As I’ve re-re-re-watched this series, the thought strikes me: Is there any possibility that this Desmond, smirking and undeniably faith-driven, is an all-knowing, time-traveling, perhaps even Season 6 Sideways-world Desmond? Later episodes will probably disprove this, but he just seems to know something the old, flawed Desmond probably wouldn’t. Sorry… had to go there.)
One final question: Can anyone really just run inside the L.A. Colosseum in the dead of night whenever he or she feels like it? Yet I get chased out trying to go rappelling at Plaster Stadium? Bah.
Meanwhile, back at the caves, Jack, Kate, Locke and Hurley address the people. Here, after being scolded by Hurley, Jack shows them his “good” bedside manner. With no others on the way and no way to get everyone down the hatch, he tells them they’ll be here to see the sun come up, together.
It doesn’t matter: Locke and Kate are headed to the hatch with wire. Locke lowers Kate in, a bright beam of light shines up, and she falls. Jack, unable to let her go anywhere without him, returns to the hatch to find both of them missing. So he lowers himself down, naturally.
What he finds is just perfectly bizarre. At the bottom of the hatch is a bunker, well-supplied. High points include a geodesic dome, a weird mural on the wall prominently featuring the number 108, a bizarre, corroded wall that attracts the metal key hanging around Jack’s neck… and a computer, with a blinking green square, waiting for someone to enter a command.
That’s when Locke, at gunpoint, tell Jack not to touch it. Jack is angry (first words, of course: “Where Kate?”) and lashes out at Locke about this being his destiny. “All roads lead here, right John?” he says. But then he’s cut off by the man with the gun, the man in the hatch. “I’ll blow his head off, brotha.” That’s right… it’s Desmond, the man from the Colosseum.
*Bonk*

The hatch computer: Making emoticons before they were cool.

Episode: “Man of Science, Man of Faith”

Director: Jack Bender

What the title means: Typically, “Man of Science, Man of Faith” as it pertains to Lost applies to Jack (science) and Locke (faith), and the conversation they had in the Season 1 finale. That applies here, too, but I don’t think that’s it. It goes back to Jack operating on Sarah with science, and having no confidence that he did the job. But then he meets Desmond, and gets some faith. The next day: Sarah’s fixed. The man of science has learned to become (however temporarily) a man of faith. It’s a microcosm of Jack’s journey on the show. To be happy he must be both.

Best Scene: As I mentioned, the opening montage of Desmond going about his day in the hatch, set to the forlornly peppy “Make Your Own Kind of Music” by Mama Cass Elliot, is an all-timer. Both for the weirdness, staying power, and the immensity of the reveal. At this moment in its existence, more people than ever were expecting Lost to DELIVER, and it did. As Lost devolved into a true genre series people began to stray, but almost EVERYONE watched this moment, of this episode, of this season.

Worst Scene: I have so little time left to (SPOILER ALERT) pick on Shannon, I’ll do it here. She loses Vincent, see? She and Sayid chase him into the woods. Shannon falls down. When she looks up she sees Walt (an obviously taller version of Walt… Malcom David Kelly had a very inconveniently timed growth spurt), drenching wet. He doesn’t speak, just puts a finger to his lips and says “Shh.”

Oh, okay. Indeed no one on the raft turns up in this episode, which is understandable if a little disappointing.

Best Line: The best moments here don’t have a lot of dialogue, but Kate does get off a zinger when Locke asks her if Jack thinks he’s crazy. “Why, because you want to drop into a hatch that’s been locked from the inside by a foot-thick steel door that says “quarantine?” Sarcasm never fails.

Best Throwaway Moment: I like the conversation between Jack and Christian, in which the elder Shepherd lets Jack know that it’s okay to give people hope, even when there isn’t much. It simultaneously sets the tone for a few of Jack’s finer moments, and lets the audience know that Christian Shepherd was not a bad man, and not a bad doctor.

Revelations: The hatch is a strange, fully equipped bunker with a man living in it, a man Jack met years before in L.A.; Jack saved Sarah Shepherd at the expense of Shannon’s father; he didn’t think he saved her, but it turned out to be a miracle.

Next Episode: “Adrift” Mmm… I smell burning raft.

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

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Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 1, Episode 23, 24 & 25: Exodus

July 20, 2012 1 comment

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.

Epiosde Title: “Exodus” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Overall Episode Grade: A-

It’s important to realize that “Exodus” gets an A- minus only in the context of most of the season finales that followed. By all accounts this episode encompassed all that was Lost: Sweeping scope, high-minded conversation, stunning revelations and maddening cliffhangers.

It was also three hours long, covering two nights (one one-hour session, one two-hours). But since it’s technically one episode I will do my best to bring you the highlights in one post. It won’t be easy.

Rather than a chronological recap, I’m going to hit the highlights. If you have seen “Exodus” you remember. If you don’t, you will want to stop now and the recap wouldn’t do any good anyway.

How many points do I have to make? Sixteen, of course.

1. Let’s get the flashback structure out of the way right now. Over the course of 22 episodes, it had gone from being one of Lost’s primary charms to a bit of a chore; the strained Kate flashback from the episode before being the freshest culprit. Here the producers take a more film-like approach, framing the day of the crash from the perspective of each of the main characters. We see Hurley almost miss the flight in a hilarious extended sequence. We see Jack fight to get his father’s coffin on the plane. We see Walt and Michael fighting from the wee hours of the morning. We see John Locke humiliated as he’s carried aboard the plane. We see Jin told in the men’s room that he’ll never be free of his father-in-law. We see Sawyer deported. And so on.

It’s simultaneously a reminder of all the flashbacks we’ve seen during the season and a stunning bringing-together of storylines that have grown divergent over the season. It’s a reminder that these characters were, somehow, supposed to be on the same flight. It ties the season together and recalls the pilot in the best way possible.

2. The Others. All Losties know they’re real (even if you’re a newbie you know; Ethan was very real) but in “Exodus” they’re used as a red herring. (At the time “Run, hide, or die” was what passed as a good Lost buzz-phrase. But a red herring from whom? Rousseau. In the story’s weakest plot point, she stages the Others coming in order to (elaborately) steal Aaron during a moment with Kate. It’s all a little preposterous when you think about it, especially considering that in later seasons we’ll find that Rousseau isn’t all that crazy. Quick recap: she takes the baby. Claire screams a lot. Charlie goes with Sayid to get the baby back. They do. The end.

3. But it does lead to one important moment: I would almost believe that the whole Rousseau/ Aaron idea is a gimmick to let Charlie find drugs. As he and Sayid give chase they come across the downed Beechcraft with its Virgin Mary statues full of heroin which (unbeknownst to Sayid) is the exact drug that Charlie kicked not a five weeks prior. It gives us hope that the producers have an idea of what they want to do with Charlie in Season 2. Don’t get your hopes up.

4. The whole raft sequence is pretty cool. At the end of hour one, the island folk launch the raft (finally) with Michael, Walt, Sawyer and Jin aboard. Besides the opening crash sequence, this is the most cinematic moment of the entire season (if not the series) with Michael Giacchino’s brilliant music (easily his best since “Walkabout”), a pristine blue sky and sea, and the tear-jerking moment where Vincent runs into the water after Walt (who has bequeathed the Labrador to Shannon, in another tear-jerking moment that makes you love both characters with the intensity of a thousand suns). Watch it here (just watch, no spoilers).

5. The hike to the Black Rock. Rousseau uses this as her way to get the alpha team (here consisting of Jack, Locke, Hurley, Kate and Arzt) away from the beach so she can double back and steal Aaron. They’re going to get dynamite to blow up the hatch and give the castaways a place to hide from the Others. But really the journey it serves four other purposes:

— To introduce the Black Rock. Throughout the season Rousseau has reference a mysterious place called the Black Rock. Fans had pictured either a large Obsedion structure or a primitive place of structure. Turns out it’s an ancient slave ship, waaaay in the middle of the jungle. Azrt speculates that a tsunami swept it there (which, well… here’s to Arzt). Cool set piece, though, which we’ll visit again for a number of key moments.

— To prevent the Sawyer/Kate goodbye. She scrams with Jack to avoid having to look Sawyer in the eye when he left. Laaaaaame.

— To kill Arzt. Yep. Everyone’s least-favorite science teacher gets blowed up by his own dynamite while lecturing the crew on how to handle it. It’s a great scene, and doesn’t happen before another funny sequence where he admonishes Hurley for being part of a clique and keeping everyone else in the dark. He also pokes fun at Hurley’s lack of weight loss. This scene is clearly the producers inserting Arzt as an avatar for the show’s critics. And then he’s blown to smithereens, leading to Hurley’s revolting line a half hour later in the show: “Dude, you’ve got some Arzt on you.” Also: WHY did Hurley go on this trip again?

— To get them to walk BACK. Ah yes. This is when Smokey attacks and, for the first time, we realize that its physical manifestation of our beloved Smoke Monster. Coming out of nowhere, it grabs Locke (who has seen it in person way back in “Walkabout”) and attempts to drag him into a hole in the ground. Locke insists to a desperate Jack and Kate that it won’t hurt him (we don’t realize until late in Season 6 that this is, in fact, true) but instead they trhow a stick of dynamite in the hole. Smokey lets go. Cool. Here Rousseau tells the castaways that the Monster is a “Security System” meant to protect the Island. Also… here’s to Rousseau.

6. Sawyer and Jack. Always a complicated relationship, Sawyer and Jack have a nice scene before Sawyer gets on the raft. Putting two and two together (somewhat fortuitously, but whatever), Sawyer tells Jack about his conversation with Christian at the bar in Sydney. Jack gets all half-weepy Jack. Good times.

7. Sun and Jin. Damn these two. They make up for past sins (for now) and have the first of many weepy Sun/Jin moments involving (or happening near) water. Sigh.

8. By the way, where hell is Rose? We haven’t seen her since the Charlie PTSD episode. Just sayin’. Can a sister get some love on a Pacific island?

9. The scope of new perspective from the raft. Interesting speculation among the four as they circle the Island. Michael: “How does a place this big never get discovered?”

10. Jake vs. Locke. It won’t take long into Season 2 for this battle to emerge as THE major conflict of the show (if it isn’t already). They have two big-time discussions here. In one, as they pack the dynamite after Arzt blows up, Locke compares the task to the game Operation, throwing in a scary BUZZ! as he puts a stick in a backpack. “Do you like to play games, John?” Jack asks. “Oh yes,” he answers.

The chat with more gravitas occurs closer to the hatch. They discuss why they were brought to the Island, and what awaits them in the hatch. Jack says it’s safety and protection. Locke says it’s destiny.

Locke: “I think that’s why we don’t see eye to eye sometimes, Jack. See, you’re a man of science.”

Jack: “Yeah. What does that make you?”

Locke: “Me? I’m a man of faith. … Each one of us was brought here for a reason.”

Later, as Jack and Kate talk, he tells Kate that they’re going to “have a Locke problem” and asks her to have his back.

11. Boone closure. Sun takes a moment to tell Shannon that Boone died bravely. Besides a few flashbacks that’s the last time anyone will really reference Boone the person. Too bad.

12.The perfection of the episode title “Exodus”. See the section below about what the title means.

13. Another text this episode borrows heavily from: The Lord of the Rings. Seriously. Check the scenes where Shannon, struggling to walk and literally freaking out under the weight of Boone’s luggage, is relieved by Sayid who says “Let me carry it for you.” How very Samwise of him. Or, the scene in the flashback where the heroin addled wench tries to get the last bit of smack from Charlie. It has a very Gollum/Frodo vibe to it, does it not?

Of course this could just be me going into geek overload. Yeah. That’s probably it.

14. Teasers for Season 2. By now Lost’s writers (obviously) knew there would be a Season 2, so they leave us with some crumbs to think about. The most obvious from “Exodus”? Jack’s airport flashback, in which he converses with a comely Latino who identifies herself as Ana Lucia. Anyone who has any pop culture knowledge immediately identifies Ana as being played by Michelle Rodriguez, and knows that such an actress would not make a needless appearance. We’re left to wonder about her significance to Jack, and what happened to her in her seat in the back of the plane (all too conveniently discussed).

Note: Just writing this much about Ana Lucia makes me seriously reconsider whether to keep this up during Season 2. Ugh.

Other teasers: A shot of Charlie, being cooed over by Claire, with a Virgin Mary heroin statue stashed in his backback; Rousseau’s insistence that the Others said they were coming for “the boy” (only too late do we realize they probably meant Walt, not Claire’s baby boy); the beeping on the radar on the raft… it sounds an awful like a certain computer in a certain… but nah. Wait for the next recap.

15. The final raft scene. This was a really well-done cliffhanger. In the middle of their first night at sea (that should be a sign, shouldn’t it?), the raft crew gets a signal on the radar. They take a risk and fire off the only flare… and the beeping gets closer on the radar.

It’s impossible to overstate how tense a scene this is on first viewing, by the way. It’s still excellent on re-watches, but it’s especially great when you don’t know what’s out there.

What’s out there, we find is a small boat (again, a clue that these folks aren’t from the outside world) filled with grungy lookin’ folk. A bearded fellow (hello, Tom Friendly!) greets the crew, and then amiably tells them they’re going to have to “take the boy.” Wait, what? The strong-arms grab Walt, the boat’s driver throws a Molotov Cocktail on the raft, Sawyer gets show and all hell generally breaks loose. The raft explodes and we are left with the lingering scream of the first two seasons (and, sadly, of Harold Perrineau‘s excellent career). WAAAAAAAAAAALT!

Seriously. Great scene and a pain in the ass cliffhanger for Season 1.

16. Meanwhile, back at the hatch…

Locke and Jack have had their philosophical tiff and they’re about to blow the fuse on the hatch (I might add without checking to see that the rest of the castaways are, you know, alive). Anyway, Hurley drops a flashlight and sees his numbers engraved below the hatch door. Rut-roh. He tries to stop the explosion but Locke lights the fuse. The dynamite blows and we see… that the door has been blown off. There is a hole.

Jack and Locke move the door aside and peer into the darkness below What we’re left with is one of THE quintessential shots of Lost, one that will be echoed in the series finale five years later: Jack and Locke staring down into the darkness, wondering what’s there, and what’s coming up.

BONK!

Episode: “Exodus, Part 1, 2 and 3”

Director: Jack Bender

What the title means: Oh man. Let me count the ways:

1. Obviously Exodus is the second book of the Bible, chronicling the Jews escape from Egypt, the seven plagues that afflict their captors, and the subsequent chase and miracles that occur. The castaways escaping from the Others and the raft’s brief “exodus” from the Island are the most obvious connotations.

2. At least two of the castaways’ young boys become targets of aggression from the Others and Rousseau. But the one who is actually taken is… the eldest. Walt. (The seventh plague was the death of the Egyptians first-born sons, for you non-Bible readers.)

3. Claire’s eventual name for her baby… Aaron. The put-upon, but more-important-than-he-thinks-he-is brother of Moses is the hero of the Biblical Exodus.

Best Scene: Above, I went through the genius of the raft-launching scene. Seriously beautiful. Other spots in the episode may be more mysterious but none is more exciting.

Worst Scene: The scene where Charlie and Sayid finally track down Rousseau and Aaron? A little disappointing. It basically culminates in Merry Brandybuck shouting down Sarah Connor, which in this context is nowhere near as awesome as it sounds.

Best Line:

First Place: “Hey Han. You and Chuy want to slow down and talk to me for a second here?” Sawyer to Michael when he and Jin are yammering about what they’re seeing on the raft’s radar.

Second Place: Arzt again, when he explains the plan to blow the Hatch to Jack (who never told him): “If you want to keep a secret, don’t tell the fat guy.”

Best Throwaway Moment: On the raft, Sawyer is singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” “You like Bob Marley?” he asks. Michael: “Man, who doesn’t like Bob Marley?” Aww, bonding. Aww, redemption.

Revelations: The Black Rock is an ancient slave ship in the jungle; the Monster is actually a smoky apparition that can drag full-grown men into the jungle; Charlie knows about the heroin in the Beechcraft; the Others aren’t after Aaron (Rousseau is), but after Walt, and they grab him from the raft.

Next Episode: “Man of Science, Man of Faith” (Season 2 premiere)

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 1, Episode 22: Born to Run

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:Born to Run

Overall Episode Grade: D-

In the interests of everyone reading this, and especially myself, I’ve decided to keep this post as short as possible. Prior to “Born to Run,” Lost completed perhaps it’s best three-episode arc with “Deus Ex Machina,” “Do No Harm,” and “The Greater Good.” Following this episode we’ll have “Exodus,” the three-part season finale. “Born to Run” feels like a webisode sandwiched into one of the most important spots in Lost history.

We’ll break it down Q&A-style, because it feels fast.

How does this episode start?
Kate’s on the run. Incognito, she pulls up to a motel, switches her car’s plates from the large selection in her trunk, and slips into a recently unoccupied room. What we learn: Kate makes a lousy blonde, but a killer freeloader.

Why’s she in Iowa?
Presumably to check in on her sick mother, who is being treated for cancer.

Isn’t Kate a fugitive? How does she get past the law?
She looks up her old friend Tom, who happens to be a doctor who can reserve an MRI machine at 5 a.m.!

Does Tom have a too-convenient tie to a previous episode?
Yes! He was the owner of the toy plane Kate goes to so much trouble to get in “Whatever the Case May Be.” You’ll remember in the episode she confessed to Jack: “It belonged to the man I killed. It belonged to the man I loved.”

Soo… can you put a bow on this?
Wait. First the “love” angle. The two were childhood friends, and buried a time capsule (which included aforementioned plane) underneath the Tree of Life in an Iowa field. Also in the lunchbox? A tape they recorded when they buried the capsule. On the tape, Tom swears they’ll be married some day. Kate says she’s going to drive away. Guess which happened? In truth, the most interesting part of the time capsule is the New Kids on the Block lunch box. We’ll see it (and young Tom) again in a faraway episode, in a scene with much higher stakes for the series as a whole.

Do they make out?
Well, yeah. But Tom is married with a kid, so it’s more doomed than the average Kate romance. It’s more of a “Hey, here’s to our lost youth” kiss than anything else.

Soo… now can you put a bow in this?
Yeah. After Kate’s mom’s MRI, Kate steals a moment with her. Wonderful Diane promptly starts screaming–they’re estranged for reasons we’ve yet to see–and Kate flees. For some reason I’ll never figure out, Tom–a doctor–runs with her after giving her his keys. She drives through a police line, and they open fire. Then they run into a Gold Pontiac, and she sees Tom has been hit. He’s dead. She grabs the plane from the back seat and runs.

Will Tom figure, even in the slightest way, into any future Lost storylines?
Other than being with Kate in one flashback scene in Season 6… no. Kate’s Story 1 flashback arc is conveniently closed.

Does this flashback help the on-island storyline?
Not really. Kate is listening to her flee-happy tendencies and jockeying for a spot on Michael’s raft, Sawyer’s spot to be exact. The two have some testy exchanges, with Sawyer eventually outing Kate as the fugitive who was planning to scram the minute they reached land. Meanwhile, Jack and crew suspect one of the two when Michael is poisoned. The overall effect is a ridiculously timed whodunnit? episode, when what we need is some momentum to the season finale.

Who DID poison Michael?
Oh, that was Sun… at Kate’s bequest. The bottle was meant for Jin, so that he would have to stay with Sun and Kate could have his spot.

So did anything of consequence happen in this episode?
Charlie got a haircut.

Arzt!

Anything else?
Two things. One, we meet Leslie Arzt, an annoying turnip of a science teacher who tells Michael that if he doesn’t leave “yesterday” the raft will never get north to the shipping lanes and instead float south to Antarctica. Two, Sayid and Locke show Jack the hatch. Jack wants to open to look for supplies or shelter. Locke smiles. Sayid is angry.

That’s it?
That’s it.

Episode: “Born to Run”

Director: Tucker Gates

What the title means: Obviously Kate was “Born to run.” This is also the title of one of Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits.

“Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run”

Best Scene: Arzt, Michael and Sawyer talking about the strategy for leaving the island. Some funny lines, and more importantly it addresses the logistics of sailing, which no one seems to have given much thought to.

Worst Scene: I can buy the idea of Tom–a doctor in his own hospital–giving his keys to an old friend to get away. But getting in the car with her and letting her drive through a police blockade? I’m not saying he deserved to get shot, I’m just saying.

Best Line: “Because I’m a doctor, and you’re a hillbilly.” Arzt when Sawyer asks why anyone should listen to him.

Best Throwaway Moment: No conversation between Jack and Locke is “throwaway” but their haggling over keeping secrets (Jack the guns and Kate’s fugitive status, Locke the hatch’s existence) is a harbinger of larger arguments over the next several seasons.

Revelations: Kate’s childhood friend is the one she “killed” accidentally trying to escape in Iowa; Jack wants to blow open the hatch, Sayid does not; Sun tried to poison Jin to keep him on the island; everyone now knows Kate was the fugitive.

Next Episode: “Exodus (Parts I, II and III)”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 1, Episode 21: The Greater Good

July 5, 2012 1 comment

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: “The Greater Good”

Overall Episode Grade: B

Poor Sayid. Here he is, the only brown fellow in a group of people who just went through a plane crash in 2004. Yet, over time he lands a spot on the A-Team, taking part in dangerous missions and using his technical expertise to take the biggest active steps toward rescue via radio. Now he’s managed to score a night on a beach with the hottest (at least conventionally) woman on the Island. Life is good, right?

Nope. First Shannon holds back the nookie because of her weird relationship with her step-brother, so he agrees to wait. Then, when they get back to the beach, Boone is dead. Tough gig for a new boyfriend, and a bummer of a way to start a relationship.

“The Greater Good” is a worthy follow-up to “Do No Harm,” the emotional roller coaster that preceded it. It deals with everyone’s sadness about Boone and their rage at John Locke. At Boone’s funeral–following Sayid’s awkward if heartfelt eulogy, delivered in Shannon’s stead–Jack attacks Locke when he appears (oddly still in his blood-soaked shirt, perhaps in tribute to Boone’s “red-shirt” comment and sacrificial lamb status among the castaways). Locke tries to explain the situation, coming clean but leaving out the detail of the hatch, and explains that Boone died to save them. Doesn’t stop Jack from pummeling him, though.

Lost milestone: This is the first scene set at Boone Hill, the fan’s name for the Island cemetery. Presumably Scott … or was it Steve … was buried there too, but Boone was the first name-brand castaway, so his name goes on the gates.

After the funeral, Shannon snaps out of her doldrums long enough to ask Sayid to take care of Locke. Like I said, tough gig.

So it falls to the former Republican Guard interrogator to get the truth out of Baldy, and what follows is one of the better extended conversational sequences of the season, and Locke repeatedly lies to Sayid and Sayid sniffs him out. They’re headed for the plane, where Locke explains away Boone’s “hatch” comments by referring to the hatches on the fallen plane. His big secret is safe. Then Locke shares a little secret: Remember way back in the opening episodes of the season (“The Moth,” to be exact), when Sayid was smacked with a stick and the transceiver shattered? Yeah. Locke did that.

Sayid, pissed but somehow satisfied with the explanation that Locke was trying to keep everyone safe, as well as the Boone evidence, explains to Shannon that he believes Locke. And then the episode gets a little nutsy.

Jack has been overworked and overstressed, so Kate forces him to rest and slips him sleeping pills, allowing Shannon to sneak in and take the key to the Halliburton case where the guns are hidden. I am having trouble remembering when Shannon was ever made privy to the existence or contents of the suitcase.

We catch up to Shannon who has cornered Locke in the jungle. Naturally it’s raining, and Shannon’s in a white tank and no-run lip gloss, packing heat. She never looked so good. (Though can’t remember when she became trained with a firearm). The A-Team converges, and Sayid lunges. Shannon fires, grazing Locke’s head.

So, to recap: Shannon’s pissed at Locke and now an attempted murderer (though most aren’t going to hold that against her). Sayid is now estranged from the conventionally hottest girl on the island. Sayid knows about the plane and its cargo. There’s only one thing left for him to do.

Call Locke’s bluff.

In the final scene, he approaches Locke and tells him to take him to the hatch.

Locke: “But I told you…”

Sayid: “You’re going to take me to the hatch. No more lies.”

BONK!

Episode:The Greater Good

“B-b-b-but… everyone LOVED The English Patient! I swear!”

What the Title Means: The title is explicitly referenced in Sayid’s flashback, which is pretty solid by Season 1 standards. In his first episode, “Solitary,” we learn that Sayid was a Republican Guard interrogator who helped the love of his life escape, and has been searching for her ever since. In “The Greater Good,” American and British agents offer to reunite them if he will help them infiltrate a terror cell headed by his former roommate. Where is this cell? Sydney, Australia. The flashback centers on Sayid winning his old friend’s trust, talking the kind, scared Muslim into taking the suicide assignment (even agreeing to do it with him) and then telling him to run at the last minute when he tells him he’s working for the CIA. But his skittish friend, destroyed that Sayid set him up for a woman, kills himself in front of Sayid. The CIA offers him an immediate ticket to  L.A., but Sayid stays to claim and bury his old friend… which puts him on Oceanic 815 the next day. Sayid mentions “The Greater Good” in discussing their impending martyrdom, though it could apply on the Island to the overall well-being of the castaways (which Sayid appears to have in mind) as opposed to the separate agendas of Locke, Shannon or even Jack.

Director: David Grossman

Best Scene: Two nominees:

1. Lost‘s “comic relief for the sake of comic relief” stage is thankfully nearing its end, but the funny diversion in “The Greater Good” is pretty humorous. Claire is badly in need of sleep, and Charlie is offering to watch the as-yet-unnamed baby boy (he calls him “Turnip Head” which is good for a laugh. Portions of the episode center on Charlie and Hurley trying to sing the baby to sleep, bickering over the words to “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” (apparently the British say “drowned the spider out”). Hurley resorts to singing James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” Terribly. The only thing that soothes the child? Sawyer’s smooth Tennessee drawl. The scene where Sawyer reads an auto magazine to keep the baby asleep is one of the biggest laughs of the season.

2. Any and every scene where Sayid and Locke try to feel one another out. Naveen Andrews and Terry O’Quinn are two fine actors who don’t get a lot of scenes together. These are some to relish.

Worst Scene: Not much to pick on in this lean episode. Boone’s funeral is awkward as all hell, but then again it would be, wouldn’t it?

Best Line: Sawyer on the squalling baby: “Baby Huey’s like nails on a chalkboard.” But then calling someone “Baby Huey” is ALWAYS funny.

Best Throwaway Moment: As Shannon is going through Boone’s effects, she comes across his checkbook, the same one that bailed her out of so many situations (including the one that brought him to Australia in the first place).

Revelations: Sayid was in Australia to infiltrate at terror cell; Shannon tries to kill Locke; Sayid knows about the hatch and tells Locke to take him there.

Next Episode: “Born to Run”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV