Home > Lost, Reviews, TV > Lost, Season 1, Episode 23, 24 & 25: Exodus

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

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

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Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV
  1. Nick
    July 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Do you have a link to part 3 or the full part 2? I can’t find it anywhere on Google, YouTube, or anything.

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