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Lost, Season 2, Episode 6: Abandoned

December 1, 2012 Leave a 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.

ShannonIslandEpisode Title: “Abandoned”

Overall Rating: B

If ever there were a case of an episode being too little, too late, it’s “Abandoned.” For 30 episodes now Shannon Rutherford been, at best, the Island’s token attractive bitch, the leggy counterpoint to Kate’s simmering bad girl or Claire’s new-mom-next-door. At her worst, Shannon has been a sulking, sniveling distraction, first to Boone and now Sayid.

Part of the reason for this is that her only real showing in Season 1 was the Boone-centric non-classic “Hearts and Minds,” where we see Shannon con her step-brother out of $50,000 with her abusive Australian boyfriend, who eventually splits with the cash prompting a drunk Shannon to seduce Boone the night before they board Oceanic 815 (which is what he’d always really wanted). The on-island plot was all about Boone learning to let Shannon go (he hallucinated her death) as she begins her relationship with Sayid. There’s no real arc there for her.

Which brings us to “Abandoned,” in which Lost‘s producers finally give us Shannon’s epitaph: Tragic distraction (but still pretty!).

It’s a disservice to the character that this flashback wasn’t in Season 1, or at least woven into “Hearts and Minds.” In the space of a month we see Shannon go from a pleasant (if spoiled) young ballerina with career ambitions to a bitter husk of a woman who we believe might actually try to con Boone out of his money, and certainly use her looks to get what she wants. The quick version: Shannon’s father (who is married to Boone’s wicked mother… seriously, she might be the worst woman character on the show) is killed in a car wreck (more about this wreck in a second). But somewhere along the line her father changed his will to exclude Shannon, and the wicked one isn’t about to help her out, despite the fact that she’s earned a prestigious internship in New York. Broke and alone, Boone offers her money… which she refuses instead of taking the internship. Now, this isn’t entirely believable; lots of people move to New York without a dime to their name. But we also get the feeling Shannon’s never worked for anything in her life. (Note: As futher evidence that Shannon gets no respect, she’s not even mentioned in the brief episode synopsis on Netflix. In the episode in which she’s killed. Godspeed, my dear.)

The big moment here, which isn’t even presented in this episode: Adam Rutherford, Shannon’s father, is the other driver in the wreck that also paralyzed Jack’s future wife, Sarah. In the season premiere we saw Jack make the call in the ER to save Sarah and not Adam, thus sealing a number of fates. What a tangled web Lost weaves.

Still, this flashback is effective in, for the first time, making the casual Lost fan feel actual sympathy for Shannon Rutherford. Just in time for a swift kick… erm, bullet… in the gut.

On-Island, Shannon is slipping farther into madness… or is she. After rarely appearing in the season’s first five episodes, we find Shannon being  wooed hardcore by Sayid, who has built her (them?) a little romantic hidey hole. After love, Sayid goes for water, and Shannon sees Walt standing in the tent. Walt covers his mouth with a finger. “Shhh.” Shannon doesn’t “shhh.” She screams.

Of course Sayid doesn’t believe her, which begins the episode’s (literally) fatal spiral. Shannon gives chase with Vincent, hoping he can track Walt. The chase takes her past Boone’s grave, where she has a poignant moment of reflection. It feels like a weird episode of “This is Your (Island” Life,” in retrospect. Eventually Sayid catches up to her in a rainstorm, and she has her final breakdown. “I need you to believe in me. No one believes in me… they think I’m some kind of joke. They think I’m worthless.” “I need you to believe me,” she says of the chase for Walt. Almost on cue (okay, entirely on cue) Walt appears and Shannon and Sayid both see him. The whispers begin and Shannon gives chase.

This seems like the appropriate time to talk about the limited action across Island. Sawyer, Jin, Michael and the Tailies are still traipsing across the Island, and Sawyer is in a bad way. They’re dragging him on a stretcher through the jungle, and in the middle of the hike Cindy–originally seen as the stewardess flirting with Jack in the pilot–is taken by the Others, allowing us to see for the first time just how efficient they are at nabbing Tailies. There are whispers, things are getting weird, someone is running through the jungle. At the height of the tension, it begins to rain. Cut back to…

Shannon pounding through the jungle after Walt. Sayid yells for her to stop, to wait for him. A shot rings out…

Sayid catches up to Shannon, who has taken a bullet in her midsection. She collapses. He holds her. She dies. Standing a few yards away is the Tailie group, with Ana Lucia holding the gun. Obviously this was an accident, which means we can only blame creepy-wet-ghost-Walt and the whispers for what happened, a secret we’ll suss out in a few seasons… or maybe never.

Here’s my takeaway of this episode: I wish Lost had made me like Shannon before the episode where they killed her. I know, Maggie Grace wanted to go film The Fog or some show on the CW, so it kinda limited their options, but the girl’s story had… um… legs. What “Abandoned” did accomplish was to, at the last minute, make her an overall positive contributor to the show’s larger lore, something it never manages to do (perhaps appropriately) with the woman who killed her. Did they make her important enough–particularly her relationship with Sayid–to warrant her appearance in the series finale? That’s debatable, though the final, muddy conversation between the two may just be enough to do it, when Sayid says “I’ll never leave you.” Still… c’mon.

SayidShannonJungleEpisode: “Abandoned”

Director: Adam Davidson

What the Title Means: Shannon was “Abandoned” by almost everyone she knew… except Sayid.

Best Scene: Not to take away from the whole “death of a major character” drama going on, but the other on-Island set piece is pretty tense in its own right. Through a conversation with Claire, Locke learns that Charlie has found a statue of the Virgin Mary and is keeping it in his stuff. Locke, along with Sayid, is the only member of the crew who knows about the plane and the only person besides Jack who knows about Charlie’s old heroin habit. There’s a terrific scene between Locke and Charlie, who is accusing Locke of stepping into his role as Aaron’s Island protector. Stay tuned for more here.

Also, Shannon getting shot and dying. That has some shock value, particularly the first time around.

Worst Scene: The scene where her stepmom cuts Shannon off is almost too cruel to believe. I also cringe during Ana Lucia’s overly emoted account of what happened to all the other Tailies (taken by the Others). When a character makes a sob story as annoying as hell, you have a problem with casting.

Best Line: “You’re a shrink? Maybe you should talk to my shoulder.” Sawyer to Libby when she’s asking him how he’s feeling.

Best Throwaway Moment: The flashback scene with a slightly younger Boone. He has his Vampire Diaries hair! Swoon-worthy!

Revelations: Shannon was once a upwardly mobile young woman; the Tailies have had more than a dozen of their members taken by the Others; Locke is on to Charlie’s heroin stash; Shannon (and then Sayid) see Walt; Shannon is accidentally killed by a spooked Ana Lucia.

Next Episode: “The Other 48 Days”

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 2, Episode 5: … And Found

November 2, 2012 Leave a 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: “… And Found

Overall Episode Grade: C

This is some Lost fiddling and frippery at its finest. There are a number of episodes during seasons 2 and 3 that offer nothing much more than characters moving from one place to another and an only slightly necessary flashback. That “… And Found” is about Sun and Jin and not, say, Kate or Charlie, saves it from a D grade.

As such, I won’t spend a lot of time on this one. Most of the actual action takes place across the Island, as Sawyer, Jin and Michael get to know their captors, whom they now know are fellow survivors of Oceanic 815. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they like most of them. Early in the episode Ana Lucia informs them that they will be going back to their original camp. She does this in the way that a cop might tell a drunk after-bar patron to head home and sleep it off. (Of course Ana Lucia’s backstory might make her attitudes more palatable… nah.)

As they prepare to leave, we get a scene with Sawyer and Mr. Eko, who will become one of the most intriguing and polarizing characters in the show’s run. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje‘s thick Nigerian accent and dazzling smile (as well as his first cold-eyed stare) make their first appearances. Unlike the rest of the Tailies (hooray Lost jargon!), he’s unforgettable from the start.

The main plot detail here happens when Michael bolts into what Libby terms “their” territory. We know he’s looking for Walt. Jin and Mr. Eko give chase. Do they find him? Yes. Is it anticlimactic? Yes. They rejoin the rest of the group, but not before having to hide from a band of “Others” as they go traipsing through the jungle (it’s a very well-shot scene, see below). Along the way they stumble upon the impaled body of a man Eko calls “Goodwin”. He is an Other.

Also in this group, Sawyer is in trouble. We knew he was shot on the raft, and removed the bullet with his own hands in the season’s most badass scene. But something’s wrong, we can tell, and at the end of the episode he collapses.

If the Tailie plot is fresh, Island-grade ahi tuna, the main-camp plot is a dented can of Dharma Herring. In an early scene, Sun realizes she’s lost her wedding ring, which necessitates a visit with each of the Island’s A-team figures to find where it might have fallen. Most of these are trite (Jack: “Where did you see it last?” ON MY FINGER, EINSTEIN.), blatant comic relief (Hurley and Sun wait to watch Vincent poop) or contrived to build another character (Locke: “You know how I found what I needed? I stopped looking.” OH SHUT UP.). Eventually Sun finds the ring where the last episode ended: In the sand next to the buried bottle of notes that swept in on the tide from the raft.

It’s a ridiculously corny premise. Like all good Sun and Jin episodes, however, it handles the flashbacks in dual fashion. It’s really the only way to handle these two. Here we see their original meet cute, which turns out to be far more random than we could have guessed. Jin is a newly hired doorman at a fine Seoul hotel. His elitist boss tells the poor Jin (he doesn’t remove the tag from his new tie, so he can take it back, which leads to an embarrassing scene) “don’t let in people like you.” Ouch. The wealthy Sun, on the other hand, is being set up with Jae Lee, the young heir of the family who owns the hotel. They seem to hit it off, meeting for multiple dates. Sun is smitten. Until, that is, the Harvard graduate tells her he’s met a woman in America and plans to meet her there. Sun is heartbroken, though Lostophiles know we’ll see young, bald Mr. Jae Lee again under ever less cutesy circumstances.

Anyway, needless to say, Jin eventually does let the wrong sort into the hotel and loses his job. As a brooding Jin and a lovelorn Sun walk along the river, they bump into one another. Their cute has been met.

Episode: “… And Found”

Director: Stephen Williams

What the title means: Like Season 1’s “… In Translation” it’s an antecedent to the word “Lost”. It also refers to Sun’s ring and, possibly, Michael’s mission to find Walt (and Jin and Eko’s hunt for Michael).

Best Scene: There are a number of nice spots here; the conversation between Locke and Sun after she rips apart her garden is top-notch. So, too, the flashback scene where Jin allows a homeless man and his son to use the hotel restroom, is upbraided, and quits. But the best scene is the one that moves the Island mystery forward (visually, at least), as Jin and Eko group from a line of Others in the jungle, with someone dragging a teddy bear at the end of the line.

Worst Scene: Most of Sun’s on-island story is a little exasperating, but the most cringe-worthy moments belong to Ana Lucia. No one I know who loves lost loves the character, or Michelle Rodriguez (it’s a case of chicken and egg, perhaps). And her continued insults to Jin and abrasive behavior are uncomfortable at best, actively enraging at worst. No matter how damaged and mean, who would act like this on a deserted Island where you only have the company of a dozen or so other humans. *smdh*

Best Line: “So, Seoul. Is that like the good Korea or the bad Korea?” Hurley making small talk while he and sun wait for Vincent to deuce to see if he swallowed Sun’s ring.

Honorable mention goes to anything Mr. Eko says or does. I couldn’t find a video so I posted his theme music. Enjoy. We’ll learn how it earns its tragic lilt and African shuffle later in the season.

Best Throwaway Moment: When Jin shuts Ana Lucia up by effortlessly pulling in a net full of fish. It’s like he’s saying “Why don’t you go drink and drive or something?” Oh, wait…

Revelations: How Sun and Jin met; the Others appear to be wild and dirty; Mr. Eko is a handy guy to have in a fight; Sawyer is sick; Jack lost his wedding ring and never told his wife, just had another made (ISSUES ALERT).

Next Episode: “Abandoned”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 2, Episode 4: Everybody Hates Hugo

September 28, 2012 Leave a 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:Everybody Hates Hugo

Overall Episode Rating: C+

It took more than half of Season 1 to get to a Hurley-centric episode. Until that underrated episode, “Numbers,” we wondered if the hefty nice guy was ever going to be a major player or if he was destined for a background role. As his role grew, Hurley episodes still had a tendency to be a bit superfluous, especially early on. But “Everybody Hates Hugo” has touches of darkness around the fluffy marshmallow center.

“Numbers” established Hugo as an on Island player. “Hugo” takes a break from much of the Island mythmaking to investigate a very important question. Now that the castaways have a bunker full of food and comforts (a shower, laundry facilities, etc.), how will they handle it? Hurley is thrust into the role of food-protector by Jack. It’s a role we know he has played, ever since he doled out the airline meals in the series pilot. It’s not a role he relishes. Almost from the first second people want favors and access, and he’s forced to deny them–even Charlie and his request for peanut butter. I have some qualms with this role for Hurley… isn’t it a little bit stereotypical? And shouldn’t it have been obvious to Jack that someone a little tougher and more self-confident than Hurley should be guarding the Dharma Initiative-issue Saltines? But no, the fat guy likes food. We get it.

That Hurley’s solution to this is ultimately the right one saves the premise. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

There’s a fair bit of weirdness in “Everybody Hates Hugo,” beginning with the first scene. In it, Hurley is making moony eyes at the food in the pantry when he turns around and sees Jin sanding there with a man in a chicken suit. In perfect English, Jin says “Everything is going to change” and “Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, Hugo.” WHAT DOES IT MEAN? It’s our first, mild trip into Hurley’s season-long crazy spell. Also: How cool is it to see Daniel Dae Kim speak perfect English? That won’t happen again until Hawaii 5-0.

As mentioned before, the main castaway crew is mostly in park during this episode. Jack and Kate have a moment outside the shower, Claire finds the bottle from the blown-up raft (which Sun decides to bury and tell no one about), Locke plays with guns. In one important scene, Sayid and Jack investigate the hatch’s nether regions, which are covered in concrete. Sayid says the last time he heard of everything being covered in concrete like so, it was at Chernobyl. Ominous!

The yin to Hurley’s main-arc yang is actually Rose, who appears for the first time since late in Season 1. He shows her the laundry facilities and in return she talks him through his food crisis. Or, rather, talks him OUT of his original plan, which is to blow it all up.

To understand why he doesn’t want things to change, and doesn’t want to be the “bad guy,” we need this episode’s flashback, which is slight but fun. It picks up immediately after Hurley learns he won the lottery and faints in his mother’s living room. She hilariously admonishes him for sitting around and eating chicken all day and night (this turns out to be true). Hurley doesn’t tell anyone about his win, though, and instead goes to work the next day at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack (hence the costumed fellow in the cold open).

The would NEVER have flown on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” though verbal spousal abuse was apparently fine.

But Hurley has a bad day and has a boss who is only slightly more savory than John Locke’s prickish supervisor. Hurley and his best friend Johnny (played by odd-looking character-actor extraordinaire D.J. Qualls, who is unfortunately much better known for Road Trip than for Hustle & Flow) quit their jobs. All of a sudden Hurley feels lucky. He asks out the cute record store clerk, he and Johnny flamingo their ex-boss’s yard, etc. But then Johnny stops at a convenience store and there’s a news team there. The clerk ID’s Hurley as the guy who bought the winning lottery ticket, Johnny immediately looks jealous and hurt (a bit of a stretch there) and Hurley’s lottery doom begins in earnest.

It all leads up to his decision in the hatch to, instead of blowing up the food, give it all away. Now. With 40 people it’ll never last long anyway, he tells Jack. His decision is final, and Jack agrees. We are therefore treated to the final scene, which shows Hurley playing Island Santa Claus, doling out Dharma Cheese and Dharma Cereal and Dharma Soup to the castaways who enjoy it all around a fire. And, yes, he slips Charlie the Dharma Peanut Butter and we are treated to essentially the high point of the Charlie/Claire relationship. Way to go, Hugo.

Across the Island, Jin, Sawyer and Michael are still held captive by what we now know is another group of castaways. Eventually they agree they’re not Island natives and agree to let them out. As they walk, Michael learns from a chesty blonde named Libby that there “were” 22 of their group. They take them to a new Dharma station (this one The Arrow). There they meet an older fellow who asks them if there was a woman named Rose at their camp. Turns out Rose was right; Bernard is alive after all.

*Bonk*

Episode: “Everybody Hates Hugo”

Director: Alan Taylor

What the title means: Aside from the obvious connotation with a hit CBS sitcom from the era, the title is meant to get inside Hurley’s head, where he (probably in err) thinks that everyone will hate him for his role as food-protector. This episode will be counter-pointed later in the series, both in terms of the title and in Hurley’s willingness to make hard decisions.

Best Scene: This episode isn’t bad as much as it is fluffy. With a 24-episode order, the producers can afford to investigate what the castaways decide to do with the Swan stations food stash. And in truth, it’s a welcome rest after the mythological mammoth that was the previous episode, “Orientation.” So I’ll hand “best scene” to the final montage, where everyone is smiling while they eat their Dharma Pears.

On a more serious Lost-level this decision foreshadows Hurley’s final Island role, which I’ll leave alone for now.

Close second: Hurley’s dream.

Worst Scene: While I don’t have a problem with the content of the scene, the final revelation, where Hurley explains his problems to Rose and we see the end of his easy, pre-lottery life, is oddly edited for Lost. The scene quick-cuts between the Island present and the flashback, which as far as I can remember is pretty unique. It’s unsettling for veterans like me. Now get off my lawn.

Runner up: Sun and Claire unilaterally deciding to bury the bottle. I mean, c’mon.

Best Line:  Sawyer to Ana Lucia, while they’re still trapped in the bear pit: “You want me, hot lips? You’re going to have to come down here!” /throws rock.

Best Throwaway Moment: When Hurley and Johnny are joyriding, enjoying their night out, Hurley looks at Johnny and says “Dude, just promise no matter what happens, things aren’t going to change.” Johnny: “Are you getting that bypass surgery?” Hilarious.

Revelations: Bernard, Rose’s husband, is actually alive; the other group of castaways “had” 22 people; Hurley gives away all the food in the hatch; Kate likes hot showers (and Jack likes cold ones).

Next Episode: “… And Found”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 2, Episode 3: Orientation

September 14, 2012 Leave a 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:Orientation

Overall Episode Rating: A-

“Orientation” is a delight to the Lostophiles among us, because it symbolizes, better than any other single episode, the beginning of Lost’s geeky subculture. With this episode we make our first acquaintance with the Dharma Initiative, Dr. Pierre Chang (aka Dr. Marvin Candle) and Helen Norwood (played by the spectacular Katey Sagal). We’re also treated to the single most memorable Jack-Locke debate.

As one of the aforementioned Lostophiles, I could go on for hours about “Orientation,” but this post has literally already paralyzed me for a month, and if this project is to ever continue, I have to get past it. Most of my posts from here on out may take a bit of an abbreviated tone (or at least “listy,” in the magazine parlance) so please forgive me. I’ll let video do the talking for me where applicable. I’m happy to have conversations about deeper points in the comments or on Facebook.

Without further adieu, seven things I loved about this episode:

1. Katy Fu**ing Sagal. To know Katey’s character, Helen Norwood, is to know the full depth of tragedy faced by one John Locke, which we explore more deeply in this flashback. We knew he was a sad soul, screwed of a life and his kidney by a con man of a father, but this episode puts him right up there with Hamlet on the list of tragic figures in fiction. You see, Locke found love. And he found it in the warm, caring embrace of Mrs. Peg Bundy. Okay, that’s not fair. With this role (and most certainly her current role on Sons of Anarchy) Sagal has most definitely broken out from the shadow of her buxom, unfulfilled housewife. But my God, just how good of an actress is she? Anyway, they meet at a sad-sack therapy session, and soon they’re sleeping together and by all accounts a couple. But John has one hang-up: He won’t stay the night. Instead he drives to his father’s estate and sits outside the gate. Why? We don’t know, and neither does Helen. Neither does John, really. His father–again played with smarmy awesomeness by Kevin Tighe–comes out and tells him point-blank that he’s “not wanted.” (“Why?” Locke asks. “There is no why,” his ass of a father says. Ah, the anti-Lost argument in a nutshell.) But Locke keeps coming back. In the flashback’s final scene, he seemingly picks Helen over his father, but not before she has to throw his car keys over the estate wall in order to ensure he’ll keep the key to HER apartment. It’s just another in series worth of flawless Locke back story.

Question: Is Katey Sagal/Terry O’Quinn the best character actress/actor hookup in TV history? I’m voting yes.

2. We learn more about the computer. Early in the episode we finally get the result of the Jack/Locke/Desmond standoff in the hatch. Desmond accidentally shoots the computer, which he thinks has to have a code (Hurley’s numbers) entered into it every 108 minutes or the world will end. When he sees it can’t be fixed he runs, and Sayid is called to save the day. Do they fix the computer? Do they continue to push the button? We shall see.

3. Desmond’s mini-story. We’ll learn a lot more about Des down the road, but here we get the short version. He was in a sailing race around the world, and he crashed on the Island. He was rescued by a fellow named Kelvin, who is now dead, who trained him to push the button and convinced him he couldn’t go outside. When he finds out the outside is not, in fact, poisonous, he runs. But Jack, who recognizes him as the man he talked to in the LA Colosseum years ago, follows, and they have a pretty killer conversation in the woods.

4. The Hatch’s mysteries come into focus. Before he flees, Desmond downloads what he knows about the Hatch. The button, the supposed reason for the button. Jack challenges him on whether he had ever suspected that it was all a big hoax, and Desmond’s answer (delivered in his wonderful Scottish accent) is classic:

“Every — single — day. And for all our sakes, I hope it’s not real. But the film says this is an electromagnetic station. And I don’t know about you, brother, but every time I walk past that concrete wall out there, my fillings hurt.”

Later, after Desmond is gone and Jack is harassing Locke, who is in a tizzy to fix the computer, Locke says this: “”Is the reason you’re so upset because he recognized you? Because that would be impossible.”

5. The Swan Orientation film. This is where shiz gets weird, and Lost enters territory inaccessible to many fans. Desmond alerts them to a bit of film, hidden inside a book (Turn of the Screw, a novella by Henry James), which explains at least in part the station’s purpose. Here it is in its entirety.

The highlights: He explains what the Dharma Initiative is (basically scientific socialism), mentions of the DeGroots and Alvar Hanso, and a reference to an “Incident” which diverted the station from its original purpose to the current electro-magnetic gatekeeper that it is today.

The best part: Locke’s response. “We’re going to need to watch that again.” Indeed.

6. Meanwhile, across the Island… Locke, Jin and Michael are thrown in a pit by the people who attacked them. They sit there for a while, and then they throw in a woman… the same woman, close observers will realize, who Jack spoke to at the airport bar in Sydney in the Season 1 finale. Hmm… She explains that she survived from the tail section and was also captured. She’s amazed to find out 40 others survived from the front of the plane. Just when Sawyer is about to jump their captors, she attacks, and is pulled out. She’s working with the other folks, and we can only presume that they are also survivors. The cast is about to get a whoooooole lot bigger.

7. Jack vs. Locke II: After his conversation with Desmond, while Locke, Sayid and Hurley are trying to decide whether to push the button in the hatch, Jack returns. Hurely (knowing the numbers are bad, as we discussed in previous posts) is about to let Locke enter the wrong final number, but Jack corrects him. Locke tells Jack he needs to be a part of this, but Jack balks. The exchange is classic:

And if you want it in Auto-Tune, here you go:

Then Locke says: “I can’t do this alone, Jack. I don’t want to.” (Smack of Lord of the Rings, right?) And guess who pushes the button? Jack.

*Bonk*

“Oh, I want to love you more than Ed O’Neill, but see… his show is still winning Emmys.”

Episode: “Orientation”

Director: Jack Bender

What the title means: For the castaways it means an orientation to the mysteries of the hatch, both figuratively and literally, in the form of the Swan Orientation film watched by Jack and Locke. For Lost viewers, it’s an orientation into just how much of a mind-eff the rest of the series is going to be.

Best Scene: As much as I like revisiting the first Dharma Initiative video, there’s no comparison to the final showdown between Jack and Locke. “Believing” vs. “non-believing” is the whole thrust of the show, and these two deliver their lines so well.

Worst Scene: I guess the stuff in the pit with Sawyer and Ana Lucia, just because Michelle Rodriguez is involved. I’m also a little befuddles as to how even Sayid, the By-Cracky Iraqi, can fix a computer with a bullet hole in it in less than 40 minutes.

Best Line: 

Drama category: “We’re going to need to watch that again.” Locke after the orientation video speaks for 3/4 of the Lost audience, most of who probably did not have DVR in 2005.

Comedy category: “The next time Shaft opens the cage, I’m going to surprise him with a little Howdy Doody.” Sawyer to Ana Lucia, planning to pull a gun on their African captor. Ah, Mr. Southerner… you have such a way with words.

Best Throwaway Moment: In Desmond’s frantic escape from the hatch, we’re treated to a lingering look at a photo of him and a comely blonde woman, which he neglects to take with him. I wonder if we’ll see that photo again? A Penny for your thoughts, Mr. Hume…

Revelations: Locke had a love, named Helen; a group called the Dharma Initiative ran the hatch, and a video outlines the need to push a button every 108 minutes; there’s (at least) one other survivor of the plane, and she and other have Michael, Sawyer and Jin captive; this is going to be one complicated damn show.

Next Episode: “Everybody Hates Hugo”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

Lost, Season 2, Episode 2: Adrift

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:Adrift

Overall Episode Rating: D+

For me the Michael/Walt storyline is still something of a sore subject. Critics of the show will use the characters as Exhibit A of the case for why nothing in the show matters. Defenders of the show, like myself, can only shrug our shoulders and say “They mattered… I just can’t really explain how.” And “Adrift” is the episode that best epitomizes this quandry.

It’s the second episode of Season 2. After five months off, Lost finally picks up with what was, arguably, the more exciting of Season 1 finale’s storylines, Walt being abducted from the raft by smelly people in a boat with Michael, Jin and Sawyer being left for dead. The payoff is one of the dullest episodes of Lost. Ever.

There are three sections to the show, each more interminable than the last.

It should tell us something that the best part of “Adrift” is an almost step-by-step re-hash of Jack, Locke and Kate’s descent into the hatch, and the meet-up with Desmond. This time it’s seen through the eyes of Locke and Kate. We are treated to a few good moments, including Locke’s answer to Desmond’s query (“Are you him.” *Pause* “Yes.”), followed by the cryptic riddle, “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” When Locke doesn’t know, things get weird.

Locke fakes siding with Desmond and locks Kate (who he had found bleeding in the bunker) in a supply closet, slipping her a pocket knife to free herself. In the closet, Kate frees herself and hits the light… to find shelves and shelves of food. In one of the season’s more sublime moments, Kate pauses long enough to scarf down a candy bar and sock a few more away in her waistband (her eye roll upon tasting chocolate again is possibly her sexiest moment in six seasons), before going all “Die Hard” and crawling into the ductwork.

Meanwhile Locke and Desmond chat. Locke explains how the group got to the Island and when a computer starts beeping, Desmond has Locke enter Hurley’s now-famous numbers. When he pushes “execute” we see a strange flip-card timer reset to the number 108 (a figure last seen in an odd mural inside the hatch). Very odd.

Then Jack shows up and we relive the scene where he realizes Desmond is the man he met years ago at the L.A. Colosseum.

Meanwhile, back on what’s left of the raft, a wounded Sawyer saves Michael’s life and hauls him onto a bit of raft. The bulk of the program then continues as a slightly younger, better-looking version of the terrible Mattheau/Lemmon comedy Out to Sea (a lazy attempt to capitalize on the Grumpy Old Men craze).

Here’s how it goes:

Michael yells “Waaaaaaalt!”

Sawyer says “Shut up Mike!”

Mike says “Get off my raft!”

And the raft falls apart!

They blame each other for the situation.

Sawyer says “What are you going to do, splash me?”

Michael does.

And a bit more of the raft falls apart!

Sawyer digs a bullet, put there by one of the grungy people on the boat, out of his arm using his bare hands (this actually was complete ownage.

Michael has a flashback.

A bit more of their raft falls apart.

Sawyer swims for a bigger piece of raft.

A shark with a Dharma logo its tail chases Sawyer.

Michael shoots the shark.

Michael yells for Walt.

Sawyer yells at Michael

The sun rises and they see they’re back at the Island.

They swim to shore and Jin runs out of the jungle with some folks chasing him. He says “Others.”

*Bonk*

The third part of the episode was the flashback, which was so unnecessary as to border on ridiculous. It’s all about Michael’s custody battle for Walt. Other than a touching scene between Mike and Toddler Walt, when Michael gives him a symbolically significant plush polar bear, there is nothing worth remembering.

Kate: Pantry dropper.

Episode: “Adrift”

Director: Stephen Williams

What the title means: See, Walt Sawyer and Michael are stuck on a small raft in the middle of the ocean…

Best Scene: I liked getting another look at the mysterious hatch (this time via Locke and Kate’s POV). The only scene back at the caves is also sort of important: Claire presses Charlie on the Virgin Mary statue — full of smack — in his bag. He says he found it in the jungle, which is true.

Worst Scene: Please read the first 80 percent of this post.

Best Line: “No matter where you go. Your daddy, he loves you very very much. And I always will. Always, ‘kay?” It’s Michael’s farewell to baby Walt, and perfectly done by Harold Perrineau who, outside of Michael Emerson and maybe Terry O’Quinn, is the finest pure thespian Lost has to offer.

Best Throwaway Moment: Not really a cool moment, but when Sawyer performs CPR on Michael it got me thinking: Is there an act of CPR in dramatic television, ever, that isn’t successful? In 24 episodes I’m conting Lost as 3 for 3 so far (Rose in the Pilot, Charlie in Season 1, Michael here.) Poor Boone was sadly conscious for his demise.

Revelations: You enter the numbers in the computer in the hatch, hit Execute, and it resets a timer to 108 minutes; Kate likes Chocolate; There are Dharma Initiative logos popping up here and there.

Next Episode: “Orientation”

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

Categories: Lost, Reviews, TV

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)

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