I’m on a quest to re-watch every episode of Lost, one per day. As I polish off each DVD, I’ll post my thoughts on the episodes contained therein.
“Hearts and Minds”
SYNOPSIS: Locke and Boone continue unearthing the metal plate, now revealed to be a handleless hatch, amidst concerns that they’re not bringing back any boar on their “hunting excursions.” When Boone tells Locke that he has to tell Shannon the truth, Locke clocks him on the head. When Boone wakes up, he’s bound by rope, and Locke rubs some sort of paste on his wound before leaving. Boone hears Shannon screaming and the monster approaching, so he frees himself and finds and unbinds Shannon. They seem to outrun the monster, but it catches up to them and kills Shannon. He attacks Locke for putting them in that position, but Locke reveals that it was all just a paste-induced hallucination designed to free Boone from his step-sister’s emotional grip. Meanwhile, Shannon flirts with Sayid, Sayid is confused by the anomalous magnetic field of the island, Kate helps Sun sew seeds in a garden and realizes that Sun knows English, and Jin and Hurley form a friendship over an urchin. In the flashback, Shannon and her boyfriend con Boone out of $50,000, and Boone realizes that this isn’t the first time. But this boyfriend steals the money and leaves, and Shannon goes back to Boone… and they sleep together.
THOUGHTS: This episode made me sorry that I knew so much already. That’s the one drawback of re-watching these episodes: hardly anything surprises me. If I were somehow able to wipe my memories of this show, I could truly experience it all over again the same way I did the first time. But all of that is not to say that it’s not still enjoyable. This is one of my favorite episodes out of the season, because we were all so thoroughly duped the first time. We really did think that the events of this episode were actual, only to find that it was all just a dream. It’s one of television’s commonest tropes, but it’s used here smartly and for a good purpose. And again, Locke proves himself to be the handiest man on the island, both in practical and in spiritual matters. And, to top it all off, this episode satiates our monster-appetite for a while—we’re reminded that this threat is still out there and still one of the Island’s biggest mysteries.
SYNOPSIS: Michael and Walt are having trouble connecting. When Michael finds Walt with Locke and chastises him, Locke suggests that maybe the trouble is that Michael treats him as a child. But Michael tells Locke to stay away from both of them. Michael tries to bond with Walt over art, but that doesn’t work. He decides to build a raft, and he tries to get Walt to help him, but that doesn’t work either. When Walt wanders off again, he’s cornered by the polar bear, and it takes both Locke and Michael to rescue him. Then all three of them are chummy. Elsewhere, Charlie watches over Claire’s stuff but can’t help reading her diary, Shannon and Sayid suspect Rousseau’s maps lead to a place on the Island (perhaps the Black Rock), and Locke and Boone happen across a disoriented Claire in the jungle. In the flashback, Michael and his girlfriend Susan become estranged shortly after Walt’s birth, and she takes Walt to Amsterdam with her. When Susan falls ill and dies, her new boyfriend makes Michael take custody over Walt, claiming that weird things happen when Walt’s around.
THOUGHTS: I don’t even have much to say about this one, oddly. I always enjoy it, but I don’t think it advances the plot much. (Maybe this is the shrewd stalling that Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly was talking about.) Still, it provides a very good history for Michael and Walt and why they have so much difficulty bonding. Plus, I’m really impressed with Harold Perrineau’s acting in this one. He has a way of reading his lines in such a natural, conversational way that you forget they were even lines to begin with. Two other notes: I have nothing but respect for visual effects master Kevin Blank, but I wish the polar bear CGI were better. Also, the scene in which Charlie struggles not to read Claire’s diary makes me crack up every time I watch it. Dominic Monaghan, bless you.
SYNOPSIS: Locke carries Claire back to the caves, but she remembers nothing since the crash, so the survivors have to help her fill in the blanks. Ethan attacks Jin and Charlie in the jungle, saying he’ll kill one survivor each night until Claire is returned to him. The survivors set up trip wires around their camp, but when one of them turns up dead the next morning, they realize Ethan came from the ocean. Jack relents and disperses the guns from the marshal’s case to Sayid, Locke, Sawyer, and Kate. The five of them lay in wait while Claire draws Ethan out. They corner him and try to press him for information, but suddenly he’s shot and killed by Charlie shoots him, who later said he never wanted him to be able to hurt Claire again. Claire is startled, but she tells him later that she wants to trust him. In the flashback, Charlie seduces a woman just to rob her father’s home and be able to buy a fix. But he develops feelings for her, all of which are for naught when he discovers his deception.
THOUGHTS: Guns, death, Others, oh my! Another action-packed episode. Ethan established himself as a true ninja Other who is crazy talented at hurting/killing. He can knock Jin out with a flung rock. He can lift Charlie in a chokehold with one hand. He can kill Steve—I mean—Scott by breaking most of the bones in the poor guy’s body. But he cannot beat the five most bad-ass Oceanic folks (plus Charlie). I’m a bit surprised that Charlie’s murder of him had so few repercussions. I mean, yes, Ethan probably deserved to die. But no one seemed to really be appalled by Charlie’s behavior. Eh, another murderer. No worries, man. We’ve all killed somebody. Once again, the flashback was quality. We feel both disgust and sympathy for Charlie as he is screwed over by his own lie right when he was trying to lead a truthful life. Yet another character on the Island looking for redemption.
SYNOPSIS: Sawyer awakes one night to find a boar rummaging through his tent. It spooks and runs off with his tarp. Sawyer is intent on finding it, but he gets lost, hears whispers in the jungle, and is eventually knocked into a puddle by the boar. Now Sawyer is really pissed, so he decides to hunt the boar down. Kate offers to help him, since he’s inept when it comes to hunting. The two of them play a revealing game of “I Never” over their campfire, in which they both admit to having killed a man. The next morning, Sawyer finds his gear scattered around their campsite. He finally corners the boar culprit but decides not to shoot it. Also, Sawyer talks to Sayid about the whispers, Sayid helps Charlie come to terms with having killed Ethan, Charlie bonds with Claire, and Michael makes good progress with his raft. In the flashback, we see the night when Sawyer’s father killed his mother and himself. Later in his life, Sawyer is fooled by his partner into killing an innocent man he thought was the original Sawyer.
THOUGHTS: Okay, now here’s some definite stalling. This episode is all about character and not so much about plot. I did enjoy it, and it had a lot of snappy writing, but I realized afterward how little actually happened. Basically, the one upshot of this episode is that Sawyer finally processes his guilt from shooting the innocent shrimp vendor. All of that said, a lot was revealed in the “I Never” game. It was a clever way to dump a ton of exposition about both Kate and Sawyer, and the scene nimbly goes from a frivolous tone to a grave one.