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.
“The Greater Good”
SYNOPSIS: Kate is able to get Jack back to camp, and the survivors hold a funeral for Boone. Locke shows up and says it was his fault and explains about the plane. Jack attacks Locke for lying and leaving Boone to die, but then Jack collapses. Kate drugs him with sleeping pills, and he has himself a little nap. Locke tries to apologize to Shannon, but she asks Sayid to “take care” of Locke. Sayid makes Locke take him to the plane to rescue its radio parts. Trying to win Sayid’s trust, Locke admits that he foiled Sayid’s triangulation efforts so that Sayid wouldn’t lead anyone into the “dark territory.” Sayid is pissed but decides not to shoot Locke. He asks Locke about the hatch that Boone spoke of, but Locke claims ignorance. Shannon decides to take matters into her own hands, steals the Halliburton key from Jack, and corners Locke at gunpoint. But Jack, Kate, and Sayid catch up to her; and Sayid tackles her before she’s able to shoot Locke. Sayid later tells Locke to take him to the hatch. Locke tries to lie again, but Sayid’s too smart for that. Meanwhile, Michael, Walt, and Jin continue work on the raft; and Charlie discovers that Sawyer’s voice soothes Aaron. In the flashback, the CIA has Sayid infiltrate a terrorist cell in Sydney—of which Sayid’s friend Essam is a member—in exchange for Nadia’s whereabouts. But when Essam learns of Sayid’s duplicity, he shoots himself.
THOUGHTS: Locke’s lies are coming home to roost as the survivors deal with the aftermath of Boone’s death. He would have fared so much better had he not been so determined to keep the Hatch a secret. And why the secrecy anyway? Irrational Locke is so much less awe-inspiring than All-Knowing Locke. It’s almost too bad Shannon didn’t end up killing him, because he’ll never be the hero he was in the first half of the season. His fanaticism and stubbornness will only lead him to frustration and despair. Maybe I’m being a little too harsh on the guy, but really, he could have been such a boon to the other survivors (pun intended), but he instead got too wrapped up in his own beliefs to realize the havoc he was wreaking.
“Born to Run”
SYNOPSIS: Kate tries to get on the raft, but Michael sticks by the deal he brokered with Sawyer. Kate promises Sawyer that she’ll take his spot. A science teacher named Arzt tells the Rafties that they should leave immediately to catch the northerly tradewinds. Michael doubles over in pain suddenly. Jack realizes that he drank poisoned water. Michael immediately suspects Sawyer but Jack wonders if it was Kate. It turns out it was neither: it was Sun, who intended on Jin drinking the water and being forced to stay on the Island. In order to defend his position on the raft, Sawyer exposes Kate’s fugitive past. Meanwhile, Charlie dreams up songs for Driveshaft’s comeback, Sayid takes Jack to the Hatch in hopes of Jack convincing Locke not to open it, and—weirdly—Walt gets a premonition and tells Locke not to open it. Walt also tells Michael that he was the one who burned the raft, but then says that they need to leave the Island now. In the flashback, fugitive Kate goes to Iowa to see her dying mother and reconnects with her childhood friend/boyfriend Tom. They dig up their time capsule, and the toy plane is inside. But things go south at the hospital, the police arrive, and Tom is accidentally killed in Kate’s escape attempt.
THOUGHTS: Born to run, indeed. Kate is so hard-wired on taking flight at the first opportunity that she sabotages her own standing in the survivors’ community. Obviously, an honest life is not worth going to jail for. Still, it’s hard to watch her get shamed by Sawyer in front of the whole camp. She doesn’t even seem that mad with him, though—more resigned to the fact that the truth was bound to come out sooner or later. It was a great twist that Sun was the one who poisoned the water. I had forgotten about that development (and just when I said I was never surprised anymore). We see more of Walt’s “special”-ness as he somehow gleans that the hatch is bad news. (But why? Doesn’t he know the “brotha” who is down there?) And the flashback is interesting in that we get a sense of just how bad Kate is from her mother’s terror upon seeing her. Plus it’s interesting to see the provenance of the toy plane, what it means to Kate, and why she had to break into a safety deposit box to get it back. These characters’ pasts are getting filled in piecemeal, and not necessarily (or ever) in chronological order. It’s one big jigsaw puzzle, and we’re flipping over a piece one episode at a time.
“Exodus, Part 1”
SYNOPSIS: Rousseau wanders into the camp and warns that “the others” are coming and that the survivors will either need to run or hide. Jack decides to hide everyone in the hatch, but that means blowing the top open. And for that, they need explosives, so Rousseau takes a group through “the dark territory” to her source of dynamite, the Black Rock—which turns out to be a wooden ship in the middle of the jungle. The expedition narrowly avoids a run-in with the Monster. Meanwhile, Michael organizes the other survivors to help launch the raft. Jin and Sun reconcile, Sawyer tells Jack about meeting his father in Sydney, Charlie collects messages to loved ones back home, Sawyer and Kate miss saying goodbye to one another, and Walt gives Vincent to Shannon because Vincent “is a good listener.” In the flashbacks, we see some of the survivors on the day of the flight. We hear the highlights of Kate’s fugitive-dom, we learn that Sawyer was being deported back to the States, we see Boone again as he bickers with Shannon, and we’re introduced to Ana Lucia as she flirts with Jack at the airport bar.
THOUGHTS: Boy, this episode’s action got off to a fast start. Rousseau ambles in and says, “Uh, hey, everyone. Run!” And almost immediately, the survivors have a plan. But—nothing is ever easy—first they have to open that damn hatch once an for all, and for that, they need dynamite. And for that, they have to go to the Black Rock. And to go there, they have to pass through this so-called “dark territory” and face down the Monster. Meanwhile, everyone else gets the raft up and running. The scene in which the raft launches is easily one of the most memorable moments of any television show I’ve ever seen because it was so long-anticipated—and so worth the wait. After all the drama and trauma the survivors had to go through, here is one moment of sheer jubilation, heightened by Michael Giacchino’s genius score. But even with all the action, this episode had quite the emotional backbone. Jin and Sun’s reunion was so gratifying, but Jin’s breakdown was hard to watch. (At least we know once and for all how much he loves his wife.) Sawyer unselfishly gives Jack closure and solace about his relationship with his father. And little Walt shows true compassion when he gives Vincent to Shannon to help with her grief. This is why I love episodes penned by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (especially those that are directed by Jack Bender)—they manage to move the plot forward by huge steps while also providing for moments of terrific emotion.
“Exodus, Part 2”
SYNOPSIS: The dynamite team board the Black Rock and find that it was a slave ship. They retrieve the boom sticks, but Arzt stops them and schools them in dynamite safety right before blowing himself up. (Dude.) The surviving dynamite team handles the sticks a bit more gingerly and sets off for the Hatch. In the caves, Sun ponders if they’re all on the Island as punishment. On the beach, Rousseau corners Claire, knocks her out, and kidnaps Aaron. Charlie and Sayid realize she wants to offer Aaron to the Others in exchange for her own child, Alex. They pursue her. En route, they come across the Beechcraft, and Charlie takes some heroin for the road. The dynamite team encounters the Monster. Locke tries to stare it down, but it attacks him. It nearly drags him down a hole, and he almost lets it, but Kate and Jack thwart it by throwing a stick of dynamite down the hole. Aboard the raft, Jin makes Michael keep the $20,000 watch. Meanwhile,, Jack and Locke have an argument about science versus faith. The Rafties find a signal on their radar and flag it down with their flare gun. But the people aboard the other vessel turn out to be Others, and they shoot Sawyer, blow up the raft, and abduct Walt. Sayid and Charlie find Rousseau, who tearfully returns the baby to them after not being able to find the Others. Jack and Locke rig the hatch to blow, but Hurley tries stopping them after finding his unlucky numbers inscribed on the hatch. Locke lights the fuse anyway, and boom goes the dynamite. The Hatch door is open, but it only reveals a very long tunnel into darkness. End of Season One! (The flashbacks were more scenes from the day of the flight. Sayid is wrongly interrogated; Jin is told he’ll never be free of Sun’s father; Charlie is attacked by a woman over a heroin fix; Michael tries to pawn Walt off on his mom, Hurley almost misses the flight, and Locke has to be carried to his seat.)
THOUGHTS: Double cliffhanger whammy! I had forgotten that this second part was two hours, so my one-episode-a-day regimen was almost disrupted. But it was a great episode. In retrospect, I probably prefer the emotions in the first half and the action in the second half. As for finale fodder, I think Walt’s abduction was much more of an unexpected cliffhanger than the mystery of what’s in the hatch. I mean, we wondered about letter ever since Boone and Locke unearthed it, so it comes as no surpriseL that we’re not going to find out until next season. (I wonder how much of the answer to that question the producers knew at the end of Season 1.) The other huge development of this episode is that we get our first look at the Monster, and it’s lookin’ kinda smokey. All in all, a satisfying finale, especially when all of the “Exodus” saga is considered as a whole. Ordinarily, I’d have to wait four months for Season 2 to start. Not now, baby! Onward!