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.
“Man of Science, Man of Faith”
SYNOPSIS: We see a man going about a morning routine inside some sort of high-Seventies apartment, but then a rumble startles him. He immediately takes action, getting guns and using a system of mirrors to look up the Hatch at Jack and Locke, who had just blown it open. Not being able to see past the darkness, Locke wants to go down and explore, but Jack says that they should wait until morning since the hiding plan won’t work anyway. Locke proceeds anyway, and Kate helps him. She goes down first, but falls. Locke, unable to hear her, goes down after her. Tired of waiting around, Jack joins them. He finds Locke pinned at gunpoint by the man, whom Jack recognizes from his past: his name is Desmond. Meanwhile, Shannon sees a creepy apparition of Walt in the jungle. In the flashback, we see Jack struggle with his bedside manner as he tells his future wife Sarah that she won’t be able to walk after a horrific car commercial. Then he almost screws himself over by promising her that he’d fix her. But he gets a pep talk about miracles from a stranger named Desmond, and, as it turns out, a miracle did indeed happen: Sarah has sensation in her legs after the surgery.
THOUGHTS: Last season posed the question of what is in the hatch, and within the first two minutes of this episode, we find out. And it’s so cool. (Retro chic!) Between the reveal of the Hatch, the tension of our Losties descending into said Hatch, and the flashback, this was a stellar return. And how fantastic is Julie Bowen as Sarah in this episode? Obviously, Emmy-nominated Matthew Fox gave a great performance, but Bowen was a real stand-out. Between this drama and the comedy of her role on Modern Family, the woman can do it all. The scene in which Jack realizes that Sarah is miraculously unparalyzed was the emotional high-point of an already-great episode.
SYNOPSIS: After the people on the other boat blew up the raft and took Walt, Michael and Sawyer cling to the debris, and Jin is nowhere to be found. Michael blames Sawyer for convincing him to set off the flare gun, but Sawyer reasons that the boat wasn’t seafaring and came from the island and thus must belong to the Others, who were purportedly coming for Walt anyway. Sawyer pulls out the bullet from his shoulder, and shortly thereafter, he and Michael are nearly attacked by sharks bearing odd octagonal emblems (read: Dharma). Finally, the currents take them back to the Island, and on the beach, they find Jin running from a bunch of scary-looking people he calls “others.” In the Hatch, we see what happened to Kate and Locke before Jack arrived. Desmond told Locke to tie Kate up, and Locke did so but slipped her a knife before locking her in the pantry. She uses this knife to free herself, and she climbs up into the ducts. Desmond asks Locke if he is “him,” referring to his replacement, and Locke says yes despite not understanding the question. Desmond realizes that Locke isn’t “him” and forces him to enter the Numbers into the computer. In the flashback, Michael fights to block Susan from taking Walt out of the country, but Susan makes Michael think of what’s best for Walt, and Michael backs down.
THOUGHTS: What other television show would have an episode that takes place aboard a disintegrating raft in the middle of an ocean in the middle of the night? I thought the production values alone sold this episode—the photography was incredible, especially post-raft-explosion. And it’s interesting to see an episode which rewinds the Island time a bit to show what is happening elsewhere. We’re used to the flashbacks showing past parts of the chronology, but this is the first time (to my knowledge) that the Island storyline filled in a gap. Character-wise, Sawyer is still snarly, but he’s warming up to his fellow Losties. And the flashback did well to illuminate why it’s so important to Michael to never give up on his son again.
SYNOPSIS: Kate drops down from the ducts and gets a shotgun from the vault, which she uses to club Desmond. But in his surprise, Desmond fires a bullet right into the computer, and he thinks it’s curtains for all of them. Kate runs to get Sayid to fix the computer. While she’s gone, Desmond tells Jack that he was marooned on the island and that a guy named Kelvin found him, brought him to the Hatch, and made him enter the Numbers every 108 minutes to “save the world.” Kelvin eventually died leaving Desmond alone. Desmond tells Jack and Locke about an orientation film, which they watch. It says that the Hatch is actually called The Swan and it’s one of many research stations on the Island built by the Dharma Initiative. The electricity cuts out, and Desmond flees the scene. Kate returns with Sayid and Hurley, and Sayid fixes the computer. Jack catches up to Desmond, who finally remembers him and asks about Sarah before leaving for good. As the countdown nears completion, Jack and Locke argue about whether to push to button. Locke convinces Jack to take a leap of faith, and Jack does the deed. Elsewhere, the “others” attack the Rafties and take them to a makeshift prison, where they also (pretend to) hold Ana Lucia captive. She explains that she was from the back section of the plane. Satisfied that they’re who they say they are, she has the other “others” take her out. In the flashback, Locke pursues a relationship with a woman named Helen, but he’s still too obsessed with the man who conned him out of a kidney. Helen convinces him to give the two of them a shot and have faith that he can be whole again.
THOUGHTS: This is a great episode because of the dilemma it poses. The button-pressing may truly be saving the world every 108 minutes, or it might be a social experiment—a fool’s errand, really—monitored by the Dharma Initiative. In the end, though, I think the Losties made the right decision. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve seen the rest of the season—but because they don’t have a lot to lose. Sure, it’s a menial and tedious task, but it’s worth not taking the chance of an armageddon. Plus, it’s a small price to pay for all the amenities the Swan has to offer: shelter, food, water, entertainment, even a laundry machine. Not a shabby deal at all. As for the flashback, I’m glad that it continued the kindey-con storyline. I’m glad the writers didn’t just have Locke take his lumps and forget about the whole ordeal and that Locke is still just as hung up as he was in the last flashback.
“Everybody Hates Hugo”
SYNOPSIS: Hurley is tasked with itemizing and guarding the food, a job which he hates because it makes him the miserly bad guy who can’t give out food freely and gladly. He almost blows up the pantry with a stick of dynamite, but Rose talks him out of it. Instead, he decides to give it all out for one big camp-wide feast, and Jack surprisingly gives his blessing to the idea. (Everyone loves Hugo.) Elsewhere, the Rafties are taken by Ana Lucia, Libby, and guy-later-known-as-Eko to the Tailies’ camp where they meet Rose’s husband, Bernard. Meanwhile, the bottle of messages washes up on shore, and Sun buries it; Sayid investigates the cemented-in portions of the Swan; and Charlie gets Locke to fill him in on everything. In the flashback, Hurley quits his job at a chicken joint after winning the lottery, but his friend there quits in solidarity, not realizing Hurley has enough money to never have to work again. The two of them have a crazy day/night and live life to the fullest, but the friend feels betrayed when he finally finds out Hurley is filthy rich.
THOUGHTS: All the episodes have flashbacks that mirror, inform, or play off the Island storyline; but the connection seemed especially apparent in this episode. Hurley knows what it’s like to have a windfall of riches. Before it was money; now it’s food. But he doesn’t want to revisit past mistakes, so he wants to shirk the responsibility. And what a perfect solution he comes to. I thought the flashbacks were especially realistic in what (I’d imagine) it’s like to come into a large amount of money and how it’d make you try to figure out what matters most before you spend a dime. Unfortunately for Hurley, his friend got the wrong idea, and by the time Hurley found out, the damage was already irreversible. At least this time he handled the riches better this time around with guidance from the invaluably optimistic Rose.