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.
“A Tale of Two Cities”
SYNOPSIS: We see a woman hosting a book club in what looks like a suburban community—but then the ground shakes and a plane falls from the sky, and only then do we realize that this is the Others’ community. The man we know as Henry sends Ethan and Goodwin to the fuselage crash site and to the tail, respectively. Back in the present, Jack wakes up in some sort of glass cell. The book club lady appears on the other side of the glass and introduces herself as Juliet. She has food, but Jack refuses to eat. He finally seems to relent but attacks Juliet when she enters the cell and uses her to secure his escape, and Henry lets him go. When Jack tries exiting through a door, however, water rushes in and he and Juliet scramble to close the door. Juliet then knocks him out. When he comes to (back in the cell), he deduces that he’s in an underwater aquarium. Juliet tells him that this is the Hydra station and that they know all about him and his life. He asks after his ex-wife, and Juliet tells him that she’s happy. Outside the cell, Henry commends Juliet, and she says, “Thank you, Ben.” Meanwhile, Kate wakes up in a locker room, and Tom instructs her to take a shower and to put on a certain dress. She does, and he takes her to a beach, where Ben is waiting at a table with a full breakfast. She asks why he did it all, and he said that the next two weeks will be unpleasant and that he wanted her to have something nice to hang on to. Sawyer wakes up in an outdoor cage with a young man named Karl in the opposite cage. Sawyer tries pushing a button in the cage (against Karl’s warnings) and is electrocuted on the third push. He finally beats the system and is rewarded with a fish biscuit and some water. He then learns that this is where the polar bears were kept. Karl tries to escape and sets Sawyer free, but they’re both captured, and Sawyer is put back. Kate is brought to the opposite cage. In the flashback, Jack is having trouble dealing with his divorce and accuses his father of having an affair with Sarah, and Jack learns from Sarah this confrontation cost Christian his sobriety.
THOUGHTS: After all the events of the last season finale, it’s good to have an episode with a narrower scope—this one just focuses on the three abductees and their plights at the Others’ so-called home. That said, it looks nothing like the suburbs-like settlement we see at the beginning of the episode. Hmm! (Speaking of which, that was a very clever way to begin the episode. It seems like a total non sequitur featuring some woman we’ve never seen before until we see Oceanic 815 coming down and realize that, hey, we’re on the Island after all!) And a big welcome to Juliet, who will be with us for the next three seasons and will eventually become a beloved character. For now, though, she just seems like an unflappable Other who might be more on Jack’s side than the other Others. And we finally learn that Henry’s name is actually Ben. (Though you already knew that if you’ve been reading these blog posts!) The conversation between Ben and Kate is deeply unsettling and reveals the extent of Ben’s vengefulness. All in all, this episode is an intriguingly creepy departure from the usual Lostie saga. (And more kudos for Julie Bowen and John Terry for so capably upping the drama again in Jack’s flashback.)
“The Glass Ballerina”
SYNOPSIS: Concerned that Jack can’t see the signal fire, Sayid has Jin and Sun sail the Elizabeth farther around the Island. They find the dock (from which Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were taken) and get to work building a new fire. Sun asks Sayid why this one is so large, and Sayid confesses that he suspects that their friends have been taken and that he wants to provoke an attack to capture some Others to interrogate. Jin wises up to the charade and asks for a gun. Once night falls, Sun stays in the boat while Sayid and Jin lie in wait, but the Others approach from the water and board the boat. An Other named Colleen finds Sun and seems to know all about her and knows that she won’t kill her, but Sun shoots her in the stomach and then flees overboard. Jin and Sayid rush out to to the dock when they hear the commotion, and Jin finds Sun uninjured in the water. Earlier, at the Hydra, Colleen tells Ben that the Losties have a boat, and Ben seems worried that they’ll find the Hydra, so he orders an assault team to capture the boat. Meanwhile, Colleen’s husband Danny orders Kate and Sawyer to break up rocks at a construction site under the threat of being Tasered. Alex, Rousseau’s daughter, whispers to Kate from a bush and asks her if she’s seen a boy in a cage. Later, Sawyer impulsively kisses Kate, and steals a gun when the Others try to break them up, but he is forced to drop it when he sees that Juliet has Kate at gunpoint. As Sawyer and Kate talk over the event later and conspire to overtake the Others, Ben watches them via surveillance cameras. He later introduces himself to Jack and tells him that he needs him for a specific task and that he’ll take Jack home if he does the task. Jack tells him that he thinks the Others are stuck on the Island just like the Losties, but Ben proves that he has contact with the outside world by showing Jack a video of the Red Sox winning the World Series after Oceanic 815 crashed. In the flashback, Sun’s father catches her having an affair with the hotel heir Jae Lee, and he demands that Jin “deliver a message.” Though Jin decides to spare Jae Lee’s life, Jae Lee commits suicide. At the funeral, Sun’s father tells her that it is not his place to tell Jin of the affair.
THOUGHTS: The scope of the story is being widened slowly but surely: now Sayid, Jin, and Sun are added to the mix. Sayid, ever intuitive, realizes that something is amiss and immediately takes action to get the drop on the Others, but they outsmart him by approaching by sea (Ethan fooled Sayid the same way in Season 1!). Luckily, it all turns out okay for our Losties and not so well for the Others, all because Sun turns into a bit of a badass and flat-out shoots Colleen right as Colleen is going on about how Sun won’t shoot her. The plot thickens at the Hydra: Ben shows Jack the full scope of the Others’ operation in an inventive way. It’s almost jarring to see real-world events literally superimposed on the Island events. All this time, it really had felt like the Losties were in a snow globe. (And it’s kinda funny that the airdates and the on-Island timeframe have become so distanced—we’re still in 2004 on the Island at this point.) The Others force Sawyer and Kate to do back-breaking manual labor, and Sawyer rebels by showing the Others that they can’t breaking his spirit—nor his ladykiller ways! It could have been totally incongruous, but the kiss felt so natural and so right for some reason. I mean, why not, right? The flashback is interesting—Sun, you naughty lady—but not a favorite installment in the Jin/Sun story and not because Jin and Sun are at odds but because it’s not as elegant as some of the other flashbacks.
SYNOPSIS: Locke wakes up in the jungle after the Swan detonation and realizes he can’t speak. He goes back to the Losties’ camp and finds Charlie and solicits his help. He builds a sweat lodge and has Charlie stand guard as he hallucinates inside. In his fever dream, Boone leads him around an airport in a wheelchair saying that Locke has to help someone. Locke realizes it’s Eko, and he emerges from the sweat lodge—his voice restored—and sets off with Charlie to save Eko’s life. They find the crater from the Swan implosion, they find signs that Eko was dragged off by a polar bear, and they find Hurley in the jungle. Hurley tells them of the Others confrontation, and Locke tells him to go deliver the message as the Others told him to do. Locke and Charlie find the bear’s cave and Locke heads in armed with a torch and hairspray. He finds a skeleton of a Dharma person and then finds Eko, badly injured. The bear drags Eko further into the cave, but Locke uses the hairspray to scorch the bear, and it releases Eko. Hurley finds Desmond naked in the jungle, and Desmond tells him about how he turned activated the Swan’s fail-safe. When Hurley freaks out about Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, Demond reassures him by reminding him of Locke’s speech—which doesn’t happen until the end of the episode when Locke and Charlie return to the camp and Locke promises that he’ll find the abductees. Hurley realizes this is the speech Demond was talking about and is duly weirded out. In the flashback, Locke picks up a hitchhiker named Eddie and takes him to the commune at which he’s currently residing, and Eddie ends up staying six weeks. But Eddie turns out to be an undercover cop investigating the marijuana the commune is growing, and Locke promises the leaders that he’ll fix the situation, but he ends up unable to kill Eddie—and feeling impotent once more.
THOUGHTS: And now, for a change of pace, we have an episode that deals with neither the abductees nor the Others but just with the Losties. Locke’s hallucinations gave the production crew an excuse to get a bit stylish with the show, and we get an airport scene loaded with clever symbolism (and a fair amount of glamour!). And it’s always good to see a deceased character like Boone again, and his appearance is especially fitting since Locke still bears a lot of guilt about not being able to save him. Locke isn’t about to let another person die for a mistake he made, so he sets out to find and rescue Eko. And he finds the man in the clutches of the polar bears, which is also fun since Sawyer is trapped in the bear’s former abode. The other especially interesting aspect of this episode is that it eludes to Desmond’s emerging clairvoyance. For now, we’re just wondering “How did he know?” But we’ll see a lot more examples in the episodes to come. The flashback is interesting in that it’s so kooky but at the same time sensical. In a way, it makes perfect sense that Locke would deal with his anger over his father’s con by staying at a marijuana-growing commune. And the Island storyline and flashback both deal with Locke’s ability/inability to “fix” things—and hey, that’s another way in which he mirrors Jack.
“Every Man for Himself”
SYNOPSIS: In the Hydra aquarium, Jack and Juliet argue over who has authority amongst the Others, but Ben summons Juliet because the submarine has just arrived and Colleen is on the verge of dying from Sun’s bullet. Pickett is notified, and Sawyer realizes that if Pickett is preoccupied by Colleen’s injury, he won’t notice the puddle extending from the cage and Sawyer can electrocute him. But it’s Ben who approaches the cage next—and Sawyer tries his plan, but Ben tells him he had the electricity turned off and then beats him unconscious. He comes to on an operating table, but the Others inject him with something and he loses consciousness again. When he comes to again, Ben shows him a rabbit in a cage and starts violently shaking the cage. The rabbit keels over. Ben informs him that they implanted him and the rabbit with the same pacemaker that will kill him if his heartbeat gets too fast. He’s taken back to his cage, and Kate wants them to escape, but Sawyer tells her it’s no use, knowing he can’t outrun the Others now. Meanwhile, Juliet retrieves Jack to help with Colleen’s surgery. On the way to the operating room, Jack sees spinal x-rays. He is unable to save Colleen, though. Pickett, enraged, beats Sawyer until he gets Kate to admit that she loves Sawyer. Later, Kate squeezes out the top of her cage, but goes back in when Sawyer refuses to budge, reminding him of their “live together, die alone” motto. In the operating room, Jack remarks on the x-rays to Juliet and asks her who he’s there to save. Ben takes Sawyer on a arduous hike, and when Sawyer wonders if this is his tactic to get his heart beating too fast, Ben shows him the same rabbit, tells him that he doesn’t have a pacemaker inside, and says that the Others are not killers. They finally reach their destination, a lookout point from which Sawyer can see that the Hydra is on a second smaller island at a distance from the main Island. Ben says that the only way to earn the respect of a con man is to con him. On the main Island, Desmond constructs a lightning rod just in time to save Claire from a freak bolt. In the flashback, Cassidy visits Sawyer in jail and tells him of their daughter Clementine, but Sawyer denies his paternity. He cons a fellow roommate into revealing the location of a stash of $10 million so that he can have the last six years of his sentence commuted, and he tells the warden to have his reward but in an Albuquerque back account in the name of Clementine Phillips.
THOUGHTS: And now we’re back with the abductees on the Hydra—shocker!—Island. The main Island must be pretty huge if the Losties never noticed a second island nearby. But then again, we know that it’s big since they’re always talking about cross-Island walks taking multiple days. This episode advanced the plot in a lot of cool ways. The Others come up with a crafty way of getting Sawyer to abandon his escape ruses and later reveal to him how futile escape would be anyway. Ben reveals himself to be a pretty wily con man in his own right. Kate professes her love for Sawyer, though it’s ambiguous whether she was lying or not. Jack realizes the real reason why he’s at the Hydra if not the person he was brought to save. And Desmond continues to show off his knowledge of the future and more of the Losties take notice. And in the flashback, we are reminded of two things: a) Sawyer is extraordinarily good as conning, and b) he has a heart! He’s not without emotions, after all! Hooray!