Lost Again: Season 1, Episodes 17-20

By on Jul 26, 2010 in Recaps |

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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.

“…In Translation”

SYNOPSIS: A misunderstanding between Jin and Michael leads to more fisticuffs, and Sun slaps Michael. She tells him later that she did it to protect him against Jin. When Michael’s raft goes up in flames, he blames Jin. (Jin even has burns on his hands.) Sawyer, having already bought a seat on the raft, attacks Jin. Later, Jin is almost attacked by Michael, as well, but Sun yells for him to stop… in English. Everyone is shocked by this revelation, no one more so than Jin, who feels irreparably betrayed. Sun convinces the others that Jin was burned trying to put out the fire. Locke diverts the conflict by saying that the biggest threat comes from the people without their camp, not within. Michael decides to rebuild the raft. Sun tells Jin she just wants them to start over, but he says it’s too late. Meanwhile, Shannon and Sayid become a couple despite Boone’s meddling, and Locke realizes that Walt burned the raft because he’s happy on the island, and Jin volunteers to help Michael with Raft #2. In the flashback, Jin’s work for Sun’s father becomes violent, but he does his best to retain his humanity. He even reconciles with his father, a poor fisherman, whom he had shunned out of shame.

THOUGHTS: Oh, “lost in translation”—it’s a pun! But seriously, another great episode. Whereas the past few episodes were more character-driven, this episode managed to be both character- and plot-heavy. Finally the truth about Sun is out, and it seems more than Jin can bear. And, interestingly, he and Michael simultaneously put aside their differences. It says a lot about Jin that even though he had problems with Michael, he still tried in vain to put the fire out. Similarly, we see more of the Jin’s better side in the flashback, which shows us the same events of the previous Jin/Sun flashback—but from his perspective this time. He’s not the cold-blooded thug that he was originally portrayed to be. The work is, in fact, agonizing to him, but he does it because it’s the only way he can be with Sun. And finally, what an awesome twist that it was little Walt who burned the raft… but not out of any malice. He just likes the Island, giving him even more kinship with Locke (a.k.a. Knower of All Things).


SYNOPSIS: Michael needs a battery for the raft, and Jack and Hurley ask Sayid where to find Rousseau so that they can get one, but Sayid considers the venture too risky. When Hurley sees the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 on Rousseau’s notes, he decides to find her himself. Jack, Sayid, and Charlie catch up to him and help him look; but the group becomes separated. Hurley comes face to face with Rousseau. He asks her what the numbers are, and she tells him that her scientific team was following a broadcast of those numbers when they were shipwrecked. She agrees that the numbers are cursed, and he hugs her in relief. Later, he returns the group with a battery from Rousseau. He tries to open up to Charlie about his tragic past, but Charlie thinks he’s mocking him. Elsewhere, Locke enlists Claire’s help constructing something, which turns out to be a cradle; Sun misses Jin; Sawyer suffers from a headache; and we see that the numbers are inscribed on the side of the hatch. In the flashback, Hurley wins the lottery with then umbers and is immediately beset by bad fortune. He finds his old friend from the mental hospital, Leonard, who directs him to his colleague in Australia, whose wife said that her husband heard the same numbers in a broadcast and used them to win money but then was convinced he was cursed.

THOUGHTS: Finally, we get a Hurley-centric episode. Hurley truly is the comedic relief for the show, but this episode lets us see his serious side, and he handles the drama quite capably. His meltdown in front of Rousseau was pure gold. I’m a big fan of numbers being used repeatedly for effect in a show (see Alias and the number 47), and I like that the numbers are used in so many ways before and after this episode—and, indeed, for the rest of the series. Plus, in addition to being easter-egg-fodder, the numbers also take on narrative significance in the final season. It was good to see Rousseau again, since the stakes and tensions are raised whenever she comes on-screen (especially when she’s wielding a rifle). And, of course, Locke continues to amaze us with his prescience—he just decided to construct a crib for Claire on a day which turned out to be her birthday? The man knows everything.

“Deus Ex Machina”

SYNOPSIS: After many unsucessful efforts opening the hatch, Locke realizes that he’s losing feeling in his legs. He has a dream in which a yellow Beechcraft crashes on the island. He tells Boone about this dream, and they set off in search for it, but Locke’s leg problems get worse. By the time they find it, Locke can hardly walk. So Boone climbs the tree and enters the plane, only to find that it was used by Nigerian heroin smugglers. He uses the radio and reaches someone, but that someone says that they are the survivors of Oceanic 815. Shortly thereafter, the plane crashes to the ground, critically wounding Boone. Locke is able to carry him back to the caves and to Jack but then leaves right away. He has a meltdown atop the hatch, but then a light shines through the hatch’s window. Meanwhile, Sawyer’s headaches get worse, Jack diagnoses the problem—farsightedness—and Sayid improvises a pair of glasses. In the flashback, Locke’s mother finds him and she tells him that he was immaculately conceived. But he hunts down his father anyway, and the two of them become close. Locke volunteers to give his father a kidney, but the father abandons him shortly thereafter. The mother reveals that it was a con all along, and Locke is devastated.

THOUGHTS: This was the first episode that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrote together, and it’s easily one of the strongest of the season. The Island’s mysteries are again compounded when Locke’s dream leads him and Boone to another crashed plane, in which Boone finds that they’re not the only survivors of Oceanic 815. Plus, Locke’s failing legs seem to mirror his impotence in opening the hatch. His once-steadfast faith in the Island is unraveling, especially when his determination leads to Boone getting horrifically injured. And then, at the brink of his frustration, the Island gives him another sign—literally a light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re seeing the sudden shift from has-his-shit-together Locke to fanatical-crazy Locke. The flashback is hard to watch, as Locke realizes that his new-found father mercilessly exploited him for his own gain. For once in his life, it seems, Locke was truly happy, and then his father robbed him of that happiness—a loss even more painful than that of his kidney. On a side note, it was clever foreshadowing to show Locke explaining the game of Mousetrap to a kid right as Locke’s mother found him.

“Do No Harm”

SYNOPSIS: Jack and Sun struggle to save Boone’s life. Jack even donates a large amount of his own blood. At the same time, Kate finds Claire in labor in the jungle. Luckily, Jin hears Kate’s cries for help, and he is able to deliver the news to Jack with Sun translating. Jack sends Jin and Charlie back, and the three of them help deliver Claire’s baby. Claire is scared at first—of being a mother and of the possibility that the baby might know he was unwanted—but she’s jubilant when the baby is born. Boone’s blood starts compartmentalizing in his leg, so Jack and Michael devise a way to amputate it, but Boone tells Jack to stop. He asks Jack to let him go, and dies trying to give Jack a message fo Shannon. As Claire shows off her baby to the rest of the survivors, Shannon and Sayid return from a night away, and Jack has to break the news to Shannon. She grieves over Boone’s body in the caves alone. Jack leaves to find Locke, whom he considers to be Boone’s murderer. In the flashback, Jack wonders whether he’s ready for his impending nuptials to Sarah, a woman whose spine he fixed years ago, especially because he can’t seem to write his vows. But after talking with his dad, Jack realizes that marriage is exactly what he wants.

THOUGHTS: Damn. The first major death. Juxtaposed with a birth. The Island giveth; the Island taketh away. It would have been a truly Lost moment if Claire gave birth to a mini-Boone, but that’s neither here nor there. It was a heart-rending episode with a flood of various emotions at the end. The scene in which Claire brings the baby to the beach camp is so beautifully shot, and the baby seems to warm the cockles of all the survivors’ hearts. Even Sawyer can’t help smiling. At the same time, Shannon returns from a lovely date night with Sayid, presumably happier than she’s ever been, only to find out about the tragedy that she missed. It’s heartbreaking to watch her sit over her stepbrother’s body and sob. But the last moment of the episode is really striking. Jack declares that Boone didn’t die; he was murdered. And he leaves to find John Locke. Hell hath no fury than a Jack rendered helpless to “fix” people.