Summary: In flashbacks, Sawyer is approached by Hibbs who says he has found the real Sawyer in Australia under the name Frank. Sawyer goes to kill Frank but finds that he can't do it. He goes to a bar where he meets Christian who encourages him to go through with it. Sawyer kills Frank only to realize that he had been duped by Hibbs into killing the wrong person. On the island, a boar attacks Sawyer over and over again so Sawyer angrily goes after it. Kate joins in with him, trying to get Sawyer to give his gun back to Jack. They bond while they camp out together. Sawyer eventually finds the boar but decides against killing it. Sawyer gives his gun back to Jack and realizes that Christian was his father. Meanwhile, Sayid helps Charlie deal with the fact that he killed Ethan.
The Good: This episode is much better than it has any right to be. On paper this is a stupid plot and it seems like this is going to be another dull episode. But the show stepped up and we got a tremendous character episode with high quality dialogue, powerful themes and some stellar acting.
The island story is pretty simple. A boar pisses Sawyer off so he decides to enact some petty revenge. The story is consistently funny and there are plenty of moments where I genuinely laughed, like Sayid harassing Sawyer, Kate amusingly watching Sawyer track everything but the boar, and of course the boar's apparent vendetta for Sawyer.
But where this episode stands out is in its character development. The island story is chock-full of brilliant character interactions. The Kate and Sawyer relationship is still a highlight of the show, and they were terrific in this episode. The I Never scene was a piece of art that brilliantly revealed details about these characters while also allowing them to bond in an interesting and well-written way. Sawyer got the best arc of the episode though. On the island we can see his thirst for revenge as he goes after the boar, but he's obviously haunted by something. The vague line of "it'll come back around" is repeated frequently, and Sawyer's connection to Locke's story add a lot of intrigue to what is nagging Sawyer about the boar. By the end of the episode, it's clear that the boar symbolizes Sawyer's guilt over killing Frank in cold blood. Sawyer wants to get back at the boar, but he has this sinking feeling that the boar embodies Frank who is coming after him in death for revenge. At the end of the episode Sawyer gets a chance to cut out his guilt and also get vengeance on the boar, but he doesn't take the opportunity. Sawyer is still unable to get over what he has done, so he realizes that he isn't ready to kill again. The story is told very well, and Sawyer deciding not to kill the boar is a surprisingly good moment.
Everything that happens on the island brilliantly ties into the flashbacks too. The flashbacks are used to bring clarity into Sawyer's inner struggles on the island, making them a wonderful way to provide exposition for the main story. "Lost" has used this technique before in other great episodes ("Walkabout" for example), but I think this is the best use of it. Without the flashbacks, we would have no way of understanding what was in Sawyer's mind as he chased the boar. The flashbacks aren't only used to propel the island story though; they stand on their own as an individual story of a man who struggles to take his first kill. There are so many fantastic scenes in the flashback storyline including a tense sequence when Sawyer first confronts Frank, and a beautifully written conversation between Sawyer and Christian. Not only does Christian push Sawyer towards his eventual killing of Frank, but he also gives us a new viewpoint of his relationship with Jack, suggesting that Jack's massive backlog of guilt may actually be a little redundant since Christian died feeling proud of his son. Finally, we got the outstanding twist as Sawyer, the con man, gets conned into killing the wrong person, giving him none of the inner peace he had desired and instead leaving him with a healthy dose of guilt to deal with. Sawyer went for the kill with intentions to rid himself of his baggage, but he walked away having added on to the immense weight on his shoulders.
Charlie's storyline fit the theme of this episode nicely. While Sawyer deals with the grief of killing somebody for the first time in the A-story, Charlie does the same thing in the B-story. It's nice to get some follow-up on the events of the last episode (it would have been nice if the same was done with Charlie's withdrawal!). Charlie killing Ethan is a very significant moment, and I'm glad that the character has had a reaction to it, allowing him to grow and change. Furthermore, the episode nicely utilizes Sayid as he is the perfect guy to sympathize with Charlie over killing people.
There were a few other moments I liked. I enjoyed Hurley's remark on Ethan rising from the grave to kill them all. It's nice to see that the survivors have implanted a supernatural vibe on the mysterious other people, and I really wish we could get more scenes of characters conversing about Ethan and whoever else could be on the island. Also I think this is the first time we learn what Sawyer's real name is: James.
The Bad: This episode is a fine character piece, but it is severely lacking in drama. There is literally no suspense or drama in the island storyline and that does hurt the episode a little bit. It's certainly not a major problem (I've given slow, character-based episodes of shows like "Better Call Saul" really glowing reviews), but it does prevent this episode from reaching the high heights of some of this season's best episodes.
I didn't like Kate freaking out when Sawyer picked up the baby boar. Her childish whining does not mesh at all with her character of being a hardened criminal. Kate remains the most inconsistent and worst written character on the show.
The Unknown: Why did Sawyer hear "it'll come back around" from the whispering in the jungle? Was it just his imagination or was it actually there?
Who is Hibbs to Sawyer? What did he do that made Sawyer despise him? What is the Tampa job?
Kate was married? When? To who? Presumably this was before she became a criminal. Kate said it was a very short marriage. What happened that ended it so quickly?
Was Frank's spirit actually inside that boar? I doubt it, but you never know when this show may take off into supernatural territory.
Best Moment: There are plenty of fantastic scenes, but I'll go with Kate and Sawyer's game of I Never.
Character of the Episode: Sawyer.
Conclusion: This was a surprisingly excellent episode. The character work is top-notch and it more than overcomes a lame island plot.
Summary: Ross meets a student who is in love with him and he decides to date her. One of Chandler's old friends has become a movie director and Joey pushes Chandler to talk to her and get him an interview. Rachel and Phoebe's apartment burns in a fire and the two of them have to live with Joey and Monica respectively.
The Good: This is just a really fun episode. There are three strong storylines here and each of them consistently made me laugh. All of the characters are extremely fun here, there is none of the cartoonish overacting that has plagued the season, and most of the laughs are organic. Ross is a lot of fun as he dates Elizabeth while also trying to maintain his reputation with the other professors. Ross' nicknames are clever, and the reveal that he could get fired for dating Elizabeth is a pretty good moment. Joey and Chandler's story is also really fun. The way that Chandler maneuvers the situation to get Joey an audition is really funny, as well as Joey's little jingle to remember Thursday. Phoebe and Rachel are also pleasingly consistent to their characters in their story, and I like the irony of Joey's place actually being the better place to stay over Monica's.
The Bad: Nothing I would call bad.
Best Moment: Joey almost missing his audition and Thursday and panicking when he realizes what day it is.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This is a really fun episode with a lot of laughs. This season is finally beginning to find some consistency.
Summary: Flashbacks show Charlie deciding to steal and sell a woman's valuable heirloom in order to buy more heroin. He befriends the girl and ends up falling in love with her, wanting to be respectable. He takes a new job, but after dealing with withdrawal, he goes through with the con anyways. In the present, Claire wakes up with amnesia. Ethan appears to Charlie and threatens to kill somebody at nightfall if Claire isn't returned. Jack and Locke debate defenses to protect Claire. Their plans fail and somebody is killed. Jack brings out the guns and takes four others to fight Ethan, using Claire as bait. Jack fights Ethan and captures him but Charlie kills him before he reveals anything.
The Good: Charlie is a good character. He is very flawed, but he comes off as earnest and passionate in everything he does, making it easy to root for him. In both the flashbacks and the present, it is easy to root for him to succeed and prove that he is capable enough to protect the people around him. The story told surrounding his character is pretty good, and it is nice to see him becoming capable enough to help Claire on the island whereas he failed to take care of Lucy in the past.
Ethan was the highlight of this episode though. He's threatening and scary, and his presence adds a huge deal of tension. The entire episode is centered around his impending threat, and it is gripping to see Jack, Locke, Sayid and the others all preparing strategies in an attempt to prevent Ethan from killing people. The stakes are high in this episode, so I was very invested. The plot moves nicely and it builds to a good climax featuring another really intense fight between Jack and Ethan.
As usual, a few small details impressed me. I was pleased by Sayid thinking logically and wondering if Ethan had somehow caused Claire to become amnesiac and returned her to the camp. I also liked that Claire wa sable to figure out that something was happening based off of how people kept looking at her. Lastly, I really laughed at Charlie's Monday selling copiers.
The Bad: Unfortunately this episode is by far the most frustrating so far. Ethan's death is a massive disappointment, and it is very annoying that we learned literally nothing about these other people from the whole Claire abduction storyline. It feels like the writers wanted to introduce others on the island but were opposed to explore what that would mean for the survivors. So they crafted a meaningless storyline that had such little impact on the plot of the show as a whole. Furthermore, the writers were evidently uninterested in exploring how the presence of other people on the island would impact the community of survivors. Inner conflict is never shown, not even in this episode when Ethan literally kills somebody in cold blood. It's very disappointing and it's a far cry from episodes like "White Rabbit" that beautifully conveyed conflict within the survivors camp.
Another piece of lazy writing is Claire's convenient amnesia. It becomes apparent that Claire actually did escape, making Ethan look bad, but also she somehow forgot everything so that she is unable to give us any important details about the other people. This was such a clichéd moment in the episode, and it's annoying to see "Lost" taking after every other generic TV drama in this episode, especially after the show worked so hard to stand out in its first ten episodes.
I was not a fan of Ethan dying either. Ethan was such a big threat, but somehow he is taken out in such an easy way. Jack and all of the others bring out guns, acknowledging that they had to do something extreme to take down Ethan. But not a single shot is fired, and Jack simply takes down Ethan by just beating him up. If Ethan could be beaten down so easily, then why was he such a big threat? This is an example of very generic villain writing, where the villain is depowered whenever it is convenient for the plot. Then we get to Charlie actually killing Ethan. Charlie is a character I like, but by having him kill Ethan for no reason whatsoever, viewers will start to turn on him. Charlie has just taken away the possibility of getting answers, and also the possibility of an interesting new plot development of Ethan in captivity. That's a very poor use of a sympathetic character. Lastly, it's annoying that nobody got frustrated with Charlie for killing Ethan. Ethan could have told the survivors some useful things, and he was also their best chance of getting off the island. Surely people would be angry with Charlie for taking away their best chance of escape. But the writers don't punish Charlie for his actions, but they frustratingly reward him by having Claire come back to him after he kills Ethan.
The Unknown: Who was Ethan anyways? What did he do to Claire? How did she escape? Why did he want her back?
Best Moment: Ethan threatening Charlie was a chilling moment that set the tone for the rest of the episode.
Character of the Episode: Ethan.
Conclusion: The Claire abduction story has been the show's biggest failure so far. The plot didn't go anywhere and it got a very poor resolution here. Charlie's character story is good however and it, as well as William Mapother's performance as Ethan, prevent this episode from getting too low of a score. Still, this is easily the weakest episode so far, and "Lost" has clearly entered a midseason lull. I really hope that the rest of this season can get the show back on the right track.
Summary: Flashbacks show that Michael was in a relationship with Susan who eventually left him for a job opportunity, taking an infant Walt with her. Susan got involved with another man, Brian, and Michael's dreams of being a father were crushed. 9 years later, Susan dies and Brian goes to Michael to give him custody of Walt. On the island, Michael catches Walt with Locke and angrily blocks him from speaking with Locke. Michael decides to build a raft to escape the island and Walt helps. Walt sneaks away to see Locke but Michael finds out. Michael and Walt verbally fight so Walt leaves with Vincent. Walt is found and cornered by a polar bear. Michael and Locke work together to save him. After, Michael shows Walt some drawings he made for him when he was a baby and they grow closer. Locke goes looking for Vincent and finds Claire instead.
The Good: Michael finally got his centric episode, and what we got was a nice exploration into fatherhood. The flashbacks flesh out how excited Michael was to be a parent to Walt, only for that dream to be snatched away for him. It feels horribly unfair for Michael to finally be given a chance to be a parent after he loses all interest in fathering Walt, forcing him to take care of a kid who doesn't know and doesn't trust him. The story is told very well and it's easy to sympathize with Michael in spite of his poor parenting on the island. What this episode makes clear is that Michael does try to be a good parent but he doesn't know how to approach Walt as a father. It's sad to see him trying and failing to get close to Walt, and it's understandable that he gets angry at Locke who is actually successful at befriending Walt. The episode tells this story nicely and builds to a good conclusion as Michael is able to overcome his flaws. He makes peace with Locke and he earns the respect and friendship of Walt; a hard fought victory for Michael.
The plot is interesting enough to follow. I love the idea of Michael trying to make a raft to get off the island. It's nice to see that people haven't forgotten about getting off the island, and it makes sense that people start coming up with alternate solutions when it is apparent that no help is going to find them. I also think the episode does get some good tension coming from the conflict between Locke and Michael. Then the end of the episode signals a meaningful change in the story as Claire stumbles back into the survivors. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
There are some good things to enjoy from the side stories as well. The diary story is harmless comedy with moments like Charlie punching Sawyer, and later, Charlie trying to restrain from reading Claire's diary. But then things take a darker turn as Charlie discovers some disturbing comments (see: The Unknown). I also enjoyed the follow-up from the last episode as Boone resists the urge to drop everything for Shannon. He has moved on and changed, which is nice to see.
The Bad: This episode comes off as too simple. The plot isn't very interesting and there really aren't any twists and turns, or moments of exciting drama. Though the last two episodes have been weaker than usual, they still have great moments of drama that surprise us and take the story in interesting directions. This episode doesn't seem to take any risks and it is a very straightforward story. That's not a bad thing, but it does mean that this episode does very little to stand out. I also had issues with how Michael was portrayed in the flashbacks. Rather than the flashbacks turning Michael into a gray character, like flashbacks have elegantly done for other characters, Michael is portrayed as a pure good guy. In contrast, Susan comes off as a pure bad guy. The story is surprisingly black and white, which doesn't quite fit with what "Lost" has presented to us so far.
I thought the climax of the episode was very underwhelming. The polar bear threat isn't very dramatic since it's fairly obvious that nobody important is about to get eaten by the bear. I honestly felt more tension in the Michael/Locke scenes earlier in the episode than I did in the polar bear attack. Furthermore, the effects did not look very good, and the shaky cam that is used to dodge a good look at the polar bear made the climactic scene pretty disorienting, and less pleasing to watch.
Did Michael seriously steal Brian's dog when he took Walt?
The Unknown: Walt's apparent special abilities are very interesting. We see him throw the knife with stunning accuracy early in the episode. And later we see him seemingly summon a bronze cuckoo, the bird he was studying about, when he got angry. Finally, a polar bear attacks Walt after he looks at pictures of a polar bear in the spanish comic. These are very interesting tidbits that make me curious about what's so special about Walt.
What is this mystery location on the island that Rousseau's maps point to?
What's with the dreams Claire was having? What is the significance of the black rock that she was dreaming about?
What happened to Claire after she was taken? How did she escape from Ethan? Did she escape or was she allowed to go back? What will she tell the survivors? What did Ethan do to her while she was gone?
Best Moment: The Walt flashback was very well done. When the bronze cuckoo appears suddenly, the tone becomes very ominous and it's clear that Walt isn't just a normal kid.
Character of the Episode: Michael.
Conclusion: This was a good episode that told a simple story, but this certainly feels like a step down from the great character-centric episodes we got earlier in the season. Halfway through the season, "Lost" seems to have gotten into a somewhat disappointing stretch of episodes. Let's hope that Claire's return can give this season the momentum it needs to return to its best.
Summary: In flashbacks, Boone goes to Australia to save Shannon from an abusive boyfriend. Boone pays the boyfriend to get him to leave but he eventually realizes that it was a trap from Shannon to get more money. Shannon's boyfriend takes the money and leaves her. Shannon goes to Boone and they have sex. On the island, Locke and Boone have found a hatch in the ground but can't get it open. Boone wants to tell Shannon but Locke doesn't want him to. Locke knocks him out and ties up Boone in the jungle. Boone is given a hallucinogen and has a vision of Shannon dying. He returns to Locke who tells him he needs to let go. Meanwhile, Sayid and Shannon grow closer and Kate discovers that Sun can speak English while helping her with her garden. Hurley tries to catch a fish to help with his stomach issues.
The Good: Boone's story here is really strong. His unhealthy relationship with Shannon is explored very nicely in the past and present as he needlessly involves himself in Shannon's life over and over again due to his awkward infatuation with her. I applaud the writers for taking the risk and putting in a very icky step-sibling romance into the show, using it to nicely deepen Boone's character and give him a creepier side. I like the episode's focus on getting Boone to let go of his love for Shannon. Him abandoning his dependence on her reminds me of Charlie ditching his drugs back in "The Moth", and the main story of this episode is impactful in a similar way to that one.
But despite this being Boone's episode, it's Locke who is the standout. Locke gets plenty of scenes with various characters and his charisma and personality shines through in every scene. Some highlights include his Michelangelo speech to Boone early in the episode, his Webelos backstory to Sayid and his conversation with Jack on the state of his hunting. Locke seems to have seriously grown into a wise sage character as we see him offering assistance to just about everyone, and his decision to help Boone let go was pretty noble.
The side stories were fantastic in this episode. Not only were they a lot of fun, but they also allowed the episode to touch on a lot of little details which I really appreciated. The Jin/Hurley story is consistently hilarious and I found myself laughing at Hurley's antics every time he came on screen. I also really love the idea of a rumour spreading around that Jin actually speaks English. That rumour, along with Kate's rumour that Locke has decided to keep the boar to himself, feels so realistic, since rumours would come up like crazy in a small community that has nothing better to do.
There were some other little details I liked. Sun's garden is nice and it works as a hobby for her to help her kill the time. I also really loved the way that Kate discovered that Sun speaks English. Furthermore, I think it's really interesting that Kate was still lying to Sun despite thinking she doesn't understand what she is saying. Is she practicing her ability to lie to manipulate people? That's very interesting characterization. Lastly, I was very pleased to see Charlie's withdrawal being addressed, even if it was very brief.
The Bad: It's a bit hard to believe that Locke can just make a strong hallucinogen just like that. Additionally, how could Locke know that the vision that Boone had would help him let go of Shannon? The show seems to be making Locke far more supernatural than he actually is with this poor writing.
While the monster escape sequence was exciting, it's hurt by the fact that something just doesn't seem right the entire time. I ended up predicting the hallucination reveal early on and that took away from a lot of the drama. I also never bought into Shannon's supposed death since the moment felt way too flippant and out-of-nowhere to be real.
I thought that Boone's story got totally overshadowed by the rest of the episode. It didn't stand out as much as it should have, and I was much more interested by Locke's scenes.
Did Sayid really get over Nadia that quickly? Having him go after Shannon is a bit odd.
The Unknown: What's in the hatch? How are Locke and Boone going to get it open?
Why was Kate practicing lies on Sun?
Why doesn't Locke's compass point north? That was a very interesting development, and it raises several questions. Also why did Locke say he didn't need the compass anymore? Is it because he knew it was faulty or something else?
What's in that box that Michael was looking at?
Best Moment: Locke's Michelangelo speech is really well done. It's always fascinating to listen to Locke speak and there is a sense of mystery throughout the scene as we try to figure out where Locke is heading with the story
Character of the Episode: Locke.
Conclusion: This was a very strong episode that told a solid character story with some very strong side stories and character interactions as well. Though Boone's story was somewhat overshadowed by everything else, this was still an easy to enjoy episode.
Summary: Ross tries to teach "Unagi" to Rachel and Phoebe who are more than a little skeptical about the idea. Chandler and Monica agree to make each other Valentine's Day gifts but both of them don't know what to make for the other. Joey tries to pretend that he has a twin to do a medical experiment for money.
The Good: There are three very good but not quite great stories presented here. Ross is the highlight and the Unagi story is very funny. His attacks on Phoebe and Rachel are very funny, and the gag of him accidentally attacking two random other women ends the episode on a real high note. Monica and Chandler feel earnest as they struggle to get each other presents, and the ensuing chaos as Chandler pretends that he made a mixtape before the whole plan backfires on him is pretty funny to see. Lastly, the Joey story has some great moments like Joey's apparent backstory with Carl and him trying to hit on the receptionist.
The Bad: All three stories are quite silly in nature. Just about everyone is overacting regularly now and a lot of the laughs come from moments that don't feel even close to as realistic or relatable as moments from earlier in the series. For a show that is essentially about six friends living their lives, I need to feel like the story is one that would fit in reality. This interactions in this episode are just too unrealistic to create this feeling and that prevents this episode from being great.
Best Moment: Ross attacking the wrong women and getting his ass kicked was hilarious.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: This was a goofy and funny episode, but also an episode that really shows how much this show has fallen.
Summary: Flashbacks show Kate robbing a bank with the help of some guys she manipulated. She turns on them when they threaten to kill the bank manager. Kate is only there for a mysterious green envelope. In the present, Kate and Sawyer find a pond in the woods and swim in it together. They find bodies from the plane in the pond and Sawyer finds a briefcase that Kate claims in hers. Sawyer keeps it but can't get it open. Kate attempts to take it from him but she is unsuccessful so she goes to Jack, telling him that the key is buried with the Marshall. Jack agrees to get the key for her but only if he opens the case with her. The case has several guns and the green envelope from the flashbacks. The envelope contains a toy plane that belonged to the man Kate killed.
The Good: The briefcase makes for a good central plot. There is a lot of mystery surrounding what is in there, and that curiosity invests us into the episode. It's also pretty fun watching Sawyer's barbaric attempts to open the case combined with Kate sneakily trying to steal it from him.
Kate and Sawyer are really good together. Their chemistry is much better than Kate and Jack's, and the scene at the pond feels so natural. It's just two people having fun for a couple minutes after making a neat little discovery. Furthermore, there is a spark between them whenever they speak which makes their relationship more meaningful than Jack and Kate who just don't produce that spark at all when they talk. I also really like how the fun opening scene got more serious as the bodies appear at the bottom of the pond and the case is introduced to the story.
The flashbacks are pretty enjoyable. Much like the case story, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the flashbacks. Kate is obviously involved in the bank robbery somehow but it isn't immediately clear how she is involved and why she would want to rob a bank. Watching the mystery unfold to get our answers is satisfying and things are wrapped up nicely by the end with the reveal of the toy plane.
There's one other thing I really want to mention that I've been meaning to bring up for a while now: the setting. The island setting has actually been extremely effective at creating drama and tension which has been a big part as to why this show is so good. The jungle is so mysterious and it creates drama because there are so many possibilities for what could be lurking behind the trees. We have seen that idea come into play in nearly every episode as we are frequently presented with the unexpected emerging from the leaves. In this episode, the unexpected was Sawyer who was apparently following Kate.
There were some other small moments that worked well. The character interactions remain a highlight of the show. The side stories with Charlie/Rose and Sayid/Shannon are pretty unspectacular, but they are still a joy to watch due to pleasingly logical continuations of prior storylines (Charlie's near-death experience, Sayid taking Rousseau's notes), and also because of the very well-written dialogue. I also really liked the Jack/Kate scene with the buried Marshall. I absolutely love the connection of Jack burying the Marshall to him wanting to bury his father, and I also enjoyed Kate's attempted trick to hide the key. Lastly, I liked the cut from Sawyer looking for the axe to Boone having swiped the axe to help Locke. The transition was clever, plus it led to a funny piece of dialogue from Locke.
The Bad: Unfortunately Kate's story falls totally flat. After 2 centric episode, it feels like we still hardly know the character and my interest in her has been falling rapidly since "Tabula Rasa". Kate's two episodes have been based more around the mystery behind her instead of giving us high quality character work and it hasn't worked for her.
In this episode Kate isn't really given much outside of the scene with the toy airplane, but even that scene disappoints. The airplane is such an underwhelming reveal and it's hard to imagine any reason for Kate to take such risks just to recover that toy plane. Due to that, this feels like a case where we needed to understand the significance of the plane to fully connect with Kate emotionally. The problem is that the plane clearly means something to Kate and she is crying, but we don't understand why she is crying. It disconnects us from the character, preventing us from feeling anything toward Kate.
I'm also not a fan of the plane getting all of the focus of the episode. By putting so much emphasis on the plane, the story completely ignores the fact that several guns have been introduced to the plot. Surely this is a big deal! Claire has been taken and these guns give the survivors an opportunity to not only defend themselves, but also to make attempts to bring her back. But for some reason the plane is focused on more and Claire's abduction has somehow been placed firmly in the background. It's very hard to believe that nobody outside of Charlie is affected by Claire's kidnapping.
I think that's enough about the airplane, and it's time to get back to Kate. A big problem I have with Kate is that I'm really struggling to buy into the criminal aspect of Kate's behaviour. We haven't seen Kate do anything even remotely hardcore on the island, and that makes the hardened Kate of the flashbacks so difficult to buy into. It's so hard to believe that the kind, unthreatening girl on the island who flirts with Sawyer is the same person that kills, or almost kills, her 3 fellow bank robbers in cold blood. It's such a sudden shift, and the show hasn't given me enough insight into Kate to make me buy into it.
I think it's really strange that Jack is still so hostile towards Kate. Last episode he was justified because he was under a lot of pressure and he let his negative emotions get a hold of him. But then why is he so rude to Kate here? He is downright awful in parts of the episode as he chastises her for always lying and being manipulative, but we have been given no reasons for him to think this way. Hell Kate actually told him something genuine last episode, so why does he still get mad at her for being dishonest? The writers of this episode seem to have misunderstood Jack's behaviour in the previous episode.
Lastly, even the flashbacks have some dumb moments. The decision for the crooks to kill the bank manager is so absurd and unnecessary and it makes me wonder why they would bother. Why add another criminal charge to their records? Furthermore, shouldn't it be their top priority to just get the money and leave? Why waste time trying to kill people and why change the plan on the fly? They are just asking for things to go wrong. Additionally, the bank manager should be trained to give up all of the money and not risk any lives. There is no reason for him to resist the robbery as much as he does. It sure looks like the writers didn't research bank robberies enough for this storyline.
The Unknown: Is there anything of substance in Rousseau's notes?
What is the significance of the toy plane? Is Kate telling the truth to Jack? Did it belong to the man she loved or the man she killed? Or did she kill the man she loved? If that's the case, then why did she kill him? Also, is the man that she killed the reason that she is a wanted criminal? Or is there more to the story than that?
What does Boone need the axe for? What exactly have Locke and Boone found?
Best Moment: I'll go with Jack's "because I had to bury him" line. It's a wonderful piece of continuity that also allows Jack to reflect on his father.
Character of the Episode: Kate.
Conclusion: This was "Lost"'s first below par episode. There were several things to like and the story is fun to follow, but the writing is a significant step down from what we have gotten before. Kate is also proving to be a pretty disappointing character whose storyline isn't being conveyed in a way that benefits her. Let's hope that this was just a fluke and that we will be back to greatness in the next episode.
Summary: Flashbacks show one of Jack's patients dying in surgery. Christian had been operating on her before but he was under the influence so Jack took over. Christian convinces Jack to claim the death was inevitable, but upon learning that the patient was pregnant, Jack tells the truth and Christian loses his job. In the present, Jack, Kate, Locke and Boone go looking for Claire. Ethan leaves two trails so the group splits up. Jack and Kate go the correct direction. Ethan attacks Jack and threatens to kill one of them if Jack keeps following. Jack presses on and they come across Charlie who has been hanged from a tree. Jack is able to resuscitate him but he doesn't remember anything. Locke and Boone keep searching and they find a mysterious structure in the dirt.
The Good: This episode had the most exciting, suspenseful plot since the pilot episodes. Following Claire and Charlie's kidnapping, there was a huge sense of urgency throughout the episode, and the momentum of chasing after Ethan made the episode work at a faster than usual pace with much more tension than what we usually get. As a result, this episode was very easy to watch and it would certainly be a highlight episode for the more casual viewers.
That's not to say that the character stuff was reduced in favour of the plot, like in "Raised By Another". In fact, it's almost the opposite as this episode ended up having some of the strongest character development of the series this far. Jack's story is amazing to behold, and it's surprising how many new aspects of his character were explored in this episode. "White Rabbit" showed us Jack's most likeable traits: he's a leader, he's strong-willed, and he's heroic. In contrast, this episode shows us the more negative aspects of Jack's character. Throughout the episode he's angry, stubborn, obsessive, overly emotional, and very aggressive. But somehow the writing is so good that Jack never feels inconsistent with what we have seen of him so far, and it comes off that the writers are showing us the deeper aspects of his character. Like everybody else, even Jack has his flaws, and this makes him a much stronger character than he had appeared to be so far.
The flashback story was terrific. One of the biggest mysteries from "White Rabbit" was what had happened between Jack and Christian. We are given the answer here in what ended up being a terrific examination of Jack's character. We get to learn more about why Jack was so anxious to see Christian buried. Not only was it because of their issues, but it was also because Jack himself feels responsible for the events that led to his father's death. Christian tried to get Jack to lie for him, going as far as to manipulate Jack in what was a pretty fantastic scene. But unfortunately Jack's heroic instincts haven't changed since his childhood, and we get to see Jack cave at the idea of lying, showing such integrity and dedication to the work he does by telling the truth. But Jack preserving his morals came at the expense of his relationship with his father, which was already somewhat strained.
The flashback story ties into Jack's struggles on the island as well. We see Jack vehemently dashing through the woods, taking no breaks and refusing to care for himself until Claire and Charlie are found. Just like with Christian, Jack is feeling guilty about his actions which led to Claire storming off alone, and he won't stop until he has done the right thing and saved both Claire and Charlie. Jack's arc on the island is a combination of his willpower to do the right thing and the guilt he feels when his actions have unintended consequences, the two main aspects of his character that were explored in the flashbacks.
Outside of Jack, there is a lot to love about the island story. There are several great moments throughout the episode that service other characters and also provide great drama. I appreciated the scenes with Michael as he gets dismissed by Locke in a lovely bit of continuity (back in "Walkabout", Locke saw for himself that Michael can be a liability). It sets up a nice bit of conflict between them while also making Michael seem more likeable as he decides to head into the jungle anyways. The fight sequence between Ethan and Jack is another highlight. The fight was short but sweet, and it was carried by the menacing threat that Ethan poised. William Mapother was very intimidating in this short scene, and his imposing presence gave me chills. Lastly, I thought the climactic scene where Jack and Kate stumbled upon Charlie was mostly fantastic. The moment was stunning, and it seemed like "Lost" may have actually killed off a key character already which would have been a devastating twist. Though that wasn't the case in the end, the scene still carried a lot of weight and it was really powerful seeing Kate crying while Jack desperately tried to bring Charlie back to life, unable to accept that he had caused Charlie's death.
I liked the scene between Sayid and Sawyer. Their interactions were well written and well acted, giving us an electric scene with a lot of substance. We get to learn what Sayid has seen as a backdrop to the character drama of Sawyer confronting the man who tortured and nearly killed him. It's interesting to see Sawyer forgive Sayid, showing that he does have a human side and that he is well aware that he did deserve everything that he got.
The Bad: Charlie coming back to life was a bit of a cheesy moment, but the scene was so well executed that it didn't bother me much. What did bother me was that Charlie conveniently didn't remember anything and only gave us vague details about what happened. The writers weren't ready for Charlie to give away much information, but they also weren't ready to kill him off. So instead of committing to one of these things, they took the cheap way out, which didn't feel satisfying at all.
I'm disappointed that we didn't get to see more reactions to what happened to Claire. The idea that there are other people on the island and that their community had been infiltrated should be horrifying to everyone. Nobody should be able to trust each other, and there should be fear all around the camp. Yet the episode doesn't explore this at all which feels like a missed opportunity. Panic radiating through the camp would have made the episode even more gripping.
Jack was too confrontational with Kate in this episode. I get that the writers were trying to show Jack's aggression, but the moment where he demands that Kate tells him something real didn't land with me. It was similar to the scene in "The Moth" when Kate raged at Sawyer. The moment wasn't earned and it only happened because the writers needed for it to happen.
Did we really need such cheesy punch sound effects during the Ethan/Jack fight? The poor sound design stood out there.
The Unknown: Why is Hurley known to be a warrior back home?
Why was Jack the only one to hear Claire's screams? I wonder if this will be significant later or if it was just Jack's anxiety-filled brain imagining screams that weren't actually there.
Charlie seems to suggest that more than one person attacked him and Claire. Did Ethan bring friends? Where are these other people anyways? Could it be that they are much closer to the group of survivors than we expect?
Best Moment: Plenty of moments stood out so it's tough to choose. I'll have to go with Jack going with his guts and telling the truth about what happened during the surgery. I'll put that scene slightly above Jack trying to revive Charlie and Christian manipulating Jack. All are fantastic scenes.
Character of the Episode: Jack.
Conclusion: This was a spectacular episode that had rich character development and tons of action and tension. Though I had issues with the episode, there is just so much to love about this that I can't justify a score lower than an 80. Jack's story is simply remarkable and this episode has my favourite flashback and main island storyline so far.
Summary: In flashbacks, Claire' boyfriend Tommy convinces her to keep her baby so they can raise it together. Tommy leaves her soon after. Claire goes to see a psychic, Richard Malkin, who is horrified by what he sees, telling her that her baby must be raised by her. Richard gets her to take Oceanic flight 815. In the present, Claire is having bad dreams. One night, she claims she is attacked by somebody but no culprit is found. Jack chalks it off as it happening in Claire's head. Claire is angered by this and leaves the camp. Charlie follows her. Meanwhile Hurley makes a census of everyone on the island. He gets the flight manifest froM Sawyer and is horrified when he finds out that Ethan wasn't on the plane. Ethan confronts Charlie and Claire alone in the jungle. Meanwhile, Sayid returns, claiming they are not alone.
The Good: Once again, "Lost" changes gears and has a very different episode from everythign before it. After so many deep character episodes, the focus completely changed in this episode, bringing out the show's more mysterious, plot-related elements instead of character. There is an emphasis on the more supernatural elements of the show in this episode, making this episode feel more important, and also very exciting for the future of the show.
That's not to say that Claire's story is bad. It's not. We do learn about Claire's backstory, why she is pregnant, and why she may be hesitant to trust Charlie. Her backstory isn't as complex as other characters', but it is interesting enough. Plus, her island storyline is really interesting. With her being pregnant, we can never be sure if we can trust her experiences as they may be fake. I like that the show openly explores this with Jack giving Claire a sedative, providing us some natural character conflict.
Then we get to the superb end of the episode. Claire and Charlie are vulnerable at the end of the episode, and it feels like the surprising climax would be Claire giving birth. But the show throws out a number of surprises for us. For one, Sayid makes a sudden return with some cryptic remarks (see: The Unknown). But then the big surprise comes as Hurley reveals that Ethan wasn't on the plane. The final shot of Ethan staring down at Charlie and Claire with that creepy look is downright chilling, and it leaves us on an extremely suspenseful cliffhanger which makes me really enthused to watch another episode.
I thought that Hurley's side story was really good. His scenes were quite funny, as usual. I particularly liked his scene with Locke, and the joke of Hurley trying to get away from Locke after being creeped out is hilarious. Furthermore, the importance of this side story is completely unexpected. After Hurley made a golf course in a harmless B-plot in the last episode, we assume that this story is more harmless fluff to develop characters a little more. But the Hurley story actually ends up being important, and it impressively set up the ending reveal in a very big way.
Lastly, I thought the scenes of the psychic in Claire's flashbacks were outstanding. Richard Malkin actually outperformed Claire in this episode, and he was portrayed brilliantly. The fear and confusion across his face when he is doing the psychic reading is pretty horrifying, really playing up the mystery. Even more terrifying is his urgent reaction to Claire, demanding that she must raise the baby herself (see: The Unknown). The psychic stole the show this episode, and I'm dying to learn more about what he saw and if he will play a bigger role later in the show.
The Bad: As much as I like the change of pace, the episode is missing something by not having the great character exploration that I've gotten used to. With a more emotional story for Claire, this could have been amazing. But with a simpler storyline, the episode doesn't hit as hard emotionally as previous episodes of the show.
The Unknown: What was Claire's dream about? Is there any significance there?
Is the psychic real? Did he actually know about Flight 815? What did he see regarding Claire's kid?
Who is Ethan? How was he already on the island? How did he infiltrate the survivors group? Did he attack Claire at night? Why? Is he interested in her baby? Why? What is he going to do at the end of the episode? Is he going to fight Charlie and Claire? Kidnap them? What is his plan? What are his motives?
What happened to Sayid in the jungle? He seemed pretty shaken up. Was he attacked by other people? Is that why he claimed they weren't alone? Or did he possibly get infected by the sickness Rousseau was talking about in the last episode?
Best Moment: The ending of the episode chilled me to the bone. A frightening reveal that changes the story and ends the episode with a perfect cliffhanger.
Character of the Episode: Richard Malkin. Claire was somewhat underwhelming in this episode so he ended up stealing the show.
Conclusion: This was another great episode, changing up the formula to focus more on the plot. However, the lack of character stuff does make this episode a step lower than the other episodes of the show.
Summary: Monica ends up sleeping with Chandler. Ross has a threesome with Carol and Susan but it doesn't go well. Rachel struggles to bring herself to have an affair with Joey since she is still married to Barry. The friends can't bring themselves to tell Phoebe that she is fired.
The Good: This was more really fun stuff. There's a nice message here about the bonds between the friends still bringing them to the same place anyways despite everyone's lives being so different. A lot of the conclusions were excellent. Ross and Rachel being drawn together again was lovely. Phoebe becoming a nicer person who plays guitar poorly is a nice way to end her story. Monica and Chandler were great again as they got closer in this episode. All of the story conclusions were great and satisfying. The episode had really funny moments too. The character interactions were wonderful and carried the episode, with several standout lines. Lastly, I loved seeing Joey's fancy apartment return in this episode, which was a nice detail.
The Bad: This was a rare case where the part 2 isn't as good as the part 1. Seeing the stories conclude was more predictable, meaning that this episode didn't fascinate me as much as the previous one. Also, I thought Chandler having only had sex once before Monica was inconsistent. Chandler was frequently with women throughout the early seasons, so I'm not sure why he hardly had sex in this alternate reality.
Best Moment: Joey and Ross talking about the threesome was hilarious.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: Like part 1, this was another extremely fun episode. While not quite as good as part 1, this was still really enjoyable.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.