Summary: Flashbacks show the various survivors preparing for flight 815. Hurley barely makes the plane after a string of bad luck. Charlie has to fight to keep enough heroin to take with him. Jin is told by Mr. Paik's man that he isn't free. Everybody boards the plane. On the island, Rousseau kidnaps Claire's baby, now named Aaron. Rousseau wants to trade him to the others for Alex. Charlie and Sayid hunt down Rousseau and get Aaron back. Charlie finds the plane full of heroin and takes some. On the raft, Michael, Walt, Sawyer and Jin bond more with each other. Eventually they see a blip on the radar at night. Sawyer gets Michael to shoot the flare and they are discovered by a boat. The people on the boat appear to be the other people living on the island and they kidnap Walt and shoot Sawyer before blowing up the raft. Meanwhile, Arzt tries to teach the others how to handle the dynamite but he blows up. Jack, Kate, Locke and Hurley divvy up the dynamite between themselves and head back. They are attacked by the monster which is revealed to be a column of smoke. It tries to take Locke into a hole but Kate throws dynamite at it so it leaves. Locke and Jack debate between science and faith as they walk back. They use the dynamite to blow open the hatch right as Hurley notices the numbers inscribed on the side.
The Good: This was a fantastic finale that ended the season with a bang. This episode was fast-paced and exciting with numerous big moments and dramatic reveals. Everything made this episode feel important and it served as a memorable climax to what has been an exceptionally strong first season. There were four main stories throughout this episode that gave majority of the cast important things to do while also leading up to three main climactic moments.
The story that had the most going on was probably the Black Rock mission. It started off shockingly enough with Arzt's unexpected demise. Even thought the moment was genuinely shocking and Hurley got some good jokes, the early parts of this storyline had some big problems (see: The Bad). Everything that came afterwards was pretty awesome though. Locke and Jack's relationship developed spectacularly well in a few outstanding scenes. I really enjoyed the scene of Locke removing the dynamite. His talk of board games was consistent with Locke's hobbies in "Walkabout" and "Deus Ex Machina", plus it led into a lovely moment as Locke jokingly frightens both Jack and the viewers with a "bzzzt". While Locke had fun in the moment, it's evident that Jack didn't appreciate the joke. The tensions between them are high and Jack looks at Locke like he is insane for joking around with dynamite. Then things get to a new level with the reveal of the monster. First and foremost, I can't think of a more unexpected thing for the monster to be and I really applaud the creativity of the showrunners to come up with the idea of the monster just being a column of smoke. I have plenty of questions to ask about that (see: The Unknown). But the monster also added a lot to the Jack/Locke conflict as Locke inexplicably requested that Jack leave him because he will be okay. Of course we know what motivates Locke, but Jack has no idea and is confused by Locke's belief that he has some greater purpose on the island. Their ensuing man of science vs man of faith conversation is as fascinating as it gets, and the scene ended up being the best of the episode (see: Best Moment) which is saying a lot when you consider the number of amazing scenes in this episode.
This storyline ended with the climactic moment that closed out the episode, and it's a pretty big moment. This entire season was oriented around this mysterious hatch and the end of this episode finally sees it opened, and in dramatic fashion. In typical "Lost" fashion, the opening of the hatch went the extra mile to get more drama as Hurley sees the numbers on the side and goes into a complete moment. Not only was it exciting, but it also suggests that Hurley may have to reveal his curse to everybody since he was shouting "the numbers are bad" very loudly. I'm excited to see the fallout of this. Furthermore, I'm very happy with the season's cliffhanger. Some people will be very mad that the contents of the hatch weren't shown in the episode, but I think leaving it for next season was a great decision, and it ends season 1 with a memorable visual.
The second storyline was of Michael, Walt, Sawyer and Jin on the raft. The scenes between these four were wonderfully well done and the isolation of the four characters allowed them all to develop nicely in interesting ways. A number of the scenes here were well written and elicited a reaction from me. I really liked Sawyer showing that he has softened up a little bit despite still being an asshole overall. I especially liked when he vehemently denied that he was singing Bob Marley, and then later when he smugly read everybody's letters despite Walt telling him not to. I was also really happy with the development of Jin and Michael's relationship. Seeing that they were at each other's throats earlier in the season, it's impressive that the show has allowed them to become friends in a natural way. The scene of Jin entrusting his watch to Michael was a lovely little moment that resolved the conflict between them in a beautiful way.
Then much like the first storyline, this had a huge climactic scene that ended things off in dramatic fashion. This story had a hugely important ending as it confirmed that there is actually a group of people living on this island. The build-up to this reveal was simply spectacular. The tension built up brilliantly as the characters argued whether or not it is worth to fire off a flare. Then once the boat appeared, it seemed like we were watching a rare moment of sheer joy. But something didn't feel quite right. Surely they wouldn't be rescued at the end of the first season. Then the act is dropped and the man on the boat chillingly says "the thing is, we're gonna have to take the boy". The change in tone is downright frightening and the scene goes from relief to horror as Walt is kidnapped, Sawyer is shot and the raft is blown up. The characters are left in a downright terrible position and I can't wait to see what they are going to do to get out of being abandoned in the middle of the ocean.
The third storyline of the episode is one that neatly sets up the reveal of the others at the end of the episode. Rousseau's motivation to kidnap Aaron is to trade to the others because they want the boy. But of course it turns out that Aaron isn't the boy they want. It's a lovely little line of dialogue that brilliantly sets up the conclusion of the raft story. But to backpedal a little bit, I really enjoyed the Rousseau story overall. Her stealing Aaron is a surprising twist, and it's evident that there is more to this idea than what is given to us in this episode due to Claire's sudden memory of her (see: The Unknown). Anyways, this storyline sees Charlie and Sayid forming an unlikely team to bring Aaron back. Both of them are really good here. Charlie is passionate and heroic while Sayid is intelligent and composed. This gives us an unexpectedly great team to follow this storyline with, and a lot of their interactions are brilliant.
The fourth and final storyline is the flashback story, which is just as fun in this episode as it is in part 1. There were good moments that allowed us to reflect on the story as a whole. Charlie pathetically fighting a fellow junkie over the last of the heroin and Jin being told he isn't free by Mr. Paik's agent were standout moments that showed us how far these two characters have come. In the past, they were both controlled by something, but on the island they have freed themselves from their prison. Hurley's comedy sequence is the other memorable flashback we get and it is fantastic. This scene was the funniest "Lost" has ever been, and there is so much to enjoy as we see Hurley scrambling desperately to get on the plane that took him to the island.
These flashbacks were fine on their own, but they were lacking something special to make me believe that it was worth seeing these characters at the airport. Thankfully, the episode found exactly what it needed at the end. The boarding of flight 815 was an unexpectedly emotional moment, and it was genuinely sad seeing these characters getting on the plane that would change their lives forever. The episode lingered on the boarding scene to draw out as much emotion as possible, and it really worked. Scenes like this prove that "Lost" is a show that understands the importance of emotion in television, and that goes a long way towards making a TV show that will be remembered for a long time.
Some other scenes in the episode deserve praise. Shannon and Sayid's relationship hasn't been particularly good, but I enjoyed the scenes of them getting over their problems in this episode. Lastly, I really liked Sun contemplating the idea of the characters being punished by being stranded on the island. Jin mentioned this same thing to her in the previous episode, and it makes perfect sense for her to dwell on his words.
The Bad: The death of Arzt was another shocking moment in an episode that was full of them, but the moment didn't work at all. The main issue I have with his death is that it was mostly played for laughs. It seems like a tone-deaf way to illustrate the horrifying concept of death, a concept that should not be treated so lightly. It's pretty frustrating to see death portrayed like this especially considering how well done Boone's death was. Furthermore, I get the sense that "Lost" created this annoying, unlikeable character for the sole purpose of killing him off. It's not good writing to introduce a character that accomplishes absolutely nothing, only to kill them off for no reason. The haphazard treatment of Arzt left me disappointed and it made me look like a fool for being interested in learning more about him.
Why wasn't anybody talking about the smoke monster? Hurley, Kate and Jack have just witnessed some supernatural stuff on the island for the first time yet nobody is talking about it. You would think Hurley would not be shutting up about this horrific smoke monster, but he is quiet and everyone inexplicably ignores what they have seen. It isn't realistic that they would say nothing about the monster, and it comes off like the writers wanted to show us the true form of the monster without it impacting the story at all. That make me question the decision to put this reveal here in the first place.
The Unknown: The Black Rock is apparently a slave ship. That means it must be several centuries old at least. How old is it exactly and how did it end up on the island?
Why did Claire scratch Rousseau? When did this happen? Was Rousseau somehow involved in her kidnapping?
Will Charlie start using again now that he has found a consistent supply of heroin? It's one thing to kick drugs when you have no access to them, but it's another thing when the temptation is there.
What the hell is the smoke monster? How does something like that even exist? Where was it taking Locke? What was inside of that hole? Does it live there? Why did it take Locke? In the previous review, I suggested that the monster lives in the dark territory. The fact that the group encountered it again seems to suggest that it does live there, as does this mysterious hole.
Kate mentions that the number 23 does have some meaning to her. Have these numbers somehow managed to impact everyone's lives? What is the significance of this?
Who are these others? How did they get a boat? Where do they live? How did they know about the raft? Why did they take Walt? Is it because he's special? How did Rousseau hear them saying they were coming for the boy? Was it the whispers? How are the others connected to the whispers? They seemed pretty normal to me. How are Michael, Jin and Sawyer going to survive? How bad is Sawyer's bullet wound?
What is inside of the hatch? I noticed a broken ladder inside of it. How are they going to get down?
Best Moment: The Jack and Locke conversation was a truly special moment. We have waited a full season to see somebody talk about the supernatural aspects of the island, and we finally get to see it happen here. Locke talks to Jack about the strange existence of the island and he speaks about his thoughts of destiny. Jack, thinking Locke is crazy, doesn't want to hear it and we end up getting some compelling verbal sparring between the two. I was particularly fascinated by Locke's claim that Boone was a sacrifice. It's an extraordinary line to show Locke's devotion to the island, but the line simultaneously tells Jack that Locke is even more delusional than he had imagined. It's great that the writers are able to make us understand the views of both characters, and I really want to see more from these two in the second season.
Character of the Episode: Locke.
Conclusion: What a splendid finale. There were emotional moments, stunning twists, chilling conversations and dramatic sequences. This had everything you could want from a supersized episode that culminated a phenomenal first season. This episode delivered in every way.
This season was incredible. It's amazing that this show has created so many engrossing characters in just 25 episodes while simultaneously giving us an intriguing plot that has me desperately wanting to start the next episode. This season was a near-perfect beginning for a TV show and it delivered in nearly every episode. There was a rough patch in the middle of the season, but the beginning and ending ruled and there were several episodes that will go down as all-time classics. I couldn't ask for a better first season of a TV show.
Summary: Flashbacks show the survivors in Sydney preparing for their flight. Walt argues with Michael and is upset to be with him. Sawyer is deported for headbutting an important minister in a barfight. Jack meets Ana Lucia at a bar. The Marshall checks his briefcase and taunts the arrested Kate. Shannon stands up to Boone. Sun and Jin eat before their flight. On the island, Danielle arrives at the camp and warns everyone that the others are coming. Jack decides to get everyone to work on the raft so they can send it out quickly, while he comes up with a plan. He decides to go to the Black Rock to get dynamite to blow open the hatch. Before he leaves, Sawyer tells Jack that he met Christian. Kate, Locke, Hurley and Arzt go with him. Everyone says goodbye to each other and the raft is launched with Michael, Walt, Sawyer and Jin on board. Jack and co. are attacked by the monster in the dark territory but they manage to escape. They find the Black Rock and discover that it is actually a ship.
The Good: This episode feels like the beginning of a season finale. From the start of the episode there is an established threat (Danielle's warning), plenty of story momentum (getting the raft in the ocean, going on a mission to get the dynamite), and a far grander scale than any other episode we have seen before (focus on several characters as opposed to just one). This episode feels pretty big, and it does a wonderful job of setting up what should be an even more explosive part 2.
But to say that this episode is only set-up would be doing a huge disservice to what the writers have accomplished here. Despite the crutch of being set-up and not pay-off, this episode still manages to include several moments with emotional resonance. It's pretty impressive that so many character arcs and relationships have important moments in this episode. The writers have expertly disguised the fact that this is a set-up episode by resolving several plot threads that have been lingering for many episodes now. The best examples of this are the launching of the raft, Sun and Jin making up, and Sawyer finally telling Jack that he met Christian in Australia. All 3 moments are very powerful and they give this episode an identity when it easily could have been dismissed as simply a part 1 in the face of what will likely be a much more exciting part 2.
I want to talk about the emotional moments of this episode more in-depth because some of them were damn good. The launching of the raft was a far better scene than I anticipated. After seeing this raft being built for 10 episodes (!) now, there is a real sense of accomplishment once we get to see it finally completed. This is the survivors best chance for rescue, and it feels so good to watch Michael and the others sail off in the distance because they worked their asses off to get this far. Yet the moment is also sad because there are several goodbyes as key characters like Sawyer and Jin are now separated from people who they have a strong relationship with. Sun and Jin are the obvious relationship being broken and there was a good amount of development given to them in this episode. I really like the idea of Jin believing he is being punished for the actions, and I could totally buy that he tells Sun his true feelings when he realizes that he may never see her again. The more interesting scene was actually Jack and Sawyer's farewell. After starting out as enemies, it's been surprising to see their relationship evolve into something more. Sawyer telling Jack about Christian was a spectacular scene that nicely resolves Jack's feelings of guilt towards his father's death, while also showing us that Sawyer has come to respect Jack. Sawyer didn't need to relieve Jack of his demons, but as a showing of good faith, maybe even friendship, Sawyer does something genuinely good for once.
On top of all of this character work, there is a bunch of exciting plot development. Danielle's threat is very interesting and it raises tons of big questions about these others going into part 2 (see: The Unknown). The mission through the jungle is a nice throwback to the pilot episodes which featured 2 separate treks. Just like in the pilot, there is some great drama to be had from a trek through the jungle. The character interactions are a lot of fun, and the writers also squeeze in a tense sequence as the monster returns after being absent for a long time. Then we get a lovely cliffhanger as we get the shocking reveal that the Black Rock is actually a massive ship, instead of a literal black rock. That was a lovely little twist, and it nicely played on our presumptions to surprise us.
The flashbacks were nice inclusions to the story. It was nice to see how far the characters have come in one season by comparing where they were in the airport to where they are now. Just about every scene had something enjoyable about it. I liked seeing a new character get introduced in Ana Lucia (see: The Unknown). I'm curious about the purpose of her introduction, and it suggests that there may be other survivors out there somewhere. I also enjoyed the Kate flashback. The show retconned in some clarification on some unexplained things in Kate's story, like the plane being in the bank and the Marshall bringing 5 guns on the plane. Lastly, I really liked the Shannon flashback for a few reasons. For one, it's great to see Boone again, and the scene gave you a real sense of what Shannon has lost on the island. Furthermore there were some nice nods to the pilot. Shannon mentioned that there was a guy who wouldn't let them get into first class early in the season, and we hear about that guy here. Furthermore, we hear from Sawyer that he saw Sayid getting pulled out of line at the airport back in "Pilot Part 2". Now we know that Sayid actually was pulled aside and it was because of Shannon.
Lastly, I am really enjoying Arzt. He is a wonderful breath of fresh air, and he has provided good comedy so far.
The Bad: I have a couple of small gripes. For one, I was disappointed at the lack of reaction to Danielle's arrival and warning. Surely there would be tons of questions floating around the group, and surely there should be a panic. This show has never cared much about showing the community dynamics in the survivors' camp, and that trend continued here.
It seems odd that Jack was able to get everybody to help with the raft for this one day. It begs the question of why everyone wasn't helping out earlier. Surely everyone would want to work on their best chance for rescue.
The Unknown: Who are these others? Why are they attacking now? Why not before? Why do they warn the survivors by lighting fires to create black smoke?
It's mentioned that the hatch likely has another entrance that would likely be used instead. Where is this entrance? Has Locke searched for it? How big is the area the hatch leads into anyways?
How did the Black Rock get into the middle of the jungle? How long has it been there? Why does it have dynamite?
Why did the show introduce Ana Lucia? She was sitting in the back of the plane so we know that she likely died. But wouldn't it be meaningless to introduce her now if she is dead? Could there be other survivors from the tail section of the plane? Or perhaps just Ana Lucia? If there are other survivors, how have they been surviving this long?
Where did Danielle get those scratches from? I don't buy her claims that it was a bush.
Apparently the dark territory is where Danielle's team got infected. How did they get infected? How does Danielle mark the borders of the dark territory anyways? What is different about it? Does the monster reside in the dark territory? That could explain why it has been absent for so long. Danielle claims the monster is a security system. What does that mean? How does she know this? She also claims that it is protecting the island. Protecting it from what? Why? Also Montand apparently lost his arm. How did that happen?
Best Moment: The launching of the raft was an unexpectedly powerful moment.
Character of the Episode: Jack. The scene with Sawyer was terrific and Matthew Fox did some of his best acting so far.
Conclusion: This was an excellent part 1. Not only did is set up the next episode, but it also stood on its own with some superb character moments.
Summary: In flashbacks Kate reconnects with childhood friend Tom who is a doctor. She goes to visit her mother who has cancer. Kate's mother screams for help so Kate has to leave as the cops arrive. Tom goes with her but he is shot and killed. On the island, the raft is almost ready to go. Kate tries to get Sawyer off the raft so she can go in her place which leads to drama with Michael. Later, Michael is poisoned and he angrily accuses Sawyer of doing it. Sawyer reveals to everyone that Kate was the prisoner. It's revealed that Sun poisoned Michael, but that she did it unintentionally. Her real target was Jin to get him to stay on the island. Meanwhile, Sayid brings Jack to see the hatch. Locke and Jack want to open it but Sayid does not.
The Good: Kate actually does get a good amount of character development in this episode. This episode focuses on how self-absorbed she can be at times, and how this character trait does damage to herself and those around her. On the island we see her estrange Sawyer when she selfishly tries to take his spot on the raft, while on the island we see her return to meet her childhood friend Tom, a selfish move that ends in his tragic death. Furthermore we get a very interesting glimpse at Kate's troubled childhood which I'm very interested to learn more about (see: The Unknown).
The main island plots of this episode were fine and easy enough to enjoy. Michael being poisoned is a good story to center the episode around as it set up plenty of opportunities for character conflict, with some pretty decent moments. The hatch storyline works really well in the background. I enjoyed Jack and Locke debating with Sayid over the pros and cons to opening the thing. It makes perfect sense that Sayid with all of his military background would immediately think of the potential dangers that could be inside of this hatch, keeping him consistent with his more pragmatic approach. There's also a damn good scene between Walt and Locke that seems to be about the hatch (see: The Unknown and Best Moment).
There were a few little things I really enjoyed. Arzt is a fun addition to the cast. I enjoy seeing more of the other survivors that aren't part of the main cast. There were some nice character moments too. I like that Sawyer figured out that Kate was the prisoner. The show has teased that Sawyer suspects the truth about Kate (like in "Pilot Part 2" and "Outlaws"), so it's nice to get confirmation that he is well aware that Kate is a criminal. Lastly, I really loved Hurley accidentally revealing Kate's fugitive status to Locke. His frustration over not being able to keep track of who knows what was very funny as well as a nice dose of realism.
The Bad: Kate is the weakest character in the series so far. I like the idea of Kate unexpectedly being a criminal, but the show hasn't committed enough to the idea, and as a result it becomes very hard to buy into Kate actually being a hardened badass. Kate just seems like too pure of a person on the island, and there isn't enough evidence of her personality being affected by a troubled childhood to suggest that her criminal nature is caused by her past.
Furthermore, the show spends too much time trying (and failing) to draw a fitting contrast between criminal Kate and normal Kate. It isn't very interesting to watch, and it has unfortunately given her a surprisingly low amount of character development, especially when compared to other characters. Kate has had 3 centric episodes now, but we still hardly know her, and it feels like we are only beginning to look into the deeper aspects of her character.
This episode felt too melodramatic for my taste. There isn't enough interesting conflict throughout the episode, and the episode spends too much time making characters have meaningless arguments with each other that don't develop character relationships at all. It all feels surprisingly sloppy for a show that is usually really good at developing meaningful character conflict. Instead of getting sensible conflict, everyone seems to argue with everybody in this episode without any good reason. Furthermore, things aren't helped when there are several unusually poor lines of dialogue in the episode. Jack and Locke arguing about discretion feels pretty forced, and their interactions feel a little too cheesy and clunky. There's also a really poor line from Kate when she asks Jack if he really thinks she is capable to poisoning Michael. It's a very awkward line for an established prisoner to say, and it's hard to believe that Kate would respond with that. In every way, that line sounds like a very poorly constructed attempt to lie.
The explanation behind the toy plane was a total disappointment. In the end, the plane had no real meaning to it at all. It was just a memento of Tom. Would Kate really go through all of that trouble to get some memento out of a bank vault? The story feels to absurd to be satisfying.
The Unknown: So Kate was on the run before she got Tom killed. So if he isn't the reason why she is wanted, then what is the reason? What did she do?
The scene between Kate and her mother Diane was very interesting. Kate seems to really care about her mother who doesn't seem to return the feeling. Diane's cries for help were very unexpected and you can't help but wonder why Diane is so afraid of Kate. It all seems to ties into Kate's childhood somehow, as evidenced by the tape that Kate and Tom listened to earlier in the episode. As a kid, Kate reveals a desire to run away, and she seems to have good reasons to do so. What problems would lead Kate to want to leave her family?
How did the plane end up in a bank vault? Is there still more story to be told about this plane?
Earlier in the episode, Kate picks up a letter which I assume told her about her mother's condition. Who sent the letter?
Is Walt referring to the hatch when he told Locke not to open it? Why would he say that anyways? How does he know about the hatch? What does he know? Does this have something to do with him being special? I presume it does. Could he have seen things in a dream like Locke did back in "Deus Ex Machina"?
Best Moment: Walt comes up to Locke and they start off having a pretty casual conversation. But things turn surprisingly mysterious when Walt recoils from Locke's touch and warns him not to open "that thing". The scene brilliantly builds up tension and it ends up being both mysterious and frightening.
Character of the Episode: Kate.
Conclusion: This was a pretty weak episode. It had enjoyable aspects but it never seemed to suggest that it was telling a compelling story. With the 3 part season finale starting with the next episode, I will chalk this down as a fluke, and hopefully "Lost" can end a terrific first season on a high note
Summary: In flashbacks, the CIA recruit Sayid to locate a large amount of C4 taken by a group terrorists. Sayid agrees because the CIA will take him to Nadia if he complies. Sayid agrees and is forced to convince Essam to become a martyr despite his reservations. Sayid reveals the truth after they are given the C4 and Essam, dejected, shoots himself. Sayid gives Essam a funeral. On the island, Locke returns for Boone's funeral. Jack angrily attacks him but passes out. Kate forces Jack to rest. Sayid interrogates Locke, who takes him to the plane. Locke reveals he was the one who knocked out Sayid. Sayid is ultimately convinced of Locke's innocence. Shannon is angry and tries to kill Locke herself with a gun. Sayid prevents this and Shannon storms away. Sayid goes to Locke, declaring that he will show him the hatch.
The Good: This is an episode where the flashbacks completely steal the show. The flashback story fantastically resumed Sayid's story from where it left off in "Solitary". We get to see a summation of what Sayid has been up to since Nadia's escape all the way up until he boarded Flight 815, giving us big answers about what he went through and what happened to Nadia while still leaving behind a lot of mystery (see: The Unknown). This episode fixates on Sayid infiltrating a terrorist group for the CIA in order to obtain some missing C4. The story is interesting and Sayid is given plenty of scenes to shine, giving him a strong moral conflict to deal with as the CIA order Sayid to be a horrid friend to Essam. The highlight of the episode was Sayid and Essam's relationship. It was sad seeing Sayid force himself to convince Essam to become a martyr for his own selfish desires, and Essam's distraught realization about Sayid's true motives was a heartbreaking moment (see: Best Moment). These moments work so well because the flashbacks gave us a chance to understand Sayid and Essam's friendship and importance to each other. By the time the two of them are together in the truck, we fully understand what is motivating them and we also understand why Essam would feel so betrayed when he learned about Sayid's secret mission. It shouldn't be understated how impressive of a feat this is. The flashback storylines typically take up only 15 minutes or less in an episode, so it's really impressive that the writers were able to tell such a compelling story in a short amount of time.
I also really liked the conclusion of the story. After being forced to go against his morals for much of the episode, Sayid is finally able to do something good by honouring Essam and giving him a proper burial. So Sayid takes the opportunity, and as a result he ends up on the flight that crashes him on the island, once again separating him from Nadia right before they were about to reunite. It's pretty tragic that Sayid sticking to his beliefs and his heart is what caused him to be on Flight 815.
The island story has some really good moments. The episode starts off on the right foot with a major conflict brewing between Locke and Jack in the wake of Boone's death. Jack is fittingly exhausted after donating blood and staying up the entire night, and Locke is fittingly shaken after Boone died because of his faith in the island. Both of these characters are wonderfully flawed in this episode. Jack is rash as he attacks Locke in front of everybody. Locke is unable to say anything to make people calm down and trust him because Boone's death has actually impacted him. Plus there was a really good scene featuring Locke and Shannon that showed us more of Locke's unease. The episode did a god job of dealing with Locke and Jack despite this being a Sayid episode.
Sayid had a good episode too. He is spotlighted in several scenes, the best of which being his interrogation of Locke. That scene was intriguing and there was drama in wondering what Sayid would learn from Locke. Plus it's always awesome to see Sayid's logical approach in contrast to Jack's highly emotional approach in the previous episode. Their dialogue was well-written, and it led to the great cliffhanger of Sayid demanding Locke take him to the hatch. Sayid was given a few other strong scenes where he speaks about Boone following his death and also saved Locke's life when Shannon tried to kill him.
The side stories are fine and there is some good comedy there. Turnip Head (yes I'm calling him that until I get a name) being soothed by Sawyer's voice is silly, but it is harmless humour. I also got a kick out of Hurley singing to Turnip Head.
The Bad: The biggest development of the episode was unfortunately really bad. And that was Shannon's decision to kill Locke. First of all, it seems completely ridiculous for her to want to murder somebody because Boone died. Even with the mystery surrounding his death, I find it hard to buy that Shannon would actually decide that Locke needed to die. Going to Sayid to get him to kill Locke did make sense, but what didn't make any sense was Shannon deciding to pull the trigger herself. This is a character who has always turned to somebody else to solve her problems, and you're telling me that the one time she chooses to do something herself is to kill somebody? That makes no sense. The writers seem to think that just because a character is grieving, that means that they are suddenly plot devices that can make a bunch of stupid decisions. Furthermore there is a serious plot hole here. Jack did reveal to everyone that he had guns, but the only person he showed the location of the guns to was Locke. So how did Shannon know where to look to find the guns? And how did she know that Jack had a key that she needed in order to open the case containing the guns? She only knows this because the plot needs her to know it in order to run this clichéd storyline of Shannon trying to kill Locke.
Locke revealing that he hit Sayid was a very awkward reveal. Locke needed Sayid to trust him, so why would he bring up the fact that he was secretly responsible for denting the survivors' chances of escaping the island. I understand that the writers were trying to go for Sayid being convinced not to kill Locke because Locke is smart and offers their best chance of survival. But the dialogue that was chosen to present this point was very strange and it certainly didn't take me to the same conclusion that Sayid ended up reaching. This was a rare moment where I thought the dialogue really let down the story.
The Unknown: I thought Sayid said that Nadia was dead back in "Solitary". Why did he say that if he knew she was alive? Or could it be that he suspects that the CIA people lied to manipulate him to do their bidding? I would put this in The Bad, but there may be something to explain this.
Will Locke actually take Sayid to the hatch now? Will Sayid tell everybody else about the hatch? How will the group respond to this?
Best Moment: Essam learning of Sayid's betrayal was a damn good scene. Essam went from shocked to angry very quickly as the feelings of betrayal swamped him. But realizing that he no longer knew what to believe and that he had nothing in the world to stay around for was too much for him to take. He heartbreakingly chose to spare Sayid and instead take his own life in what was a wonderful moment of television.
Character of the Episode: Sayid.
Conclusion: This was an episode of two halves. Off the island, we got some of the most compelling flashbacks yet. But on the island, we had a very by-the-numbers TV drama storyline filled with plot holes and surprisingly weak writing. In the end, I would still consider this a good episode, but not one of "Lost"'s best.
Summary: In flashbacks, Jack prepares to get married to Sarah, a woman who he miraculously saved in a surgery. Christian helps him subdue his doubts by telling him he will commit easily but won't be able to let go. They get married. In the present, Jack works hard to save Boone whose condition continues deteriorating. Jack prepares to amputate Boone's leg but Sun points out he is bleeding internally. Jack eventually gives up on Boone after an internal struggle and Boone dies. Meanwhile, Claire goes into labour and Kate, Jin and Charlie work together to ensure the birth is successful. Sayid and Shannon go on a date, and upon returning they learn of Boone's death. Jack angrily goes after Locke who he suspects to have killed Boone.
The Good: This is a really strong episode. Hospital drama episodes usually don't do a whole lot for me, but this one felt special. A combination of Jack's desperation, my emotional investment in the story, and the frenetic pacing made me enjoy this a whole lot, creating an extremely tense and emotional episode. I really enjoyed everything Jack did, as Matthew Fox brilliantly portrayed his emotional instability, adding another layer of tension to an already tense plot. The episode consistently gives us scenes with high drama. So many moments stood out, like Jack putting Boone's leg back in place, and the dramatic ending as Jack goes after Locke. I was also surprised by the ending where Boone actually dies. Most shows would only dedicate an entire episode to this if the victim survives, so it is quite a surprise when it sinks in that Boone is going to die. The episode does a terrific job of making this death mean something and feel like a massive moment in the story.
Despite Boone's death being such a pivotal moment of the show, the episode is all about Jack. Though it may seem awkward to put the focus away from Boone in his final episode, this actually works stunningly well. This is actually the first time that we have seen Jack in a high-stress position where he is attempting to save a life. Just like in "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", this episode does a fantastic job of showing the rougher parts of Jack's character, putting the spotlight on the flaws in Jack's character. We get to see first-hand that Jack has huge issues with letting go, as he tries to save Boone's life far past the point where he should have decided that Boone was too far gone. Without Sun there to keep Jack in line, who knows how much damage Jack could have done trying to save Boone's life? In particular, Jack's attempt to amputate Boone's leg was particularly horrific, especially after there was sufficient proof that Boone would die anyways.
This story rhymes with the flashback story too. We see a pattern of Jack refusing to give up on things that have already gone past the point of no return. On the island it's Boone, and in the flashbacks it's his relationship with Sarah, which we know is doomed due to the fact that Jack isn't married anymore in the present. The flashbacks have some great scenes to highlight this. The best example is Jack's conversation with Christian, who accurately pinpoints the big flaw in Jack's character: he can easily commit to things, but when it comes to letting go of things, he is completely hopeless. We have seen Jack's inability to let go time and time again (his desperation to catch Ethan, his decision to turn in his father, his inability to get over the fact that he left Joanna die, etc.), and this episode focuses completely on that character trait.
The other half of the episode is pretty strong too. Claire's labour is handled well, plus it gives Kate, Charlie and Jin some important things to do. I really appreciated that the episode spliced Boone's death with Claire's baby's birth, giving the episode a wonderful emotional climax that concludes both of the episode's main storylines in spectacular fashion.
Some other small things pleased me. The side characters were given a lot to do, leading to tons of great character interactions. Sun was a standout as she acts like the voice of reason to Jack who continuously gives in to his worst impulses. I also really liked the brief encounter between Sun and Jin who continued their conflict in a nice way. Sayid and Shannon had decent scenes together which culminated nicely in Shannon learning about Boone's death. Sawyer, Hurley and Michael all had small roles as well which I appreciated. Lastly, I enjoyed the cameo of Marc Silverman (from "White Rabbit") at the beginning of the episode. That scene also had a classic "Lost" twist with the surprise reveal that is was Jack getting married not Marc.
The Bad: This episode could have easily scored an 80 on paper. The episode is intense and exciting featuring some tremendous character work for Jack, as well as a major character death that has a huge impact on the show. But there is one issue that hangs over the episode that prevents it from getting an 80. The issue is that of tone. The tone on the island is scary as intense as we have Jack scrambling to save Boone's life while Claire is forced to give birth alone in the jungle. But off the island we have... Jack getting happily married? The tonal shift is extremely noticeable and it takes me out of the episode quite a bit. Had this episode been more consistent with its tone, it would have been a lot better.
The Unknown: What happened with Jack's marriage? Why is he no longer married?
I was intrigued by some recurring lines of dialogue. Jack uses Locke's signature line, while Boone lets Jack off the hook just like Rose did back in "Walkabout". I'm not sure if there is significance to this, but there does seem like there should be a reason for some lines to be noticeably reused.
What is Claire's baby going to be named? I hope he gets a name soon since calling him "Claire's baby" is going to get old quick.
What did Boone want to tell Shannon for his last words. Was there something he actually wanted to tell her, or was it just to give him a dramatic final line?
Boone mentions some vague things about the hatch to Jack. How much did Jack correctly interpret from Boone's words? What does he think Locke has been up to? Does he actually think Locke killed Boone to silence him, or is it just another case of Jack having a bad emotional reaction?
Best Moment: Boone's death mixed with Claire's baby being born is an excellent sequence that delivers on emotion.
Character of the Episode: Jack.
Conclusion: This episode does so much right, and it produces some of the best drama of the show so far. Furthermore, we get a fantastic character death to close things out, making this episode important and memorable. The only flaw is in the tone, but aside from that this is more outstanding storytelling.
Summary: Flashbacks show Locke's mother finding him at his job. After meeting her, Locke hunts down his father Anthony and they get to know each other and grow close. However, Anthony needs a kidney transplant or he will die, so Locke gives him his kidney. But it turns out that Anthony orchestrated everything to get Locke to donate his kidney and he abandons Locke immediately afterwards. On the island, Locke fails to get into the hatch and notices that he is losing feeling in his legs. Locke has a dream of a Beechcraft crashing on the island, so he takes Boone and they go looking for it. Locke continues to lose motion in his legs but they find the plane. Boone goes into it but doesn't find anything of note. The plane falls while Boone is attempting to make a transmission and he is seriously injured. Locke lugs him back to Jack before angrily banging on the hatch, betrayed. A light turns on in the hatch. Meanwhile, Sawyer deals with headaches so Jack goes to check him out. Sawyer has myopia and now needs glasses to read.
The Good: Once again, "Lost" knocks it out of the park with an amazing episode. Like "Numbers" before it, this episode increases the emphasis on the mythology of the show while simultaneously telling a meaningful story that sticks with you after watching the episode.
Throughout the episode, tension is built beautifully. The episode starts with the huge surprise of Locke losing feeling in his legs. Whatever the island did to him is going away, and that is a fascinating mystery to center the episode around. It raises so many questions and got me invested in the episode immediately. Furthermore, my interest in the mystery of this show has never been higher coming off of the outstanding "Numbers". Instead of putting in a slow transition episode, the show capitalized on its momentum and delivered another huge episode that develops its mythology in an excellent way. The show continues to explore its mystery with a spectacularly edited dream sequence as Locke has a cryptic dream that sets up the plot in an intriguing way. The scene is done superbly well and it is extremely creepy with the jarring cuts, sudden flashes of information and Boone's increasingly creepy voice. It's a damn good scene which ensures that anybody watching the episode will be unable to leave their seats.
Boone and Locke's mission is tremendously enjoyable and it gives us some very important moments. The discovery of the Beechcraft is huge as it confirms that Locke does have a legitimate connection to the island somehow, while also adding another mythological mystery to the show (who were the people on this plane). This is also a great episode for Boone who gets to experience the reality of the island's supernatural properties firsthand as Locke tells him about Theresa and also reveals that he used to be paralyzed. Boone becomes a believer and it's exciting to see him and Locke eagerly trying to discover what was hidden in the plane. Locke gets confused when he finds nothing, but Boone is proactive. He sees a chance for rescue, and true to the instinct we have seen from him in episode 1, he selflessly takes the risk of staying in the plane in hopes of rescue. And true to form with how Boone has behaved since the start of the show, his attempts go down in vain and he doesn't end up accomplishing anything, ending up in a critical condition which sets up the story for the next episode.
The flashback story is superb. It ends up being unexpectedly emotional once Anthony's con is revealed and it is impossible not to feel bad for Locke who finally got to have a father who cares for him for a short amount of time, only for it to be ripped away yet again. It's no wonder that Locke is so happy to have a meaningful connection with the island, since it seems that he has never had any kind of emotional attachment with anybody or anything before the crash. It's very sad storytelling, but it is consistent with the character of Locke. As a last note, I think the ending twist is set up really well. When rewatching the episode, it's extremely obvious that Anthony is conning Locke. It's very impressive that the writers make this seem so obvious without giving it away in the first watch of the episode.
Locke's character journey in this episode is something really special. The storytelling in this episode is incredible. Like all of the best "Lost" episodes so far, this episode had a brilliant connection between past and present. Both stories are about Locke putting his faith into a greater entity, one that he feels he can trust in more than anything else. But both times he feels betrayed. The end of the episode is so heartbreaking because it's a case of history repeating itself. Locke is utterly shattered in the flashbacks when he is conned, paralleled by Locke feeling betrayed by the island when it gave him nothing in exchange for Boone's grievous injuries. But the episode is careful not to end off on a depressing note. The final moments of the episode are beautiful as the island seemingly reaches out to Locke, giving him a sign that his faith is rightfully placed this time and that Locke was simply being tested; there is a greater purpose to what he is doing, and Locke isn't being made a chump this time.
The side story was pretty good as well. There was a nice amount of character development given for Sawyer in this episode. Nobody seemed to be particularly mad at Sawyer in this episode, and it seems that people are getting used to him. Sawyer is starting to soften up a bit and it seems like his shtick of trying to make people hate him is starting to wear off. Plus we get some really funny moments from this story like Jack questioning Sawyer on a number of embarrassing things.
As an aside, I really loved the subtle foreshadowing in the first flashback scene with the Mouse Trap game. It's clever scene editing to end off the scene with a mouse being caught in a cage directly after Locke interacts with Emily for the first time.
The Bad: Nothing I can think of.
The Unknown: Why was Locke losing feeling in his legs? Was it just a test of faith? Or could it be something else?
What was with that dream? Why did Locke get that dream? Why did the island direct him to the Beechcraft? Boone was shown to be hurt in the dream, so was Boone's fall supposed to happen? What will it lead to? Why was it necessary for the island to push Boone to getting this injury?
Why is the Beechcraft on the island? What's the story behind the Nigerian drug smugglers? Were they more than drug smugglers?
Who was that communicating with Boone? What were they saying on the broadcast? It was difficult to hear.
What is the light that turned on in the hatch? Was it a message from the island? Why did the island send a message to Locke? Can it really just turn lights on at will?
Will Boone survive his injuries?
Best Moment: The final few minutes were some of the best television you can see. The con reveal is absolutely heartbreaking and it brilliantly parallels the story on the island. The final moments of Locke banging on the hatch and screaming are very powerful, and they end off the episode on a memorable, emotional note.
Character of the Episode: Locke.
Conclusion: That's two in two for outstanding episodes. This episode had the exact same impact as "Numbers" only it managed to be even better with its emphasis on tension coupled with a much more powerful story for Locke. This is spectacular television on every level.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hurley wins the lottery of over 100 million dollars. After winning he is faced with bad luck; his grandpa dies, his mom's new house burns down, Hurley is falsely arrested and more. Hurley thinks he is cursed and realizes his winning numbers were the cause. He investigates the origin of the numbers from his friend from a mental hospital but finds no answers. On the island, Hurley notices those same numbers in Rousseau's notes. He goes to hunt her down under the guise of getting batteries for Michael so they can detect ships from the raft. Charlie, Sayid and Jack go after Hurley who pushes on. Hurley eventually meets Rousseau who reveal a transmission of those numbers are what sent her to the island. She agrees they are cursed. Hurley, satisfied, heads back with the batteries. It's revealed that the numbers are written on the side of the hatch. Meanwhile, Locke builds a crib for Claire as a birthday present.
The Good: This was a huge episode for the show. Hurley has been such an innocuous side character that I don't think anybody was particularly excited to get his backstory. But to my absolute surprise, Hurley's backstory is proven to be essential for the story, and it changes my view of the entire show as a whole. Once I realized how significant these numbers could be for the show, I was immediately engrossed by the episode. There was a sense of importance to everything that was happening once I realized how key Hurley's backstory was, and that added a lot to the suspense of the episode. I was fully immersed into everything that was going on.
And this episode rewards you for getting fully invested. For pure entertainment value, this is about as good as it gets. It's so rare to see an episode of television that balances tension and comedy so elegantly, and with such purpose. Every laugh is meticulously inserted into the episode, and somehow the many jokes in this episode don't take away at all from the tension. There are moments in this episode that switch from goofy to serious extremely quickly, but it's all done so masterfully that it only adds to the experience.
And on top of this wonderfully entertaining, game-changing plotline, we get a fantastic character journey for Hurley to give the episode an emotional core. Both on and off the island Hurley is going through the same journey: he's looking to prove that he isn't crazy and that this curse exists. But nobody ever seems to believe him, and he is left desperate for somebody - anybody - to just agree with him and not question his sanity. Furthermore, this desire to prove his sanity does stem from deep inside Hurley's character, evidenced by his apparent connection to a mental hospital (see: The Unknown), suggesting that there is still a lot more to Hurley than what we have been shown.
Anyhow, Hurley's desire to prove himself leads to a number of great conversations throughout the episode. In the flashbacks, Hurley goes hunting to find an explanation for the curse which takes him to Leonard and Martha Toomey in 2 fantastic scenes. The first scene with Leonard is awesome because of how brilliantly it reveals information. Hurley talks and slowly feeds the audience information in an organic way. But then the scene really takes off when Leonard actually starts speaking. He completely panics and throws out tons of surprising information. The moment is outstanding because it confirms to us that there is something supernatural going on, immediately getting me invested in the numbers. The ensuing scene with Martha is just as well done as the Leonard scene, only it's even better. Once again, a ton of new information is slowly revealed to us through Martha's story. It seems clear that there is a curse. But impressively, the show offers up an alternative perspective as Martha says that she doesn't believe that numbers are cursed at all. It opens up our mind to the possibility that the curse may not be real. Since we are watching a TV show, we immediately assume that there is a curse, but what if there isn't? Nothing is made explicitly clear, and that makes for some fascinating television.
On the island, Hurley's still looking for the same thing: confirmation that this curse is real. This takes him to Rousseau where he finally snaps in a terrific scene. Hurley's frustration is easy to understand, and his demand for answers is very well-acted. Rousseau agrees that there is a curse, but considering her mental state, it really shouldn't mean anything to Hurley. But Hurley has been so desperate for somebody to believe him that even the tiniest victory means the world to him. Hurley's hug to Rousseau is such an awkward moment, yet it's a powerful one; a wonderful climax for Hurley's character arc in this episode.
The Locke/Claire side story was fine television. It's nice to get some character interactions between two people who I don't think have ever actually talked. Plus we get to see Locke helping out a fellow survivor yet again, which is always fun to watch. Locke certainly comes off as the most endearing and likeable of the survivors so far.
Lastly, I'll draw some attention to the humour in this episode. "Lost" is a fairly funny show, but this episode has some of the best comedy so far. Moments like Hurley telling the man on the ladder not to put the light bulb in while he's there, and Hurley's terrible lies to Charlie were standouts.
The Bad: Charlie is a bit out of character in this episode. He's pretty mean to Hurley in a lot of scenes which doesn't seem like the Charlie we know.
I had a couple of extremely nitpicks that I might as well put in here. For one, you can't actually make glue out of animal fat, so Locke's glue doesn't make any sense. You can make glue out of animal hide though, so an easy fix could have made this make more sense. Additionally, there is an odd moment at the end of the episode where Sayid hands Michael the battery after returning from Rousseau. It's an odd moment because Michael can't do anything with the battery. Sayid is the one who needs to use the battery to create a device, so why would he give it to Michael?
The Unknown: What is the significance of the numbers? Is there actually a curse? Is there a way to break the curse? What created this curse? Why was it playing from the radio tower? Who made that transmission? Why did they make that transmission? What did Leonard mean when he said that Hurley opened the box?
Where is the radio tower? Who built a radio tower on the island? Why was it built?
Why was Hurley in a mental hospital in his past? What was wrong with him? Does he still have mental issues to some degree?
In the flashbacks, it's mentioned that Hurley has become majority shareholder for a box company in Tustin. Is that the same box company that Locke worked at?
Best Moment: The Hurley and Martha conversation was the highlight of the episode for me.
Character of the Episode: Hurley.
Conclusion: What a spectacular episode. I don't think anybody expected Hurley of all people to have such a compelling and important backstory. This episode completely changes the way that we have to watch this show and it pushes the supernatural elements of the show to the forefront. But what is most impressive is that the character-based storytelling somehow doesn't get lost in the shuffle like it did in "Raised By Another". This was a brilliantly put together episode in every way.
Summary: Flashbacks reveal that Jin's job for Mr. Paik started tame, but when he was promoted, he was forced to kill people that displeased Mr. Paik. Unable to tell Sun about her monstrous father, Jin grew distant from her. He visits his father and plans to escape to America with Sun. On the island, Michael's raft catches fire and Jin is the prime suspect. Sawyer forcefully brings Jin over and Michael beats him up until Sun intervenes by revealing she speaks English. Jin is repulsed by this and gives Sun the cold shoulder. Sun proposes that they restart but Jin says it is too late. Meanwhile, Sayid and Shannon grow closer and start a relationship. Locke confronts Walt about why he burned the raft.
The Good: Yet another character gets a spotlight episode, and as usual, "Lost" knocks it out of the park. This is a terrific episode for Jin, who prior to this episode has been portrayed as a 2-dimensional abusive husband. But this episode gives him an incredible amount of depth, giving us a brilliant story about Jin's slow descent into darkness as he works for Mr. Paik. The flashbacks in this episode show us how Jin only did terrible things at request of Mr. Paik, and he only did these things so that he could stay with Sun. But of course the irony is that the actions Jin was taking to stay with Sun ended up driving them apart, as Jin was unwilling to tell her how monstrous her father was. The story is really well done, and the wonderful bathroom scene from "House of the Rising Sun" is shown again, only this time it has a completely different meaning as it is seen from Jin's POV. It's little touches like that which allow "Lost" to tell such compelling stories.
Pleasingly, this episode didn't suffer from the main flaw of "Outlaws"; the on-island story felt really important and it built up tension in a compelling way. The burning of the raft is a surprising moment, and it makes perfect sense that the event would stir up inner conflict throughout the camp. The mystery of who burned the raft gets a lot of interest in the episode, and the drama ratchets up as the episode goes on. The climax of the episode fittingly blows off this tension as Michael and Jin get into a fight, blowing off their big issues, and then we finally get the big scene of Sun revealing that she can speak English to everyone. That reveal is terrific and everyone is fittingly shocked, particularly Jin who just looks hurt and stunned by the reveal. Lastly, we get to that awesome Locke speech as he finally gets people to open their eyes to the thought of other people being on the island, while also dispersing the inter-community conflict.
Following the climax, the story still continues in heartbreaking fashion with a brilliant Sun/Jin confrontation. While living in Korea, Sun and Jin were never given the chance to enjoy each other's company the way they had wanted to before they were wed. But now, there is nobody stopping them from repairing their relationship and moving on together. There is nothing stopping this relationship from moving forward -- except Jin and Sun themselves. Tragically, the sympathetic mistakes that both of them made in the past are still haunting each other on the island, and now they are unable to stay together on the island. Despite getting the perfect opportunity to be together, they have grown further apart, which is a very sad conclusion to a relationship that seems like it was just not meant to be.
As always, I was pleased by a few other things. The reveal that Walt burned the raft is a good one, it's both unexpected and logical. It also makes Walt feel like more of a character by giving him motivations, relevance and desires. The Sayid and Shannon subplot is fine and it has some great moments, including a nice scene between Locke and Shannon. Lastly, I enjoyed the ending montage quite a bit. After such a depressing end to the Sun/Jin story, it was definitely necessary to end things off on a more positive note. I like the idea of Jin helping Michael with the raft to mend some fences. Plus there's the brilliant moment of Hurley's batteries dying at the end.
The Bad: The show remains inconsistent with its community reactions. The raft gets burned followed up by a Jin/Michael fight, and everyone gets involved. But when Claire gets kidnapped or when Ethan starts killing people, everyone is completely nonchalant. It's very inconsistent.
I didn't like that Sayid decided not to get involved with Shannon based off of Boone's word. It seems out of character for him to actually listen to Boone, and the drama feels manufactured to give the Shannon/Sayid subplot an actual story. It's a shame that this was the story that the writers chose, since I think a story of Sayid struggling to move on from Nadia would have been much more compelling. Instead, the writers continue to conveniently ignore Nadia's existence so that this Sayid/Shannon romance can continue.
The Unknown: That was Hurley on the TV during Jin's flashback. Why was he on the news?
Was Jin planning to escape with Sun into America? Based off of his conversation with his father, I would say it's likely.
Apparently Locke's dad isn't a cool guy. Why?
Best Moment: The Sun and Jin scene at the end of the episode is really powerful. Jin silently decides to move back to the beach with Sun begging him to stop. Finally having had enough, Sun switches to English and lets out all of her frustrations. Following her outburst she practically begs Jin to start fresh like they always wanted. Sadly, Jin decides it's too late.
Character of the Episode: Jin.
Conclusion: This was another awesome episode. The flashbacks and island stories are both very compelling, and while this episode doesn't hit the highs of "Outlaws", it's more consistently entertaining. "Lost" is two for two for great episodes now and it seems like the season is picking back up again.
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: 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.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.