Summary: In flashbacks, Desmond is discharged from prison and meets with Charles Widmore who doesn't want him to talk with his daughter Penny anymore. Desmond decides to do a race around the world to win Widmore's respect to get Penny. He ends up on the island and meets Kelvin. Desmond learns from Kelvin that the button is to discharge intense electromagnetism but that there is a failsafe to blow it all up instead. After two years, Desmond discovers Kelvin was lying to him and accidentally kills him in an argument. Desmond misses the button counting down and a system failure occurs but it is aborted. This ends up causing the Flight 815 crash. On the island, Desmond is the man in the boat. Sayid comes up with a plan where he, Jin and Sun take the boat to the camp while Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley follow Michael through the jungle. After engaging in a fight with some of the others who followed them, Jack reveals to everyone that Michael is lying and they continue. However, Michael leads them into a trap. Sayid raids the camp but finds nobody there, and Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley are captured in an ambush. Michael is given a boat and leaves the island with Walt. Hurley is sent back to the camp, and the remaining 3 are taken by the others. Meanwhile, Locke tells Desmond that the button is just an experiment and they lock Eko out of the computer room with a lockdown. Desmond realizes that the button is actually real but Locke doesn't believe him and breaks the computer. The timer runs down and the hatch starts to destroy itself. Desmond desperately goes to the failsafe and turns the key. Elsewhere, two people detect an electromagnetic anomaly and inform Penny that they finally found it.
The Good: Similar to "Exodus", this was an epic finale that concludes the season's stories with a bang, completely changing the landscape of the show for the next season. There were tons of major events and reveals in this episode, and it was a blast to watch the entire time.
Though the episode was a season finale, it was still a character-centric episode. I think it actually worked quite well as Desmond was a good character to center on for such a big episode considering how we knew nothing about him and that his story ties directly into the history of the hatch. As expected with "Lost", the show gave Desmond a surprising amount of depth, and we learn a lot about him in this episode. Back in "Orientation" we saw a picture of Desmond with another girl, who we can only assume that he was in a relationship with. Now we learn a little bit about that relationship. The episode is subtle with the details of their story, and from what I can determine, Desmond left her out of fear and ended up in prison after disobeying orders in the army. He wrote to her frequently, but Penny's father Widmore hates Desmond and intercepted his letters. To prove to Widmore that he is worthy, Desmond took the race around the world but tragically ended up on the island, away from the woman he loved. It's a sad story, but also a good one that leaves room for further exploration in future episodes. I think the writing really made this story stand out. The writers used clever tricks to tell us this story, relying on character dynamics and emotions to tell us the story rather than giving us major exposition dumps. It's an expertly crafted story and it's clear that a lot of thought was put into writing this.
Once Desmond reaches the island, the story takes a big turn. We meet Kelvin, who is a surprisingly familiar face (see: The Unknown), and he provides us tons of interesting answers. We learn the history of the blast door map, the nature of the hatch, and more hints about what the sickness actually is. His scenes with Desmond are quite good, and it becomes easy to understand why Desmond is so hysterical in the present, having been trapped in this little world for so long with a man who he learned was lying mere moments before his death. Desmond's life was a misery without any purpose, filled to the brim with unanswered questions to drive him insane. That scene near the end where Desmond finally snaps after reading the letter from Penny was extremely powerful and gave the episode the emotional heart is needed (see: Best Moment).
In the present, the hatch storyline was superbly done. There was tension from the conflict between Locke and Eko. The return of the dynamite was a good way to build some unpredictability, and Charlie's involvement was also intriguing even if it didn't amount to much (see: The Bad). The closer the countdown got to zero, the more intense things seemed to get. Once Eko knocked himself out, Desmond began to get doubts and tension came from that. We get two very strong hints that The Pearl was the real psychological experiment, and that added to the sense of building dread as Locke forced Desmond to wait until zero, even going as far as to break the computer. The moment where the timer reached zero was fantastic. The direction was superb as we got to see everything falling apart while Locke reacts in a stunned panic, realizing that he was wrong. The turn of the key at the end was a dramatic moment that the show nicely transformed into an emotional moment as well, turning it from a great scene into something even better.
This was a pretty tricky story to execute. Had Locke's motives not been understandable for all of this, that would have destroyed the credibility and believability of what we were watching. But I was quite impressed with how well Locke's turn had been handled in the past few episodes. This episode gave us some surprisingly poignant moments with Locke. First we get to see him tearing up in the jungle after he gets hit and scolded by Eko which is a small but effective moment to show us Locke's headspace. Then later we get a brilliant speech from Locke as he reveals to Desmond how the island had betrayed him, reflecting on Boone's death and how much it had shaken him. The speech was wonderful, and it recapped the sadness of Locke's story effectively.
The episode gave us some big answers to long-running mysteries, and all of them were quite satisfying. We learn that the button is real and that it's used to disperse electromagnetism which charges to an extreme degree every 108 minutes. The incident was an electromagnetic leak which likely did a lot of damage. Everything isn't crystal clear, but these are effective answers that fit with everything we have learned so far. On top of that, we also get an unexpected reveal that Desmond actually crashed Flight 815 with a burst of electromagnetism from the hatch. I don't think very many people were wondering why the plane crashed, but "Lost" went the extra mile to impress us by answering a question we didn't know that we had to ask.
The other half of the episode saw a trek across the island, which is becoming a signature for "Lost". The trek was filled with drama considering that only Jack and Michael were aware that there was something deeper going on. This resulted in a large amount of tension which culminated in a brilliant scene where Jack puts Michael on the spot and gets him to confess to what he did. That scene was superb. Everybody acted tremendously, and Harold Perrineau continued to impress me as he embodies Michael's guilt in a near-perfect way. I really appreciated Hurley calling Michael out on his claims that killing Libby was an accident, and Michael's response to all of this was tremendous. All he can say is "it's my son", a feeble attempt to justify what he did as the right thing, not only to the others but to himself as well.
The Bad: I have a few griped with this. The biggest problem with this episode, and perhaps even the season itself, is Charlie. Charlie is impossible to like in this episode. He relishes in Locke pain and never seems to have anything nice to say to anybody. That may be acceptable if the writers want him to be a character we detest, but seeing that Charlie kisses Claire at the end of the episode, I don't think that's the case. The last scene with Claire was really bad. Charlie doesn't seem to care whatsoever that Eko, Desmond and Locke may be dead, and he makes no effort to help them. He doesn't even tell anybody what went down in the hatch! It's so unbelievable that he would do this, and his sarcastic replies to Claire are more frustrating than charming. The character has done nothing to deserve the kiss he gets at the end of the episode, and I can't help but feel that the writers have turned a rather simple redemption story into something nearly unwatchable because it makes little sense and completely destroys a character who I really liked in season 1.
There are some holes in Michael's plan. The others never communicated to him that he should be taking Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley to anywhere other than the camp he visited. That's a big hole, and it made the dramatic ambush mean less since the writer's fingerprints are all over the episode in order to set up that scene. I was also confused by Sayid charging into the others' camp all alone. What would he have done if people were actually there? There's no way he could fight them all by himself.
There are also some inconsistencies with the planning from the others. It looks like Henry is some kind of a leader among them. If that's the case, then why has he allowed to be captured by Rousseau? Also, a major issue for Michael was getting Hurley to join the trek, especially since he isn't a fighter. This is pretty much what allowed Sayid to determine that Michael was lying to begin with, since Sayid couldn't come along. Yet the others inexplicably let Hurley go back to the camp. SO why did Michael need to bring him specifically? Bringing Sayid could have been way easier and he would have served the same purpose!
The Unknown: Libby appears in Desmond's flashbacks. Is there still more to learn about her and her dead husband?
What's with the bird that shouted Hurley's name?
What is that four-toed statue? Who built it? What destroyed it?
Michael is apparently only able to leave the island at a specific bearing. How is this possible? Why is this the only way to leave the island? How are the others aware of this?
Was the Dharma sickness fabricated by Kelvin somehow? He seems to be completely aware that it isn't real but he still tricks Desmond into believing that it is.
Is Henry the leader of the others? He seems to be in command of everybody else. We also learn the names of "Zeke" and "Miss Klugh" as Tom and Bea respectively. Is there any significance to the others hiding their true names?
What happened when Desmond turned the failsafe key? Why did the sky turn purple? What happened to the hatch? What happened to Locke, Desmond and Eko? Are they still alive?
Very interesting ending scene. Is Penny aware of the island's existence? How? Is she looking for it because she knows Desmond is there? Will we be seeing her next season?
Best Moment: Following Kelvin's death, Desmond realizes there is no purpose in his existence and he contemplates killing himself. But at his lowest moment, he finds a letter from Penny encouraging to keep fighting so they can be together again. Now unsure of what to do, Desmond panics and has a complete breakdown. Henry Ian Cusick is brilliant in the scene and makes it remarkably easy to sympathize with Desmond. Then we get to see Locke at his lowest moment as well, and unknowingly both of them give each other the hope to keep pushing on. It's a beautiful message, and the scene ends on an optimistic note. Then we cut to the present where Desmond tells Locke this story and decides to repay Locke by saving his life. That's fantastic writing, and it makes me connect a lot more to the characters.
Character of the Episode: Desmond.
Conclusion: This was excellent stuff. A huge episode to end the season in a memorable way while also including some new mysteries and big cliffhangers to pave the foundation for season 3. This is everything I want to see in a season finale, and then some.
This season has been rough for "Lost", but at least the show found its groove eventually. The first half was very inconsistent, with plenty of disappointing episodes saved by a few outliers that included some of the best episodes of the entire series. But thankfully, the second half found some consistency, and while the writing was still a little awkward at times, I was hit by the same emotional magic that "Lost" had mastered in season 1. This season took the show in a new direction with an emphasis on plot development, but the characters still managed to shine in several episodes, including this brilliant season finale. But I still feel that this season pales in comparison to season 1, which I think is one of the greatest TV seasons of all time. This season is still very good and at times excellent, but there's no denying that it is a step down in quality. I look forward to season 3, and I hope that we get a more consistent season that can balance plot and characters in a more effective way.
Summary: Flashbacks show Michael going after the others. He is captured and taken to a small camp where he is broken by a brief meeting with Walt. The others send him back to free Henry and to bring them Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. In the present, Michael tries to get Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley to attack the others, but everyone decides to have a funeral first. Sawyer invites Sayid on the trip so Michael goes to him and tells him not to come. At the funeral, Sayid tells Jack that he suspects that Michael is lying, and suggests that they play along for now. Meanwhile, Charlie learns that Eko is no longer working on the church. He tries to work alone and accidentally stumbles upon the heroin which he throws into the ocean. At the end of the episode, a boat appears off the coast of the island.
The Good: Harold Perrineau carries this episode. His performance is incredible and he gives it his all to make Michael somewhat sympathetic, an impressive feat considering that he just murdered two people in cold blood. This episode does a great job of making us understand why Michael did what he did. We learn that he wasn't brainwashed; he did everything of his own accord, and the reason he did so is presented simply, but effectively through an outstanding scene with Walt (see: Best Moment).
Outside of Michael's story, this is good if unspectacular set-up for the season finale. The tensions in the camp develop organically to prepare for another epic trek across the island in order to get Walt back. The ending cliffhanger is very interesting, and I'm curious to see who is on the boat and what it means for the story (see: The Unknown).
The flashbacks were some of the most interesting parts of the episode. The others were portrayed just as mysteriously as ever and I was fascinated by the little tidbits that we learned about them. The others are very cunning, and the ambush to capture Michael was clever and intimidating. Their interrogation of him was very interesting. Miss Klugh's questions for Michael intrigued me and it seems like these people are much more interested in science and experimentation than any kind of physical torture, recruitment or whatever else that has been theorized.
There were a few moments that I really liked. Eko's speech about the boy and the dog was a signature Eko moment. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays the role with such charisma that every scene with him becomes must-see. I also liked that Claire was momentarily afraid of Charlie's claims that he tried the vaccines, considering his history as an addict. I was very happy with Sayid being able to see through Michael's crap and determining that something was up. Locke being able to walk again after such a short time was also quite nice.
The Bad: Some things didn't work in the episode. I was surprised that Jack agreed to let Michael decide who went on the trek. Jack has always been overly emotional and often insists on being in control of things, so I expected that he would have wanted to make some suggestions. The fact that he was alright with Hurley going with them is quite baffling. Hurley doesn't even know how to use a gun! And he's also proven to be squeamish (Tabula Rasa) and fearful of violence (Exodus). Why would anybody want to take him to go kill people?
Charlie throwing away the heroin was a wasted moment. It feels too late for him to pass up on the heroin as his character has already been sabotaged by poor writing and questionable behaviour. The moment doesn't have the weight that it would have had if Charlie had been giving a better story. This simply felt like a hollow attempt to course-correct a character who had been badly mishandled.
It's a small detail, but the location where Michael had a brief gunfight with the others doesn't match up with the location in "The Hunting Party". It's a small thing, but it did bother me.
The Unknown: Why do the others want Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley specifically? Does it have something to do with them assorting people as good or bad?
Miss Klugh mentions that Walt was apparently appearing in places he wasn't supposed to be. Does this have something to do with Shannon randomly seeing Walt earlier this season? What tests are the others doing on him? What are the others pretending to do? Does this have something to do with those fake beards that Kate found? Also what is the room that Miss Klugh threatened Walt with?
Who is on that boat? Is it the others? Could it be Desmond? Or another group of people who have discovered the island?
Best Moment: The others allow Walt to speak with Michael, albeit briefly and the relief in Michael's eyes is palpable. But then Walt has to be taken away from Michael again and we get to see the panic set in as Michael is forced to watch, helpless, as the other take his son away from him once again. And it breaks him. Michael breaks down into tears and submits to the others, willing to do whatever it takes so that he wouldn't have to look at himself as a failure of a parent anymore. It's a really sad scene that is acted brilliantly, and it allows us to sympathize with Michael.
Character of the Episode: Michael.
Conclusion: This was a solid enough set-up episode elevated by Harold Perrineau pouring his heart out to make Michael sympathetic.
Summary: In flashbacks, Eko is sent by the church to investigate a miracle he doesn't believe. A girl, Charlotte has apparently come back to life, but her father, Richard Malkin, denies that it happened. Charlotte reaches out to Eko and tells him that Yemi left a message for him and that they will see each other soon. On the island, Eko dreams of Ana Lucia who tells him to get Locke to take him to the question mark. Eko arrives at the hatch and leaves with Locke to track Henry. Michael tells a story that Henry escaped and shot them all. However, Libby is still alive and Jack tries to treat her. Hurley learns what happened to Libby and comes to the hatch. Libby eventually dies. Meanwhile, Locke has a dream showing him where to go next. He and Eko find the question mark underneath the Beechcraft. They find a hatch and discover another Dharma station, The Pearl. They watch an orientation video explaining that the button is apparently a psychological experiment. This shatters Locke's faith and he angrily lashes out, but Eko decides that he is going to start pushing the button now.
The Good: This was a true return to form for "Lost". This season has had its moments and I've been entertained during most episodes, but it never seemed to threaten the consistently jawdropping storytelling of season 1 until now. Now we've had a stretch of strong episodes which have built up to this one, which develops the mythology and advances characters in a brilliant and organic way, making me feel the same sense of wonder that I felt while watching season 1.
Dreams have been badly misused this season, becoming meaningless (like in "Everybody Hates Hugo" and "Fire + Water"). Thankfully, that changed in this episode and the mystique of dreams has returned as the island seemingly guides Eko and Locke throughout this episode by sending dreams, just like in "Deus Ex Machina", one of the best episodes of the show. This episode takes a lot of inspiration from "Deus Ex Machina" and I think that's one of the reasons that it is so fantastic. It's so refreshing to see an episode that feels so important, and the narrative is given a driving force through the use of dreams.
The character arcs of Eko and Locke become intercut in this episode, and seeing the contrast between them makes for incredible television. Eko is now in the position Locke was in back in season 1. He's the optimistic believer while Locke is the disappointed skeptic. I greatly enjoyed their interactions, and I thought that the advancement of their journey was a joy to watch. I especially liked their wildly different reactions to the orientation video, showcasing how each character is on a different journey, taking different meanings from what the island shows them.
Eko's arc is the main focus of the episode, and it's a joy to behold. In the flashbacks we learn that while Eko has taken over Yemi's line of work out of guilt, he isn't truly a believer. He doesn't have the faith nor the passion to be a priest. But Charlotte delivers him a message from Yemi which evidently sways Eko a little bit. And so when Eko lands on the island and actually finds Yemi in the plane (this plot also brilliantly explains why Eko seemed so unhinged when Claire showed him the Virgin Mary statue), he truly starts to believe. And so Eko takes instructions from the island without question, and his faith holds strong throughout the episode as he forces Locke to come with him in an attempt to get him to find his way again.
Locke on the other hand, has a completely different story. Fresh off of yet another failure which resulted in the deaths of two people, Locke is bitter, upset and completely unwilling to go anywhere with Eko. He is more shaken and lost than he has ever been. But when the possibility of his faith being rewarded presents itself, Locke begins to believe again and it's wonderful to see. From Locke standing eagerly while Eko climbed to him wanting to open the hatch himself, it's easy to see that Locke is beginning to feel that he can believe again. But that all get snuffed out when he watches that orientation video which seems to confirm that everything he had been doing so far was pointless. It's sad to see Locke slowly realize that everything was for nothing, and his disappointment and anger following that is completely understandable. I've been critical about Locke's character arc earlier in the season and my complaints still stand strong, but I have to admit that the show has recovered his story in an outstanding way. Once again, Locke has become one of the show's most compelling characters.
It was lovely to get some answers in this episode. The ? was brought up a few episodes ago, and now we get to see what it is. Like in "Maternity Leave", it was very fun to explore a brand new Dharma station just because of the possibilities of what could be found in there. The orientation video was a lovely surprise that deepened the mystery of the island. (see: The Unknown).
The story in the hatch was pretty solid as well. Libby's death was suitably sad, as was Hurley's guilt over forgetting the blankets. I was pleased with Jack finding a way to determine the location of the guns by sending Kate with Sawyer to get the heroin. Sawyer hiding the guns in his own tent was a fittingly clever move from him and I liked the reveal.
The Bad: Unfortunately, the storyline of Sawyer getting the guns led absolutely nowhere. There were a few filler B-plots showing Sawyer being an asshole, but that's all the pay-off we got from that exciting ending to "The Long Con". That's quite disappointing.
Libby waking up and having some dramatic final words felt needlessly melodramatic. Showing some restraint and having her die quietly while unconscious would have been a much more powerful moment.
It seems strange that Jack wouldn't question Eko's choice to take a man on crutches to go after Henry.
The Unknown: So Richard Malkin is apparently a fraud. Should we believe him? If the show is simply confirming that Malkin was a fake all along, that is quite a disappointing answer especially seeing how desperate he was to get Claire to raise her baby. Could it be that he was a fraud that unexpectedly had a legitimate vision which promptly scared him? I do hope that we get to see more of Malkin so we can learn more about what happened.
Where are the Dharma headquarters that the notebooks were being sent to? Is anybody still there to receive Locke's note? The Pearl is apparently a psychological station. What are all of the TVs for? Do they all show various parts of The Swan? Is the button actually real or is it all just a psychological experiment? Could it be that Dharma simply created a psychological experiment out of a job they actually needed to do? Does the button actually do anything?
Why does Marvin Candle have a different name in this orientation video?
Best Moment: Eko and Locke's differing reactions to the orientation video were amazing. Locke is angry and lets out his rage in an incredible way. Whereas Eko takes the video as reaffirmation of his faith and he tells Locke his entire story. Eko's speech is such a wonderful moment for the character, and his decision to push the button himself was great.
Character of the Episode: Eko, though Locke is a very close second.
Conclusion: What an episode. I've been very critical of this season so far despite it still offering very good television regularly because it feels like a big step down from season 1. But this episode makes it feel like going through the rough patches of the season was well worth it. There are still brilliant stories to be told, and this episode makes it clear that "Lost" hasn't forgotten what made it so good to begin with.
Summary: In flashbacks, Ana goes to Australia after her mother figures out that she murdered Jason. Ana meets Christian who is in a pathetic state. Ana initially agrees to be his bodyguard, but leaves him after realizing how toxic his behaviour is. She decides to go back home. On the island, Ana tries to get more answers from Henry who attacks her. Locke knocks him out. Ana goes to Sawyer in an attempt to get a gun. Sawyer refuses but Ana has sex with him and steals his gun. Jack and Kate bring Michael back to the hatch. He wakes up and tells them that the others are extremely unprepared and that they need to fight. Jack, Locke and Kate go to Sawyer to get back the guns, leaving Ana and Michael in the hatch alone with Henry. Ana tries to kill Henry but realizes that she's unable to do it. She gives the gun to Michael who kills her and Libby before freeing Henry and shooting himself in the shoulder. Hurley had set up a picnic with Libby who had gone to the hatch to get blankets.
The Good: What a fantastic ending. The show just delivered an incredible cliffhanger that left me speechless. I was legitimately stunned when Michael shot Ana Lucia, and then Libby's death immediately afterwards was even more shocking. I think that this was the biggest scene of the show so far that completely changed the direction that the show was heading in. A sense of grandeur doesn't necessarily guarantee an awesome scene however. The execution of the scene is half of the battle, and I'm pleased to say that this was done perfectly. Harold Perrineau did a spectacular job of conveying Michael's emotions as he worked up the courage to kill Ana Lucia, and then afterwards when he started feeling the guilt of what he just did. The directing was also top-notch. The shots and camera angles were done perfectly, and the lack of music made the scene carry much more weight.
Before that ending, this episode was all about Ana Lucia, and it told two very compelling stories in the past and present that see Ana grow as a character and change her behaviour for the better. It's quite sad that she dies immediately after we see her resolve her inner conflict. On the island, her storyline mirrors the flashbacks we saw in "Collision". Courtesy of the flashbacks in this episode, we see the negative consequences that revenge murder had on Ana Lucia's life. Her murder of Jason, and also her murder of Shannon on the island, drove a wedge between her and everyone else she knew. She became distant and lost herself by denying any help. Now when she's given a chance to kill again, she doesn't make the same mistake twice and overcomes one of her biggest character flaws. It's a lovely bit of storytelling, and it's so easy to sympathize with Ana here when she realizes that she isn't the person she thought she was.
In the flashbacks we get a similarly effective story. After killing Jason, Ana runs away from her problems by going to Australia and drinking. When she's there, we get another surprise appearance as she meets Christian who gives her a reason not to stay in Australia, lest she become as miserable and pathetic as he is. Seeing his sorry state, Ana decides to go back and fix her life, calling her mother and righting the wrongs she had done. The phone call with her mother was a very powerful scene, and the fact that this scene precedes Ana's emotional speech to Michael gives the episode a perfect emotional climax.
There were some small things I liked. Hurley and Libby's relationship was suitably sweet throughout the episode, and I liked Hurley asking Sayid for the radio. Jack burning the end of Sawyer's book was pretty funny and fit with Jack's character. Ana having sex with Sawyer just to get his gun was pretty clever.
The Bad: The only thing preventing this from being top-tier television is the lack of urgency. The story is well told throughout, but there is never any drive or excitement until the final few minutes when you realize that Ana Lucia has a gun and is alone in the hatch with Henry. Had I began to grow uneasy with tension earlier in the episode, this would have been much better.
The Unknown: Henry's claim that the two dead others were good people who were leaving Ana alone is very interesting. Why would he think this? Does this imply that the others wouldn't have done anything aside from kidnapping some of the people? Does Henry think that the others are in the right with their actions? I like what that implies since the best villains are always the ones with good intentions and sympathetic motives.
Who is Christian's daughter? Does Jack know that he has a half-sister running around somewhere? How old is she? Is she going to play a role in the story, whoever she is?
Is Michael's story about the others accurate? Seeing that he just freed Henry, I have my doubts about it. Speaking of which, why did Michael agree to kill the survivors and free Henry? Was he brainwashed? Did he make some sort of deal with the others? Has he joined with the others?
Christian bumps into Sawyer on the way to the bar, adding on to the many coincidental character meetings that we have seen in the flashbacks.
Best Moment: The ending of course.
Character of the Episode: Ana Lucia.
Conclusion: This was a really strong character piece which became a fantastic episode in the final 5 minutes with an emotional conclusion for Ana Lucia's character and a stunning cliffhanger that promises an exciting final act in the season.
Summary: In flashbacks, Rose and Bernard meet and immediately take a liking to each other. Bernard proposes to Rose and they marry, but Rose reveals she is dying of cancer and only has a year left. Bernard takes Rose to see Isaac, a healer. Isaac can't heal Rose, but Rose decides to tell Bernard he healed her. On the island, Bernard tries to get the survivors to help him make an SOS sign out of rocks to get rescued. Rose is opposed to the idea and in the end, the plan falls through. Rose reveals to Bernard that Isaac didn't heal her but the island did, and the two of them decide that they are staying on the island. Meanwhile, Locke leaves the hatch in frustration but has his faith restored in a conversation with Rose. Jack takes Kate to make a trade with the others. They make it to the line and Michael suddenly appears.
The Good: Bernard and Rose's relationship is explored in a beautiful way. Their romance is sweet and they have fantastic chemistry with each other throughout the episode. I can easily buy into the fact that these two love each other. What's more impressive is that the writers manage to weave a serious conflict into this episode without ever damaging the credibility of their relationship. Both of them are understandable in how they differ. Rose is frustrated by how Bernard seems more interested in doing things instead of spending time with her. Whereas Bernard is earnest and noble in what he's trying to do, and you can sympathize with the motivations behind his actions. I love how their conflict ends up being the same in past and present just with a slightly different spin to it.
What made this episode work so well was how it felt like a standalone episode. The episode started with Bernard and Rose first meeting and ends with them deciding to spend the rest of their day son the island. This episode doesn't feel like part of a story because the writers told a complete character story with an emotional conclusion at the end. The episode is not quite a formula break like "The Other 48 Days" was, but it's similar in the reasons that it was successful.
The themes of this episode are another highlight. The way this show explored its characters suggested that everyone was ultimately meant to find fulfillment on the island. This is the first time that we have seen some characters address that the island is where they are meant to be. This is a very important moment for the show, and it is nice to get confirmation that most, if not all, characters are likely to find closure on the island. Furthermore, we also get to see the island's magical properties in action for the first time since "Walkabout". Now we learn that the island has also cured Rose's cancer, which is a surprising reveal that makes perfect sense. I love seeing the mythology of the island developed more, and that makes this episode much more significant than a small scale love story for minor side characters.
Everything else in the episode was very good. I really enjoyed the inclusion of Isaac, a healer who uses some kind of energy to cure people. This is such a fascinating inclusion that raises important questions about the island (see: The Unknown). Isaac's mysterious nature reminds me of Richard Malkin, and I'm always pleased to learn more lore.
Locke's character arc continues in wonderful fashion. We get to see Locke's frustrations early in the episode, and for the first time in a long while, we see Locke completely lose faith. He leaves the hatch and sits on the beach, looking aimless and confused. But then a stellar conversation with Rose (see: Best Moment) restores his faith, and by the end of the episode he is back to working on solving the blast door map.
Kate and Jack's story was also very good. The scene of them getting caught in Rousseau's trap was surprisingly fun. Kate and Jack have always had pretty unspectacular chemistry, so I didn't expect much from the scene. But this time something clicked, and the scene held the same kind of flirtatious fun that we typically only get from Kate and Sawyer's scenes. Then of course there's that great cliffhanger as Michael suddenly returns (see: The Unknown). I'm hoping that this is the catalyst that can kick the story into motion for the final few episodes of the season.
The Bad: Unfortunately, this episode feels out of place. I didn't get to say it in my last review, but I feel similarly about "Dave" as I do with this episode. With about 5 episodes left in the season, it feels like we should be kicking the plot into action for an exciting conclusion. Instead, we have gotten two slow-paced character-driven episodes that haven't advanced the plot at all. Now I'm all for character episodes, but it certainly feels like these episodes should have happened earlier in the season, not right at the end. In season 1, we had two outstanding episodes in "Numbers" and "Deus Ex Machina" as episodes 18 and 19, and it should be pretty easy to see why the latest two episodes aren't as satisfying for me near the end of the season.
I could see other people being very unsatisfied with this episode. Focusing on two very minor characters makes this episode feel unimportant, and I wouldn't blame anybody who was unsatisfied with this episode because they just didn't get invested in the story being told.
It was odd that nobody seemed willing to help Bernard. Surely most people still want to get off this island! I understand that the writers want us to believe that Bernard's "management problems" forced everyone away, but instead everyone comes off as selfish and stupid for not wanting to bring rocks to the beach to help get off of the island.
Of course Kate wouldn't have told anybody about the medical facility she found back in "Maternity Leave". It isn't "Lost" if characters don't frustratingly keep secrets all the time.
The Unknown: What is the energy that Isaac was talking about? Does this energy fuel the island's powers? How does it work? Does this energy have something to do with why the Dharma Initiative went to the island? Could it have something to do with the hatch?
Where has Michael been this entire time? Did the others get him? Did he escape from them? Or was he sent to Jack and Kate as a response to the trade?
Why is Eko building a church?
Why is Henry trying to manipulate Locke? Does he have a goal in mind?
Best Moment: I really loved Locke and Rose's conversation. Their light-hearted banter was a lot of fun, and I appreciate that Rose did to Locke what he has tried to do for so many of the other survivors: help him resolve his inner conflict. Locke was broken as he sat on the beach, and Rose gave him the clarity he needed to get back to his feet and return to the hatch. Plus, there was also that fantastic line from Rose where she said that they both know that things heal faster on the island. It was a fascinating moment, and I loved seeing the two people with the most faith having a brief talk about the powers of the island.
Character of the Episode: Rose.
Conclusion: This was terrific stuff. The character work was great, and the exploration into the nature of the island's powers was fascinating. The only issues come from the episode's placement in the season, and that prevents the episode from scoring higher than it otherwise would have.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hurley is at a mental hospital with a friend Dave. It's revealed that Hurley has been obsessively eating to cope with how he indirectly killed two people when he caused a deck to collapse. Hurley's doctor lets him know that Dave is imaginary and personifies Hurley's negative behaviour. Hurley is able to rid himself of Dave. Libby is revealed to be in the mental hospital with Hurley. In the present, Hurley destroys his secret stash with Libby's help but immediately stumbles upon more food. He encounters Dave again, who tells him that everything isn't real and that he has been asleep this entire time. Dave tries to get Hurley to jump off a cliff but Libby stops him and they kiss. Meanwhile, Sayid continues interrogating Henry but Henry doesn't reveal anything. Locke speaks with Henry who tells him that the button doesn't do anything.
The Good: Hurley gets some of the best character work of the season in this episode. We learn a truckload of things about him in this episode, and for once it feels like an episode this season is completely dedicated towards telling a singular, focused story about the struggles of a character. It works very well and leads to one of the more emotionally powerful episodes of the season. This episode surprisingly focuses on why Hurley is so fat. Hurley's size is something that needs to be acknowledged, and I'm very happy that that writers had the courage to tackle this subject. The background we get on Hurley is very sad and it brings his story full circle in a brilliant way. We finally learn that Hurley's past in a mental hospital was due to a traumatic experience he had when he accidentally killed two people. As a result, he picked up the habit of eating as a way to both cope with guilt and punish himself for what he did. This story is really easy to relate to, and it humanizes Hurley even more, revealing a surprisingly tragic past that Hurley carries around with him.
The Dave aspect of the episode is also very well done. Dave is cast very well and he plays Hurley's subconscious very well. Dave clearly represents that part of Hurley that hates himself for what he did, and across both the island and the flashbacks plots, the story is that Hurley needs to free himself of his self-hating qualities (Dave) and move on with his life in a positive way. It's a very satisfying story to tell, and both of the cathartic moments in the episode work well. Hurley letting Dave leave in the past is a good moment, but even better is Hurley choosing not to jump and going back with Libby to move past his baggage and get on with his life. It's surprisingly heartwarming stuff that is very well executed.
I really love that the show acknowledges the "dream theory" that everything is taking place in somebody's head, a joke theory that always seems to be suggested as an answer to complicated plots. Furthermore, the writers fully went through with the idea of dream theory, basing an entire episode around it rather than just poking fun of the idea. It made for a surprisingly effective story, and Hurley seemed suitably crazy for suggesting that nothing is real. The story is also helped by Dave giving surprisingly good reasons for everything being in Hurley's head.
Sayid's interrogation of Henry was stellar stuff for the most part. I liked the way that he caught Henry in yet another lie, and Sayid's growing frustrations were very understandable. The Locke/Henry scene was also terrific, and one of the episode's best scenes. It's so unclear if Henry is lying or not, and that makes it fascinating for us to be given this "reveal" that the button does nothing. It's also a great move for the show because it forces Locke to face the idea that all of his faith may have been for nothing, which is the next step towards advancing Locke's character arc this season.
There were a lot of little things I appreciated. Locke refusing to be put back in a wheelchair was a nice tough. Hurley beating up Sawyer is probably one of the best scenes of the entire show from a comedy/entertainment point of view. I'll always enjoy that scene. Lastly, Hurley eating peanut butter off of a leaf was suitably disgusting, and it demonstrated how horrible Hurley's eating habits are in an unexpectedly effective way.
The Bad: The Dave twist is unfortunately quite easy to predict. Being predictable doesn't necessarily hurt the story too much, but it does diminish the emotional impact of Hurley realizing that Dave doesn't exist because we already know that fact and aren't experiencing the same emotions as him.
Sayid attempting to murder Henry was completely idiotic. How do you plan to get information out of him if he's dead?
The Unknown: Was the island testing Hurley by giving him more food immediately after he destroyed his stash? It doesn't seem like a coincidence that Hurley was given more food immediately. Could Dave have been sent by the island somehow as another test?
Who is this leader that Henry mentions? How does the others' hierarchy work?
What is Eko building?
Was Henry telling the truth about the clock resetting on his own? We really can't trust anything he says now that he's been exposed as a liar.
Why was Libby in the mental hospital? Does this have something to do with why she is getting closer to Hurley?
Best Moment: Hurley revealing what happened in the accident to Dr. Brooks was fantastic stuff. It's really powerful, and all of Hurley's self-destructive behaviour is explained wonderfully in this scene, from his eating habits to the existence of Dave.
Character of the Episode: Hurley.
Conclusion: This was a fantastic character episode for Hurley. Sure, it was predictable and there wasn't much plot advancement, but the character work here was some of the season's absolute best.
Summary: In flashbacks, Locke learns that his father has died. He goes with Helen to the funeral and ends up running into Anthony alive and well. He has faked his death and asks Locke to bring him money. Locke does it but lies to Helen and says he hasn't seen him. When Locke brings Anthony the money, Helen follows him and leaves him for lying. On the island, Locke is trapped with Henry inside the hatch when a lockdown occurs and the blast doors suddenly come down. Locke tries to lift the doors and squeeze under but the door crushes his legs, trapping him. Henry goes through the vents and presses the button. The doors come up and Henry helps nurse Locke back to health. Meanwhile, Jack and Kate find a supply drop in the jungle. There they meet with the returning Sayid, Charlie and Ana Lucia. The group goes to the hatch and apprehends Henry. They found the balloon and the grave, but the man buried in the grave was the real Henry Gale.
The Good: The plot here was refreshingly strong. The lockdown was a big surprise since I had completely forgotten about the blast doors. Having Locke and Henry trapped together allowed for some solid character development while providing some tension with the timer counting down on the other side of the blast doors. The plot was engrossing and it built up organically to a wonderful climax where a mysterious map was revealed (see: Best Moment). The episode didn't stop there though. Sayid, Charlie and Ana Lucia's returns allowed for a wonderful twist at the end: Henry Gale is an other. Had this happened in any previous episode, it wouldn't have been a surprise. But this episode did an astonishing job of making Henry seem innocent through his growing bond with Locke. The shift in tone in this episode made the ending reveal a genuine surprise, proving once more that "Lost" is still capable of producing compelling twists.
Locke's story is also quite good. His island and flashback stories don't correlate very much but they are both excellent stories in their own right. On the island, Locke has been succumbing to his frustrations more and more often this season. So naturally, the island tests his faith once again by taking out his legs. Locke's frustrations are prevalent once again, but then things turn around with the reveal of a surprise blast door map and Henry's decision to stand by Locke and help him. Locke's faith may have been building up once again, but now it seems that Henry was manipulating him all along. I can't imagine that Locke will have a particularly positive response to this reveal, and I'm excited to see where the character goes after this.
In the flashbacks, Locke once again finds himself dragged down by his relationship with his father. In "Orientation" we see Locke leave his father behind and make his choice to stay with Helen. But when Anthony seeks him out, Locke finds it too difficult to simply leave behind an opportunity to get that fatherly love he so badly desires. Locke's response to Anthony is so understandable, and that makes it much more painful when this one unfortunate decision costs Locke everything as Helen leaves him for lying. Once again, Locke's desire for a father in his life has led to him making a very bad decision that ruined his life.
I was pretty happy with Hurley commenting on how he's not in the loop and isn't allowed to know all of the secret information. At least the show is self-aware with how unrealistic it is to have all of these absurd secrets.
The Bad: The poker story is a boring B-story that feels like filler. It only serves as an explanation for why Jack doesn't come back to the hatch during the lockdown. Furthermore, we get to see Jack completely own Sawyer in poker which feels like needless fanservice to show that Jack is still higher up on the island hierarchy than Sawyer is.
The gangsters that showed up in Locke's flashback could not have been more generic. The leather jackets, the voice, the name "Jimmy Bane"? Come on now.
The Unknown: Why was the lockdown triggered? Does it have anything to do with the supply drop that Jack and Kate found? Who dropped the supply drop anyways? Is the Dharma Initiative still operational?
Who is Henry actually? It seems that he is an other. What is his position in the others' society?
What was that blast door map? What is the "?" in the middle? Why did black lights come on anyways?
Best Moment: The appearance of the blast door map was perfect. The episode built and built to the moment that the timer reached zero, and the tension had never been higher. And right at the moment of peak tension, the blast door map appeared and offered us a tantalizing glimpse at what this island has to offer us. And just like that, it was gone.
Character of the Episode: Locke.
Conclusion: This was an excellent episode. We had an engaging plot filled with mystery, and two fantastic stories for Locke. This is everything that I want from a "Lost" episode.
Summary: In flashbacks, Jin and Sun try to have a baby but a fertility doctor says that Sun is infertile. Sun visits Jae Lee regularly to learn English and reveals that she is planning to leave Jin. The fertility doctor hunts down Sun and reveals that Jin is sterile and she is fine. On the island, Sun and Jin have an argument. Sun gets a pregnancy test and learns she is pregnant. She is afraid to tell the truth to Jin, but after talking with Jack she tells him she is pregnant and they reconcile. Meanwhile, Locke invites Ana Lucia to interrogate Henry. Ana Lucia gets him to draw a map to his balloon and she goes to find it with Sayid and Charlie.
The Good: The Ana Lucia storyline was the best part of this episode. Her interrogation of Henry was terrific and she asked some pleasingly logical questions that I'm surprised Sayid didn't ask. She gets Henry to draw a map to the balloon which is a really significant development. Her mission with Charlie and Sayid is pretty entertaining and it leads to a fantastic character moment as Ana Lucia accepts that she isn't well liked and finally apologizes to Sayid for what she did. That scene felt very real, and Sayid's reaction where he redirects his anger onto the others was tremendous.
Sun and Jin's story was fairly enjoyable as well. The writers have done a spectacular job of hinting at Sun and Jin's history of being unable to have a child by showing us their gentler behaviour around babies. This has happened countless times in previous episodes, as recent as "Maternity Leave" which sees Sun telling Claire that a mother shouldn't leave her child. As for character development, Sun gets a decent look here as she makes the decision to tell Jin the truth instead of keeping more secrets, proving that she is unwilling to make the same mistakes that ruined their relationship in the past. Jin on the other hand, goes through a similar arc as he forces himself to give Sun the freedom she craves so that she can be happy, unlike before when Jin was cruel and condescending.
There were some little things I really liked. The Jin POV sequence where we get to see how confusing it is for him when he can't understand anyone was very good. I really liked Sun refusing to get in the car with the doctor in the flashbacks. It was a small moment of humanity that added to the realism of the show. Lastly, I love that the show went the extra mile to provide multiple reasons that Sun didn't tell Jin she was learning English. Not only was it because she planned to leave, but also because she was secretly meeting with Jae Lee which Jin certainly wouldn't have approved of.
The final scene of Henry goading Jack and Locke was a bit generic, but it was still a very fun way to end the episode. Michael Emerson did a great job, and the cliffhanger builds up a lot of excitement for the next episode.
The Bad: The many secrets that characters hold are getting more frustrating by the episode. Ana Lucia not telling Jack and Locke about the map is simply absurd. Why wouldn't she let them know so they can plan their next move accordingly? The writers don't even provide a reason for her to not tell them, instead we just get yet another one-liner about how Locke and Jack are fighting. Add this secret on top of Locke not telling Jack he invited Ana Lucia in, Jack wanting nobody to know about Henry, Hurley hiding his food stash and Sun trying to hide her pregnancy. And that's only from this episode. Plus Eko and Charlie still haven't told anyone about the monster so there's that too! With all of these secrets floating around, this episode feels like it came straight out of season 2 of "The Walking Dead".
This season doesn't seem to be capable of hitting the highs of season 1 with any kind of consistency. The character work isn't what it used to be. This episode tells a passable story for Sun and Jin but it is nothing special. The island story is also quite bland. Even with a plot focus this season, the island storylines aren't as consistently entertaining as they were in season 1. This episode has practically no stakes and even in the most interesting story (Ana, Sayid and Charlie's trek), literally nothing exciting happens outside of Ana's apology.
Some small things bugged me too. Sayid's confusion at how Ana Lucia got Henry to cooperate was baffling to me. Surely the torturer would know the most efficient methods to get somebody to give information. Charlie is still a complete asshole and it feels so out of character. His constant smirk and rude behaviour to Ana Lucia just felt awkward.
The Unknown: Did Sun have an affair with Jae Lee? If she did, then the baby would likely be his. But I won't disregard the possibility of the island curing Jin's sterility like it did Locke's legs.
Is there actually a balloon or has Henry set up an ambush somehow?
Best Moment: Ana Lucia apologizing for killing Shannon was a lovely moment.
Character of the Episode: Ana Lucia.
Conclusion: This was a decent episode with some good moments. Unfortunately there is nothing special about this and the many secrets are becoming frustrating.
Summary: Aaron gets sick and Claire is concerned. Rousseau shows up and warns Claire that Aaron may be infected. Claire talks to Libby about her amnesia and she starts to slowly remember what happened when she was taken by Ethan. Claire remembers being in a medical facility which has vaccines for the sickness. She goes with Kate to where this facility was with Rousseau's help. Claire doesn't find any vaccines but remembers that she was helped by a teenage girl, likely Rousseau's daughter. Claire returns to camp and Aaron is fine. Meanwhile, Eko finds out that Jack and Locke are hiding somebody in the hatch. He gets Jack to take him to Henry where Eko apologizes for killing two others.
The Good: I was surprised by the slight change in the flashback formula. Instead of getting flashes to a time before the plane crash, this episode flashes back to Claire's memories when she was taken by Ethan. This slight change makes the episode a lot more interesting as the flashbacks give us some vital information about the others while also letting us explore another Dharma station, which is engrossing and entertaining. And as a bonus, we even get the return of Ethan. The story was entertaining, and it was a good plot to have Claire attempting to find the medical facility again. We're never quite sure of what she's going to find there and that adds a degree of tension to the episode.
There's also some good stuff here for Rousseau. We get to see her at her lonely best here as she seems so detached from Claire and Kate emotionally. It's evident that Rousseau is only there in the hopes that she may find Alex, so it's pretty heartbreaking when she realizes that Alex isn't there and that she must keep on living alone.
Everything happening at the hatch was pretty interesting. The introduction of Henry has focused the plot on the hatch for the moment, and I really like that. This season was in dire need of a focused plot because it was extremely messy during the first 13 episodes. Everything surrounding Henry made for some compelling television. Locke has been going through a lot of frustration off-screen this season and I've mentioned before how unsatisfying that felt. Now with Henry introduced, Locke's frustration are starting to be explored and this storyline is starting to become meaningful, especially with that ending scene. On the other hand we have Eko who steals the show. Eko quickly determines that Jack and Locke are hiding something and he acts on it to further his own interests. What's so fascinating is that we aren't entirely sure what Eko's motives are so his ensuing conversation with Henry is filled with suspense and fascination, comfortably making it the best scene of the episode (see: Best Moment).
The Bad: Unfortunately the character journey for Claire falls flat because she is thoroughly unlikable the entire time. She is pretty annoying and whiny and she is rude to literally everyone. She disturbs Jack really late at night and continues to complain to him about everything. Then she's rude and hostile to Sun who she asks to watch over Aaron. Finally, her interactions with Rousseau are downright horrible. Sure, Rousseau did try to take Aaron, but Claire still comes off as unnecessarily rude, especially since she needs Rousseau to help her get back to the facility and Rousseau seems willing to help. Then we have Kate who has apparently become Claire's mom off-screen considering how she turns Claire's business into her own. It's frustrating to watch Kate treat everybody like they are inferior, particularly Libby who she is unfairly mean to. I don't know why the writers think that making characters behave rudely for no reason will help us sympathize with them.
"Lost" has a problem of making its characters keep unnecessary secrets. I've complained a lot about this season's poor handling of the hatch, and now it's threatening to go down the same route with Henry by having Locke and Jack inexplicably keep his presence a secret. We aren't given any good reason as to why they wouldn't tell everyone that he is there.
Another issue that I'm noticing is the show's newfound desire to focus on plot instead of character. Season 1 was so good because there were outstanding character arcs in every episode that amplified an exciting island storyline. But season 2 seems to be more fixated on plot than character, especially with recent episodes like "One of Them" and "The Hunting Party" which, while great episodes, were much more interested in building up the plot instead of telling us a fresh and powerful character story. Don't get me wrong, episodes focused on plot can still be great, but they aren't as memorable as the emotions that season 1 episodes made me feel.
I'm not too please with Henry trying to sow conflict between Jack and Locke. The prisoner causing dissent between his captors is such a predictable story that I've seen several times before, so I hope that we get something else instead.
The Unknown: We learn so many interesting things about the others here. Judging by what Kate finds in the lockers, it appears that the others' ragged appearance may be a show. Kate finds ragged clothing, fake beards and theatrical glue. This discovery, furthered by the presence of a beardless Zeke in the flashbacks, suggests that there may be a lot more to the others than what we've seen so far.
Zeke mentions a possible leader among the others. Who is this leader? Is there a hierarchy among the others? How many of them are there? What positions of power exist in their community?
What is the vaccination for? Is there actually a sickness? The others seem to be concerned about it. Why hasn't it affected the survivors yet?
Best Moment: Eko and Henry's conversation is fascinating. After getting beaten up by Sayid, Henry looks suitably horrified when he sees the intimidating Eko enter the room. Eko is so fascinating to watch here and he does something surprising: he gives Henry a confession. Eko confesses his guilt for killing the two others back in "The Other 48 Days" because he needed to get it off his chest. It's a wonderful bit of character building for Eko, and the show expertly uses his mysterious and unpredictable nature to really surprise us and make us think that he's doing something much more sinister than what he actually does.
Character of the Episode: Eko
Conclusion: This episode advanced the plot nicely and had some good moments, but the poor character development for Claire and her annoying behaviour really drag this episode down.
Summary: In flashbacks, the US military attacks where Sayid is working and want him to cooperate with them so they can find a pilot who was interrogated there. Sayid is used to get the information from his commanding officer, and Sayid is convinced to torture him to get the pilot's location. The pilot is already dead and the US military end up leaving Iraq. Sayid is released. On the island, Sayid finds Rousseau in the jungle. She takes him to a place where she has caught a man in a trap. The man claims to be named Henry Gale but Rousseau thinks he is an other. Sayid takes him back to the hatch and interrogates him. Locke changes the combination in the armory so that Jack can't stop Sayid. Jack convinces Locke to open the door when he prevents Locke from pushing the button. Sayid is convinced that Henry is an other and beats him up. Jack pulls him off. Sayid goes to Charlie and explains why he believed Henry is guilty. Sawyer enlists Hurley to help him find a tree frog.
The Good: The premise of this episode is fantastic. A mysterious person has been captured and it is the job of the survivors to determine if he is innocent or if he is an other. This is a fantastic way to create drama, and it leads into a lot of fascinating inter-character conflict and internal conflict towards the end of the episode. What makes this work so well is that it is unclear if Henry Gale is innocent or not. Since I can't predict the plot, I'm hooked the entire time by a drive to get answers.
As a result of my total investment in this episode, the interrogation scenes end up being fantastic. I've always been a fan of Sayid's pragmatic approach so I loved seeing him go after Henry, trying to pry a lie out of anything he says. However, Henry seems solid and he has all the right answers. It's fascinating to follow Henry's actions as Sayid does, and it becomes clear what Sayid is looking for. Due to his experience as a torturer, Sayid knows that the way to get the truth is to search for a lack of emotion which would suggest that Henry is lying. Even though Henry has all of the right answers, the devil is in the details. It's apparent that Sayid believes that Henry's actions and emotions don't match up with what he is saying, and that is what makes Sayid believe he is guilty. But there's another angle to this: what if Sayid is wrong and is still too unstable following Shannon's death to make an unbiased decision? Sayid's questionable mental state still makes it unclear if Henry is telling the truth or not. This uncertainty keeps the drama, while Sayid's logical approach makes the interrogation satisfying. It's a brilliantly put together sequence.
While all of this is happening, Jack and Locke further their conflict in an excellent way. Jack has always been bloodthirsty and demands revenge against the others. Even though Jack is emotionally driven and is always quick to grab the guns, he still has morals. We see that here as Jack doesn't wish to torture Henry Gale for fear that he's innocent. Evidently, he's still a little shaken from when Sayid tortured Sawyer back in "Confidence Man". Locke on the other hand, continues to behave in a more extreme manner following "Fire + Water", and he is willing to do what has to be done to ensure the safety of the survivors. It's an interesting change for the two of them, and it leads to some excellent conflict, particularly when Jack threatens to let the timer run out if Locke doesn't give him the combination (see: Best Moment).
Sayid's flashbacks were very well done. The story was a joy to watch and it had a nice amount of depth to it. It's important for us to know how Sayid ended up as a torturer, and the story is quite compelling. It's sad to see the loyal soldier become a torturer due to his desire to do the right thing.
The Bad: Unfortunately, the episode hurts itself badly in its final few minutes. Sayid goes to Charlie and explains why he believes Henry to be guilty. And the explanation is completely at odds with what we had just seen. Apparently Sayid believes Henry is an other because he doesn't feel any guilt when he beats him up. That seems like such a flimsy basis to make a decision off of, and it is completely at odds with the realism that I've come to expect from Sayid. It's a shame because this scene with Charlie could have been used to clarify the story of the episode but it only serves to confuse everything. It very nearly ruins a fantastic episode.
This episode felt like it was padded with unnecessary filler outside of the scenes with Henry. The flashbacks are very good, but they are hardly essential for Sayid's character. The tree frog plotline in fine for comedy, but it is a complete waste of time.
The change in Locke's character to make him more ruthless hasn't been conveyed well at all. It effects this episode too because Locke's decision to let Sayid torture Henry doesn't feel like something he would agree to.
The Unknown: Who is Henry Gale? Is his story true? Or is he an other? It would have been nice if Sayid had been given more time to ask questions.
Henry's wife apparently got sick and died. Is this the sickness that Rousseau was talking about?
What were those hieroglyphs that appeared after the timer hit zero?
Best Moment: As Sayid started punching Henry, the tension escalated dramatically and Jack went to the extreme to get inside the armory. His threats to Locke that he would let the timer run out were fantastic, and Jack looked almost deranged as he threatened Locke and got to exhibit some dominance over him. Then the tension ratchets up as we worry about both the timer and Sayid at the same time. It's brilliant stuff, and the scene concludes in wonderful fashion as we get a tantalizing hint about what happens when the button isn't pressed.
Character of the Episode: Sayid.
Conclusion: This was pretty great stuff for a lot of the episode, but a fair amount of little issues plagued this and prevent it from being one of the show's best episodes. But still, this is an excellent episode that I enjoyed very much.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.