Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Lost Reviews: Part 9 - Season 2, Episodes 13-20

Welcome to the Lost rewatch project. I am currently rewatching all 121 episodes of the TV series which aired for six seasons from 2004 to 2010. This is very much a rewatch thread, with the show watched with knowledge of what is to come in later seasons. If you've never watched Lost before, you definitely do not want to read this blog series.

Without further ado, let us continue after the jump.

 "There's a new sherrif in town."

213: The Long Con

Written by Steven Maeda and Leonard Dick, directed by Roxann Dawson

Airdate: 8 February 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 57 (17 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Sawyer

Flashbacks: Sawyer is having an affair with a woman named Cassidy. He attempts the same con on her he did with Jessica and her husband (Confidence Man) but it backfires when Cassidy sees through him. Rather than being angry, Cassidy instead asks Sawyer how he pulls off his cons and has soon joined him as a partner in crime. After six months, Cassidy suggests they do a big job that will net them a lot of money. Sawyer says that's a "long con" and takes a lot of preparation, a lot of time...and a lot of money. When Cassidy tells him she has $600,000 Sawyer is incredulous, saying that they could just retire to a beautiful beach somewhere. But Cassidy insists that they use it to pull off a bigger job. Sawyer says he'll arrange it, but in reality the whole thing is a long con, designed by Sawyer and his sometimes-partner Gordy to rip off the money they knew Cassidy inherited. Sawyer tries to back out on the deal, realising that he's really fallen for Cassidy, but Gordy threatens to kill both of them. Sawyer confesses all to Cassidy, encouraging her to leave with the money whilst he leads Gordy on a wild goose chase. But it turns out that Sawyer swapped their bags at the last minute. Whilst Cassidy flees, Sawyer leaves with the $600,000.

On the Island: Locke and Jack are concerned that Sawyer has returned to his hoarding ways and decide to consolidate their resources in the locked armoury in the Swan Station. They add the Marshal's gun case to the weapons already there and Charlie's heroin statues (the nature of which Locke discloses to Jack). They decide they should get the camp's remaining medicine which is in Sawyer's hands. Locke - clearly reluctantly - gives the combination to the armoury to Jack but they agree that they should access the armour only if both agree to it.

Sawyer is mocking Charlie for his deteriorated relationship with Claire, but then sees Jack ransacking his tent for the camp's medicine. Jack is angry since Sawyer took it from the Swan, but Sawyer points out it was taken from his stash whilst he was on the raft. He was merely retaking what was "his". He squares up for a fight but Jack simply laughs and walks off, leaving Sawyer fuming. Claire tries to cheer him up with a magazine she found, but Sawyer lost his glasses on the raft and can't read any more. Locke shows up and discusses the changing situation in the camp. When he mentions Jack and Ana Lucia forming an army, Kate is startled and Sawyer realises that Jack didn't tell her about it.

Hurley retrieves the radio that Bernard was using at the Arrow and gives it to Sayid, asking if he could use it to send or receive a distress call. Sayid is initially annoyed, still mourning Shannon's death, but then takes the radio to see if he can do something with it.

Ana Lucia and Jack haven't had much luck with recruiting for the army. Ana Lucia thinks that people on the beach feel too safe and complacent, despite Claire's kidnapping, and don't feel that the Others are an imminent danger, especially since the "truce" was established. Jack thinks the group has other, more deep-seated trust issues.

Sun is working in her garden when she is attacked by an unknown assailant. They put a hood over her head and drag her through the jungle. Kate and Sawyer hear her screams from the beach and race after her. They find her lying unconscious in the jungle and bring her back to camp. Jack helps her recover. Ana Lucia immediately says it was the Others and suggest they arm up and comb the jungle. Locke says it's too dangerous to give untrained people guns. Sawyer and Kate investigate the scene of the crime and Sawyer points out that the details are all wrong: the Others don't leave tracks and the hood they used on Kate had a different design. Sawyer suggests that Ana Lucia was responsible, trying to scare people into joining the army. Kate broaches the possibility with Jack, who thinks the idea is ludicrous. However, when Ana Lucia tells him that several more people want to join the army, he asks her straight-up. Her response is interrupted by Sun waking up. She didn't see her attacker but a furious Jin demands a gun from the hatch, as do others.

Watching on, Kate and Sawyer realise that Ana Lucia has set the whole thing up to get her hands on the guns. Sawyer races ahead to the Swan and warns Locke what's happening. He suggests that Locke move the guns whilst Sawyer pushes the button. Jack and Jin arrive at the hatch to find that Locke has already left with the weapons, to their fury. 

At the beach Jack accuses Locke of breaking their agreement to open the armoury only if both agree to it, but Locke points out that Jack was going to break it anyway. Locke reiterates that it is a mistake to train an army or try to give guns to people who aren't trained to use them and send them haring through the jungle. He trained Michael to shoot and it backfired badly. As they argue, three shots ring out and Sawyer walks out onto the beach. He tells everyone that he has the guns - the entire thing was a long con set up by him. He tells them that there's a new sheriff in town and anyone who wants a gun had better come and see him. He tells a furious Sayid that he can try torturing him if he wants but this is one secret he's not giving up.

Kate tries to work out how Sawyer got the guns whilst he was pushing the button, but is more insistent on figuring out why Sawyer did all this. She says it's got nothing to do with power or control, and is more about the fact that Sawyer was becoming more liked and respected in the camp. He freaked out about that and did something to make everyone hate him again. Sawyer says it's not even that: he cons people, just as Kate always runs. It's who they are. Later, Sawyer talks to Charlie and it is revealed that it was Charlie who staged the attack on Sun and followed Locke to locate the hiding place of the guns. Sawyer offers him one of the Virgin Mary statues filled with heroin but Charlie declines, saying that his motivation was humiliating Locke and that is reward enough. He does make Locke promise never to tell Sun about his role in attacking her.

Sayid finds Hurley reading a manuscript for a novel called Bad Twin, written by one Gary Troup. Hurley found it amongst the salvaged luggage from the crash. Sayid has rigged up a radio receiver and they go through the frequencies. They eventually locate a signal from a classic jazz station and for a few minutes are able to enjoy some music - "Moonlight Serenade" by Glen Miller - before they lose it again. Sayid tells him that the signal was bouncing around the ionosphere and could come from almost anywhere in the world. "Or any time..." as Hurley says, before laughing and saying he was just kidding.
Major WTFery: Not a huge amount, apart from Sayid suddenly being able to pick up the music at the end of the episode. Eagle-eared listeners will note that the song is "Moonlight Serenade" by Glen Miller, who recorded the song in 1939. Miller famously vanished without a trace in 1944 while flying over the English Channel.

At one point it is said there are 46 people in the camp. The total number of confirmed, known and extant survivors from Flight 815 is currently 50 (it's actually more, including the ~12 tailies taken by the Others, but that number is never confirmed and it's highly suggested that they are all dead by the end of the series anyway). However, five of those people (Cindy, Zach, Emma, Walt and Michael) are not present, being with the Others or looking for them. So the total number of people in the camp should be 45. It's possible that the survivors haven't gotten used to adjusting the count following Shannon's death yet.

Hindsight: Whilst not a momentous episode in terms of forward-moving plot material, the episode does set up the Jin/Sun storyline of The Whole Truth. It also foreshadows the time travel storyline of Season 5. In fact, show co-runner Carlton Cuse would later confirm that the music Sayid and Hurley pick up is from the 1940s.

Originally Adrift was supposed to be a Sawyer flashback and featured some scenes filmed with Kevin Dunn playing Gordy and Star Trek: Enterprise actress Jolene Blalock playing an undisclosed role. That plan was abandoned in favour of a Michael flashback. Based on Dunn's presence, some fans have speculated that this was the same flashback story as in The Long Con, with Blalock playing Cassidy and being replaced by Kim Dickens due to availability issues. This has never been formally confirmed.

Sawyer and Gordy meet in the cafe where Kate's mother works; she serves them their food.

In Outlaws Sawyer confirmed that he once wore pink but defended it because "it was the Eighties". However, he unironically wears pink in the flashback, which was set considerably more recently.

This episode establishes the size of the beach camp, stating that it is half a kilometre (1,640 feet or a third of a mile) from Sawyer's tent at one end of the beach to Sun's vegetable patch, which is just behind and at the other end of the beach.

This episode confirms that previous suggestion that Sawyer is actually an excellent and superior judge of character: the long con would not be possible unless he had a very good idea of how Jack, Locke, Kate and Charlie would respond at every step of the process, having watched and analysed them over the past two months.

Hurley is reading the manuscript for Bad Twin, a novel by Gary Troup. The producers would establish the Gary Troup was on the plane and in fact was the guy sucked into the fanjet and killed in the opening minutes of the pilot episode. Bad Twin was actually published as a stand-alone mystery novel credited to Troup (but actually written by mystery author Laurence Shames). The novel features minor references to the Hanso Foundation, Widmore Corpoation, Paik Industries, Oceanic Airlines and Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, as well as Alvar Hanso, Thomas Mittelwerk and Cindy. Originally the plan was that Cindy and Troup would have been romantically involved, but this idea was later abandoned as it was felt to be a bit too random. Cindy certainly never mentions him on the show. Bad Twin's publication was part of The Lost Experience metagame/alternate reality game.

Review: This is a surprisingly good episode. It's a Sawyer flashback which does not advance the overall plot very much, but it's packed with both character and scene-setting stuff for later on. It also develops Sawyer's character and makes him more of an antagonistic figure without destroying the character or being nonsensical (the mistake made with Charlie in Fire + Water). The "new sheriff in town" ending is memorable as well and it's the first episode to bring Ana Lucia back to the fore after quite a few weeks on the backburner. (****)

The arrival of "Henry Gale" is a gamechanging moment in the show's mythology.

214: One of Them

Written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, directed by Stephen Williams

Airdate: 15 February 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 58 (18 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Sayid

Flashbacks: February 1991, during the Gulf War. Bombs are falling and Iraqi soldiers are destroying documents in a bunker. A young Sayid is among them. American troops burst into the bunker and threaten to kill everyone. Sayid, who is the only person present who can speak English, encourages everyone to surrender. The senior American soldier present, Sergeant Austen, is impressed and asks for Sayid's help in trying to track down an American helicopter pilot who has been captured by the Iraqis. Sayid, reluctantly, helps question his former commanding officer Tariq but doesn't get very far due to Tariq's defiance and intransigence. An American government agent (possibly CIA) named "Joe" shows Sayid videos depicting Tariq's unit using nerve gas on a village where some of Sayid's family used to live. Angered, Sayid tortures Tariq to get the information: the helicopter pilot died and was buried in an unmarked grave. Joe lets Sayid go, telling him that they've just received orders to halt their advance on Baghdad. They're going home and Sayid has a new skill set. Sayid angrily says he'll never torture anyone ever again, but Joe doesn't believe him.

On the Island: Ana Lucia finds Sayid on the beach and tells him that she spotted someone in the jungle, someone she thinks is an Other. Sayid investigates, but realises the woman is Danielle Rousseau. He tells Ana Lucia to go back to the camp. Danielle asks Sayid to go with him, but he points out that the last time Danielle showed up she tried to kidnap Aaron and set in motion the departure of the raft and everything that followed on from that. Danielle admits that she made a grave error of trust and judgement. She gives Sayid her weapons and guides him to one of her traps in the jungle. A man is caught up in the trap. He claims his name is Henry Gale and that he is from Minnesota. He was flying across the Pacific in a hot air balloon when it came down on the Island four months ago. His wife died of an infection and he has been scrabbling to survive every since.

Danielle doesn't believe his story. When Sayid lets him down, she becomes agitated. Fearing she means to attack him, Henry attempts to flee. Danielle shoots him through the shoulder with an arrow. She then departs, leaving him for Sayid to deal with. She warns him that Henry is an Other and he will lie and lie for the longest possible time.

Sawyer can't get to sleep because of a tree frog making an irritating sound near the camp. He tries to get someone to help him, but the rest of the camp distrust him because of the gun incidence. Sawyer finally gets Hurley to help him after spotting him binging on food he held back from the Swan Station and blackmailing him into helping. They locate the frog and Hurley offers to take it across the Island so it won't both Sawyer again. Sawyer simply kills it, to Hurley's disgust.

Sayid takes Henry back to the Swan Station. Jack tends to his wound. Sayid and Locke are reasonably certain that the man is an Other, but Jack seems more sceptical. Sayid asks Locke to change the combination on the armoury door. They then convince Jack to move him into the armoury so other people won't see him. Then Sayid locks himself inside with Henry and starts interrogating him, to Jack's annoyance. Henry claims that he was rich, a millionaire after he sold his non-metallic mineral mining company. He wanted to fly across the Pacific in a balloon because it was cool, and his wife Jennifer thought it was "neat". He describes her getting sick and dying, and Henry having him to bury her three weeks earlier. Sayid asks him if Henry used a tool or bear hands and demands to know every little detail. Henry seems to panic and says he can't remember. Remembering Shannon's death and digging her grave, Sayid tells him that he would remember every single little detail. He physically attacks Henry.

Hearing Henry's screams, Jack tells Locke to open the door. Locke tells Jack that they are at war with the Others. That's why Jack wants to build an army, so anything they do to get more information is justified. Suddenly the reminder sounds for the button. Locke goes to push it but Jack physically stops him, telling him that nothing will happen. Locke starts to panic but then backs down and opens the armoury. Jack pulls Sayid off Henry whilst Locke rushes to the computer. He nearly doesn't make it: the counter hits 000 and suddenly the numbers flip over to show hieroglyphics of unknown origin. There is what sounds like some kind of energy or force building up. Locke hits the button and it seems to reverse whatever's happening, returning the count to 108 as normal.

Sayid tells Jack that Henry is an Other, but Jack is still unconvinced. On the beach Sayid tells Charlie that he knows that Henry is "one of them" because he felt no remorse or guilt whatsoever for what he did. He remembers the Others kidnapping Clarie and hanging Charlie from a tree, even if everyone else has forgotten. He asks Charlie if he has forgotten.

Major WTFery: The failure to hit the button in time results in hieroglyphics appearing on the counter instead of the numbers. Exactly why the DHARMA Initiative went to this trouble is unclear. According to the producers, the hieroglyphics are meant to mean "Underworld".

Jack and Locke spend a lot of time arguing about the combination when Jack could have simply gone up into the air vents and let himself into the armoury that way (the air vent is locked from the inside of the vent, not the inside of the armour even though that would have made more sense).

Hindsight: "Joe", the mysterious American from Sayid's flashbacks, is actually Kelvin Joe Inman. After the Gulf War he would be recruited either by the DHARMA Initiative or the Others and end up on the Island, helping Stuart Radzinsky man the Swan Station and push the button. After Radzinsky's suicide he would keep pushing the button until Desmond's arrival in 2001. More of Inman's story is revealed in the Season 2 finale.

Sergeant Austen is, of course, Kate's stepfather.

This episode is one of the few where the flashbacks can be dated with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Ground combat operations in the Gulf War began on 24 February 1991 and concluded 100 hours later on 28 February. The final scene of the episode presumably took place on 28 February.

Henry Gale is, of course, Benjamin Linus, the leader of the Others. We don't learn his true name or identity until Season 3, when Michael Emerson is promoted to a regular castmember.
Review: Sayid episodes are always good value and this one is better than most, thanks to a barnstorming guest appearance by Clancy Brown as "Joe" and of course the introduction of the mighty Michael Emerson as A.N. Other. We also have Jack and Locke flipping out (along with the arguable first appearance of Matthew Fox's patented "Jack visiting crazy town" face) and Mira Furlan shooting someone with a crossbow.  We don't learn a whole lot, but this episode kind of functions as a great summation of Lost as a whole and is tremendously watchable. (****½)

Claire remembers what happened to her when she was imprisoned by the Others in Season 1.

215: Maternity Leave

Written by Dawn Lambertsen Kelly and Matt Ragghianti, directed by Jack Bender

Airdate: 1 March 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 58-59 (18-19 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Claire

Flashbacks: A still-pregnant Claire is in a medical facility of some kind, being examined by a doctor who is revealed to be Ethan Rom. Ethan says they are planning to take good care of Claire and her baby. He periodically injects Claire with medicine for her baby, but the medicine makes Claire tired and docile. Ethan shows Claire a nursery that has been prepared for her baby, complete with a mobile made up of toy airplanes bearing the Oceanic Airlines logo.

Claire realises that she is in some kind of underground facility. There are DHARMA logos everywhere, with the Staff of Asclepius in the middle. Ethan tells Claire that Charlie is safe and back at the beach camp. They are interrupted by a man who turns out to be "Zeke", the Other from the boat who kidnapped Walt and talked to Jack in the jungle. "Zeke" is now clean-shaven and wearing modern clothes. He chides Ethan for not making a list like he was ordered, but Ethan complains that it wasn't possible. The fuselage survivors had a manifest and were able to discover his true identity. "Zeke" worries about what "he" will think of the situation. Ethan later takes Claire for a walk outside the hatchway leading to the Staff Station and assures her that the Others are "good people" who will look after her baby.

Claire is woken up by a teenage girl she hasn't met before. The girl tells Claire that the Others are going to rip her baby out of her and she has to leave right now. She uses chloroform to knock Claire out and drags her outside. Claire wakes up in the jungle and, delirious, tries to stagger back to the Staff. She is interrupted by Danielle, who rescues her by knocking her out with a blow to the head.

On the Island: Claire is concerned that Aaron is getting sick and asks Jack to take a look at him. Danielle arrives at the camp, concerned that the child is ill, but Kate asks her to leave because of her previous attack on Claire and attempt to kidnap Aaron. Claire is also experiencing momentary flashes of what happened to her when she was kidnapped by Ethan a few weeks ago.

Jack tells Claire that Aaron probably has a normal childhood infection, but Danielle's visit, her reports of a "sickness" that consumed her fellow castaways and drove them mad, and Claire's flashes back to her kidnapping combine to convince Claire that something is seriously wrong. Claire asks Libby, who is a psychologist, to help her through memory regression techniques. Claire gets a firmer grasp of what happened to her, including the fact that she was taken to a DHARMA medical station. She realises that there must by medicine there and enlists Kate's help.

In the Swan, Locke gives Henry a book to pass the time: The Brothers Karamazov. Henry asks if they have any Stephen King instead. He finds the book a bit heavy going. Locke suggests to Jack that they come up with a "long-term plan" for Henry, but Jack isn't really interested. They don't have a long-term plan for the button either but keep pushing it. Jack asks for Locke's idea but he doesn't haven one...although Henry makes a suggestion that they just let him go instead.

In the jungle Eko cuts down a tree but finds the process laborious with an axe. He goes to the hatch to borrow a saw. Although Jack tries to hide it, he guesses they are hiding someone in the hatch, someone who might be an Other. Eko asks Jack if he can speak to this man in a friendly manner. When Jack is reluctant, Eko suggests that if he does not let him, maybe others will find out about the situation. Jack agrees.

Kate and Claire set out to find the Staff Station, Kate borrowing a gun from Sawyer. They locate Danielle in the jungle and enlist her assistance. Danielle takes them back to where she found Claire, but they can't find the Staff nearby. They search further, Claire remembering more and more of her experience. They finally locate the massive hatch hidden in the ground and find it unlocked. They explore the facility, but it has clearly been abandoned. The equipment and medicine has all been cleared out and the nursery is now empty. The only thing Kate finds is a locker filled with dirty clothes and a box with fake beards in it, along with theatrical glue. Kate realises that the Others are faking their low-tech appearance. 

The three women regroup, Claire's memories now fully restored. She realises that Danielle saved her and took her back to her camp. Danielle confirms that's what happened. She tells Claire that she is sorry she also didn't find what she was looking for. Claire tells Danielle that she was allowed to escape by a teenage girl with piercing blue eyes. Danielle realises this might have been Alex, her missing daughter, and starts crying in happiness that she is alive and saved Claire, showing she is a good person. Danielle departs, although she mars the happiness of the moment by suggesting that Claire may have to kill Aaron if he is really infected. But back at the camp Aaron is already looking better. Like Jack said, he just had a minor infection.

At the hatch, Eko tells Henry that he killed two Others when they attacked the tail section camp on the first first night on the Island. He tells Henry that he is deeply sorry and seeks forgiveness. Henry seems bemused by the confession. Later, Henry and Locke share a moment of shared conversation over authors and books. Henry asks Locke why he lets Jack talk to him so badly, but Locke disagrees, saying that he and Jack make decisions together as equals. Henry disagrees, saying that from where is standing, Jack appears to be in charge. Locke closes the door and goes back out into the kitchen, but Henry's words anger him and he throws some cutlery on the floor.

Major WTFery: What drug are the Others using to make Claire so pliable and how can they be sure it won't hurt the baby?

If the Island cures diseases, cancer and even repairs damaged spines and fertility issues, how does Aaron come down with even a brief infection?

Why are the Others going to such elaborate lengths to disguise their true appearances? Are they really just trying to lure the survivors into a false sense of security? To what end? Given that the Others can attack the fuselage camp at will whenever they want, it all seems a bit pointless.

Hindsight: This is the second episode of Lost to take place 100% entirely on the Island (after The Other 48 Days) and is the first to feature a flashback within the timeframe of the series itself. The flashbacks take place between Day 16 and Day 27 (the end of Raised by Another and the end of Special).

This episode marks the beginning of a minor (and totally irrelevant) debate if Henry/Ben is a Stephen King fan or not. He asks for a Stephen King book in this episode, but in A Tale of Two Cities a member of the book club says that Ben would hate the Stephen King novel (Carrie) that they're reading. However, upon realising that he's been kicked out of the book club, Ben seems to express regret that he's not taking part after seeing the book. But this could just be a reference to his infatuation with Juliet. Stephen King, of course, was a massive fan of Lost and Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse with both huge King fans, with allusions to his work scattered all over the series. In the show, Jack appears to also be a King fan and has a copy of Hearts in Atlantis in his office bookcase in flashbacks.

Technically Alex previously appeared in The Hunting Party, but only as a pair of arms pushing Kate into shot. However, this marks her first, proper on-screen appearance.

Review: Another very strong episode, anchored in a heartfelt performance by Emilie de Ravin as Claire and one that satisfactorily actually resolves a long-outstanding mystery from Season 1. It's fun seeing Henry playing his mind games on Locke (who has always been vulnerable to this kind of manipulation) and it's great to see the Danielle/Alex story moving forwards. (****)

Sun trusting to Sawyer's discretion. This may not be the best idea ever.

216: The Whole Truth

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Chrstina M. Kim, directed by Karen Gaviola

Airdate: 22 March 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 60-61 (20-21 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Sun

Flashbacks: In Seoul, Jin and Sun have been trying to have a baby for a year to no avail. Jin decides they should see a fertility specialist. Sun is still upset from seeing Jin with blood on his hands and is no longer sure she wants to be with him. She is learning English in secret from her friend Jae Lee, with a mind to fleeing to America. Jae Lee's American girlfriend has left him, and he suggests that Sun could instead stay in Korea, maybe with him. The fertility doctor tells Sun that she is suffering from endometriosis and is unlikely to conceive. Jin becomes angry, wondering if Sun knew. Sun becomes even more depressed. However, the doctor later privately contacts Sun and tells her that the problem is with Jin: knowing that Jin worked for Sun's father, he feared that Jin might become violent if he learned the truth, that it is Jin who is infertile. Sun agrees to keep the secret.

On the Island: Sun is working in her garden but is interrupted by Jin. Jin is furious that she is endangering herself by continuing to work on her garden even after being attacked. He tears up some of her plants and tells her there is no reason for her to stay. Sun is upset and returns to the beach camp. She feels light-headed and unwell. After some contemplation she asks Sawyer for a pregnancy test from his stash. Amused, he gives her one with a "WIDMORE LABS" logo on it.

Ana Lucia is running along the beach for exercise when she bumps into Locke near her tent. Locke tells Ana Lucia that they have a man in the hatch who may be "one of them". Locke wants him out, and asks for Ana Lucia's help given her law enforcement background. When Ana asks if Jack knows about this, Locke tells her he doesn't need Jack's permission to do anything. Ana Lucia interrogates Henry. He tells her the same story he told the others about the balloon. Adopting a reasonable tone, Ana Lucia suggests he draws her a map and gives her directions to where the balloon crashed. Henry agrees.

With the map in hand (and not telling Jack), Ana Lucia finds Sayid and suggests that they go looking for the balloon. Sayid agrees, and Charlie (who is nearby) joins in as well. Ana Lucia notes that Charlie has a gun (acquired from Sawyer) and suggests that maybe someone who is trained in its use should carry it. Charlie agrees and gives it to Sayid. They locate the alleged area where the balloon is located, but can't find it after a cursory search. Reasoning that it's been four months so anything could have happened, they split up to look for it.

Sun asks for Kate's support when she goes through the pregnancy test. The test confirms that she is indeed pregnant. Jack confirms that the test is fairly reliable. She swears Kate and Jack to secrecy as she considers what to do next.

Jin is fishing on the beach when Sawyer arrives to offer his congratulations. Jin doesn't understand what's going on, but reasons it's something to do with Sun. He feels guilty about what he did, and goes back to fix Sun's garden. Sun arrives and, seeing what he's done, tells him she is pregnant. She also tells him about his infertility. Jin is surprised but says it's a miracle.

At the Swan Locke decides to let Henry out of his cell to eat breakfast with him and Jack. Henry is surprised to be eating cereal and is bemused that Jack and Locke don't seem to be particularly curious about where the food in the Swan came from. As they talk, Ben muses on a hypothetical situation that, if he was an Other, he could have drawn a false map to send Ana Lucia into a trap where she'll get captured so she can then be swapped for Henry. Henry says that it's obviously a good thing he's not "one of them" and asks for some milk, as Locke and Jack look at him incredulously.
Major WTFery: As well as Locke's legs, the Island appears to have also healed Jin's testicles, which isn't a sentence you'd expect to hear very often.

Hindsight: This episdoe begins on a Saturday. Going by on-Island dates, this corresponds perfectly to 20 November 2004. This suggests that, at least by this episode (if not from the start), the producers had firmly decided that the crash took place on 22 September.

Sun's pregnancy test was produced by Widmore Labs. Some fans believed this was the first mention of Widmore on the show, which isn't quite correct as a construction banner on Battersea Power Station in Fire + Water also carried the Widmore logo. That logo was very difficult to see on screen, but the one on the pregnancy test is much more prominent.

Jin and Sun definitely slept together on the night of Day 48 (8 November), between the episodes Collision and What Kate Did. This was the first confirmed time they slept together on the Island. They also spent a large chunk of Season 1 estranged from each other, so this is likely the night when their baby was conceived, thirteen days before this episode. However, it is not impossible that they slept together before that (potentially as late as just before ...In Translation, about one month before this episode).

Review: Not a classic episode, although Jin and Sun stories are always pretty solid. The episode does have a lot of scene-setting and foreshadowing, but it does a few good things. It indicates that Jack is so distracted by Henry and Locke that he is no longer talking to Ana Lucia (hence why the whole army thing has died a death) and also that the camp survivors are happily getting one with their own stuff whilst "Jack and Locke are a little too busy worrying about Locke and Jack". (****)

217: Lockdown

Written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, directed by Stephen Williams

Airdate: 29 March 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 61 (21 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Locke

Flashbacks: Locke and Helen are now living together. Locke plans to take Helen out on a picnic, during which he plans to propose to her. However, Helen spots an obituary in the paper which says that Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, has died. They attend the funeral and are the only people present, although Locke notes two men watching the funeral from one direction and a car parked in the opposite, also appearing to be observing events. Locke resumes his day job, running house inspections for new tenants (including an Iraqi immigrant, Nadia), but notes the same car from the cemetery seems to be following him around. He approaches the car and is shocked to see it is being driven by his father.

Cooper confirms that he faked his own death because he had conned $700,000 from the two men in a retirement scheme. Cooper offers to cut Locke in on some of the money in return for him retrieving the money from Cooper's hiding place. Locke reluctantly agrees. When he returns home he finds the two men present, convinced that Cooper is still alive and Locke is helping him. Hearing this, Helen is furious and tells them that Cooper ruined and destroyed Locke's life. This, combined with not finding anything, convinces them that Cooper has not been in contact and they leave peacefully. Locke later takes the money to his father at an airport motel and tells him he doesn't want the money. He just wants to live his life with Helen peacefully. However, Helen has followed him. She assumes that Locke and his father have been running this scam together for some time and becomes angry. She tells Locke she is leaving him. He begs her to change her mind by asking her to marry him, but she refuses.
On the Island: Locke and Jack throw Henry back into the armoury, concerned about his "joke" about setting up a trap for Ana Lucia, Sayid and Charlie. Jack heads back to the beach to see if they've left yet. Henry starts to ask why Locke lets Jack order him around again but a furious Locke tells him to shut up.

At the camp Jack learns that the others took off hours ago. His initial concern is defused as he has to deal with other problems in the camp: Libby has been stung by a sea urchin and Claire is still worried about Aaron's recent illness. After sorting them out he finds Kate, Hurley and Sawyer playing poker with DHARMA Initiative-branded cards. Jack turns out to be a bit of a poker fiend and challenges Sawyer to a no-holds-barred game for the remaining medical supplies. The game attracts the attention of half the camp. Jack wins and takes the medicine back. Sawyer asks him why he didn't play for the guns. Jack responds that when he needs the guns, he'll take them.

Out in the jungle Sayid, Charlie and Ana Lucia comb the area for Henry's balloon. Just as they're getting ready to give up, they find the balloon strung out in the canopy with a gravestone underneath, just like Henry said.

At the hatch Locke is working out when he starts hearing odd sounds coming from the loudspeakers in the walls. He fiddles with their wiring, finding that they've been disconnected or damaged over the years, and suddenly hears an automated countdown. When it reaches zero, the blast doors in the Swan Station come crashing down one after another. Locke is able to interpose a crowbar between one set of doors and the floor. He tries to pry it open to no avail. He releases Henry to help him, and together they manage to lever up the door and get a toolkit underneath it to take the weight. Locke prepares to slide underneath, but the toolkit is crushed and one of the blast door supports goes through Locke's leg. Henry quickly uses exercise equipment to take the door's weight off Locke's leg, but he is still pinned under it.

Realising that the button will need to be pushed, Locke directs Henry on how to get into the air system through the ventilation shaft in the pantry. He asks him to go to the computer room and push the button, but Henry is injured trying to climb up to the air vent. Eventually he gets into the vent system and stops answering Locke's calls, making Locke fear he's instead taken advantage of the situation to escape. Locke hears the computer beeping and then the timer runs out. Then Locke hears the timer reset. Suddenly the lights go out and ultraviolet illumination tubes come on. Locke is shocked to see a complex image appear on the blast door, a chart or map of some kind. He only has a minute or so to take in its detail and memorise it before the lights come back on and the blast doors retract. Henry Gale appears, confirming that he pushed the button after some hieroglyphics appeared. He helps Locke tend to his wounded leg.

Jack heads back to the Swan Station from the beach and is joined by Kate, who wants to have a shower. Jack dissuades her from coming by saying they've got a cracked pipe and the water is running muddy. Jack decides to head back to the beach with Kate to hang out, but they see something flashing in the woods. They come across a massive air supply drop consisting of pallets stacked with DHARMA-branded food and supplies. They're completely shocked. So are Ana Lucia, Charlie and Sayid who stumble over the find as well.

In the hatch Locke and Henry are treating Locke's injury when the search party returns. They hold Henry at gunpoint and tell him that they found the balloon and the grave just as he said, but Sayid got suspicious and dug up the grave. And in the grave he found the body of a man, not a woman. According to the driver's licence on his body, he was an African-American man named Henry Gale.
Major WTFery: Jack appears to be deeply concerned that Ana Lucia is walking into a trap, so he rushes back to the beach and...plays poker? Why not go back to the hatch, force Henry to draw a new map and head out after them?

It seems a major design flaw that during a lockdown (which may last up to half an hour) the button can't be pressed if the crew are caught outside the room. However, this may have been avoided if the speakers still worked and the people in the Swan knew what the countdown meant: they could have just stayed put in the computer room. An alternative explanation is that during a lockdown the button is pushed automatically, so maybe Henry/Ben was correct when he said he didn't push the button. Since we never the see these events from his POV, we never know for sure.

Hindsight: The pallet drops remained one of the show's bigger mysteries at the end of its run. However, the "epilogue" episode, The New Man in Charge, confirms that the DHARMA Initiative has a resupply warehouse in Guam. Every couple of months, the warehouse gets resupplied and two maintenance men send out the cargo on a plane to a set of coordinates provided by the Lamp Post (the LA-based facility which can locate the Island by studying the electromagnetic emanations of other locations on the planet). The ongoing resupply missions were paid for by either the Hanso Foundation or the Others themselves. As the resupply data was automated from the Lamp Post, it appears that you couldn't use the warehouse to find the Lamp Post.

The blast door map obssessed Lost fans for literally months after it first appeared, especially as high-res versions of it were released by the producers and fans annotated and studied it. The map is a treasure trove of information, but the most pertinent information seems to be as follows:
  • There are (at least) six DHARMA stations. The Swan, the Arrow, the Staff (aka "Cadaceus Medical Station") and "the Flame" are identified clearly. A "zoological research facility" (with polar bears), a "manufacturing facility with light industrial equipment", a "meteorological research" facility and a "possible recreation area" are all noted. The name "The Pearl?" is suggested for one of the unidentified stations.
  • There is a central facility identified only by a massive question mark.
  • There are multiple warnings of the malfunction of the "Cerberus security system" and mentions of "CVs" or "Cerberus Vents". This is a reference to the Smoke Monster: "Cerberus", the triple-headed dog of the Underworld, is the DHARMA Initiative's codename for it. 
  • The "PRD" takes place every 6-8 months.
  • The Black Rock is identified as the final resting place of Magnus Hanso.
  • An "AH/MDG Incident" is identified as taking place in 1985, confirming that there was a second "Incident" after the one we see happening on-screen in 1977. A second Incident had been theorised by fans since there would be insufficient time after the original Incident to build the Swan Station and its computer before the electromagnetic energy built up to dangerous levels. This resulted in the theory that originally the electromagnetic energy took a  lot longer to build up before being dissipated. A second incident in 1985 leading to the 108-minute protocol after the station had already been constructed is one solution to this problem. "AH" is presumably a reference to Alvar Hanso and "DG" to "DeGroot". The "M" is unknown, since the DeGroots' names were Gerald and Karen.
  • A red, hexagonal line apparently shows the limit of travel times from the Swan Station: "Estimated travel time incompatible with 108, do not attempt journey". However, the hexagonal limit is centred on the Pearl, not the Swan, and previous episodes have already confirmed that it takes far longer than 54 minutes to reach the Arrow from Swan (more like two days). Later episodes would also confirm that it was impossible to reach the Flame (located near the Barracks at the far northern end of the Island) in that time period either.
Later episodes confirm that the Pearl is the massive question mark facility and that the zoological facility is the Hydra Station (on its own, small island) and work on polar bears are being done there. The manufacturing facility might be the Tempest. The meteorological research facility may be the Looking Glass. The recreation area might be the Barracks. The PRD is likely the Pallet Resupply Drop.

The Season 2 finale confirms that Radzinsky, a survivor of the DHARMA Initiative, starting drawing the map. It was continued after his death by Inman. They found a way of shutting the blast door at will and were able to draw the map that way. Radzinsky already knew a lot of the secrets of the DHARMA Initiative, suggesting that he never told Inman (who appears to have joined after Swan Station after the Purge) about it and Inman tried to piece it together after Radzinsky's death. It's also possible that Radzinsky's memory and mind were affected by the original Incident or the second one and he was trying to reclaim or remember things he had been forgotten.
Review: A solid and highly intriguing episode which hints at many further mysteries as well as moving forward the Henry Gale story. However, Jack getting distracted from the impending peril to his friends' lives by a poker game remains pretty weird. (****)

218: Dave

Written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, directed by Jack Bender

Airdate: 5 April 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 62 (22 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Hurley

Flashbacks: At Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, Hurley is being treated by Dr. Brooks. Hurley blamed himself for causing the deaths of several people at a party. He walked out on a deck rated for only eight people but there were twenty-three on it. The floor snapped. Brooks points out that there were already too many people on the deck before Hurley stepped on it, but Hurley knows it was his weight that caused the accident. Hurley tells the doctor about his friend Dave, but Dr. Brooks thinks that Dave is a negative influence.

Hurley finds Dave at the hospital's basketball game but Dave is rude and obnoxious about other patients. Hurley tries to talk to Dave his meeting with Brooks, but Dave distracts him by talking about taco night. In the cafeteria, Dave talks Hurley into stealing some food from Leonard (the guy who repeats the Numbers constantly) and not taking his proscribed medication. Brooks drops by and takes a photo of Hurley and Dave for their collection. Later, in his next meeting with Brooks, Hurley tries to list the positive things he enjoys in life. Brooks suggests to Hurley that he eats as a way of punishing himself for what he mistakenly believes his his crime. Hurley gets angry and says that Dave is right: Brooks is a quack. Brooks shows Hurley the picture from the cafeteria: Hurley doesn't have his arm around anyone. Dave is a figment of Hurley's imagination.

Hurley is distraught, but is woken up by Dave in the middle of the night. When Hurley tells him what Brooks said, Dave puts it down to Photoshop. Dave takes him to an open window they can use to escape the institute. Hurley goes along with it, but then abruptly locks Dave outside, declaring that he isn't real. He goes back inside and begins to get better.

When Hurley is having the picture of him and "Dave" taken, someone is watching from another table: a darker-haired and clearly disturbed Libby.
On the Island: Hurley and Libby are spending time together. Libby wants to help Hurley lose weight, but only if he wants to. Hurley admits he has a problem and shows Libby his secret stash of food. Libby refuses to judge him, letting him decide what he wants to know. In a burst of freedom, Hurley destroys all the food. He empties the bottles on the floor and sprays crisps through the jungle. Now temptation has been removed. Moments later a large number of other survivors pass by. Hurley and Libby follow and discover the pallet drop for the Swan Station, with tons of new food and supplies that the survivors can use. Hurley is horrified. During the chaos he suddenly sees his imaginary friend Dave look at him before disappearing into the jungle. Hurley pursues him, but he has vanished. Libby follows and congratulates Hurley on not freaking out.

In the Swan Station Locke tries to work out why "Henry" came back to save him rather than flee. Jack points out that he thought his story would check out and he'd be then accepted into the group. Ana Lucia and Sayid interrogate "Henry", who claims that they found the balloon with Gale dead in it already. Sayid produces a piece of paper which Gale wrote a message on, suggesting he was going to head to a beach. This would be difficult for Gale to do if he was dead. "Henry" confirms that other Others killed him, not him. He confirms that "Zeke" is no-one important and that there is a higher authority that "Henry" reports to. He refuses to talk any further so Sayid pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him. Ana Lucia stops him in the nick of time. Locke later interrogates "Henry" and demands to know more about the Swan. "Henry" tells him that the think the station is a joke and he also claims he never pushed the button. The computer just reset itself automatically. "Henry" also tells Locke that even God cannot see the Island.

Eko continues chopping down trees and beginning his own construction project. Charlie offers to help out, even if he isn't sure what it's for.

Hurley sees Dave again, who throws a coconut at him. Hurley goes to see Sawyer, hoping he has some medication in his stash to control his mood swings. Unwisely, Hurley says he's been seeing things and Sawyer starts mocking him. Hurley snaps and physically attacks Sawyer: Sawyer is a strong, tough guy but Hurley simply flattens him. Afterwards a vastly amused Kate tends to Sawyer's wounds and gets Sawyer to admit he did provoke Hurley.

Dave appears to Hurley and takes him to a cliffside. Dave convinces Hurley that he is still in the mental hospital. Everything that happened - winning the lottery, crashing on the Island, having an attractive woman like Libby being interested in him - is a result of his own psychosis. Hurley angrily demands it, becoming distraught and thinking about throwing himself off the cliff. Libby stops him, telling him about things that have happened to her that he has no knowledge of, because they happened to her and she is not a figment of his imagination. She calms Hurley down and they share a kiss.

Major WTFery: It seems a bit selfish of Hurley to destroy his food rather than simply give it to the other castaways.

Hindsight: This episode features the first indication of a supreme leader of the Others that even Henry/Ben looks up to. Maternity Leave mentioned a "him" being unhappy with the situation, but that could be Henry/Ben himself. Although not mentioned by name, this episode thus is the first one to reference Jacob.

According to the producers, "Dave" is actually a figment of Hurley's imagination and isn't the Smoke Monster in disguise. The Monster has no reason to try to get Hurley to kill himself or try to drive him mad at this stage.

ABC rejected the first draft of the script, which apparently made it more plausible that the entire series is taking place in Hurley's imagination in a mental hospital (shades of St. Elsewhere). Later drafts introduced Libby's speech about her perspective, which the writers hoped would confirm that the show doesn't take place in Hurley's mind, otherwise he'd know about scenes and things he personally hadn't been there to witness. Of course, the fact that this scene was followed by Libby in the mental hospital didn't help the situation, with some fans pondering if the series was a shared hallucination between the two characters. The Lost producers later confirmed outright that the story isn't a hallucination, even naming an episode Whatever Happened, Happened to confirm this point.

At mentioned before, although it is probable that "Henry" pushed the button it is not impossible he didn't, and that during a resupply lockdown the button pushing system becomes automated in case the staff were caught outside the computer room, if not the hatch altogether.

Review: A bit of an oddball episode, but Jorge Garcia always gives a good performance and the scene where Sawyer insults Hurley one time too many and gets the crap kicked out of him may be one of the comic highlights of the entire series. The ending is a bit weak, however, since it throws up the tiresome possibility of the show being a hallucination (***½)

219: S.O.S.

Written by Steven Maeda and Leonard Dick, directed by Eric Laneuville

Airdate: 12 April 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 63 (23 November 2004)

Flashback Characters: Rose and Bernard

Flashbacks: On a cold winter night, Rose's car gets stuck in a snowdrift. She is helped out of the snowdrift by Bernard. Rose is grateful for his help. As he gets in his car, she asks him for a cup of coffee and he agrees.

Five months later they go on holiday to Niagara Falls and Bernard asks Rose to marry him. He has been a bachelor for over thirty years, but he then fell in love with Rose with no warning. Rose tells him that she has cancer. It's been in remission for a few years, but has now come back with no hope of going away again. Bernard says she didn't answer his question. Moved, she says yes.

For their honeymoon they go to Australia and visit the Outback. Near Uluru (Ayers' Rock) they find a place to say, but Rose is annoyed when it turns out to be the home of a man Bernard found on the Internet, a supposed healer. Rose speaks to the man, Isaac, and he explains that there are areas on the Earth's surface where certain energies are focused. He can channel these energies to heal people. After examining Rose, he apologises and says that the energies channelled there, near Uluru, are not what she needs. There may be other places where she can be healed. Rose asks him to lie and tell Bernard that he did heal her.

At Sydney Airport Rose drops some medication from her bag. Locke, still in his wheelchair, picks it up and returns it to her. Rose thanks him.
On the Island: At the beach camp Bernard has become frustrated with the way people seem to be settling in for the long haul. He wants them to continue trying to find ways of being rescued. Hurley notes that they did the whole raft thing but it got blown up. Bernard understands that but suggests they try again. His idea is very simple: to build an absolutely massive sign saying "SOS" across a neighbouring beach, using big black rocks from a lava field a couple of kilometres away. It'll be hard work, but it'll mean that the sign can't be washed away. Initially Bernard gets some willing helpers, but his abrasive management style and the backbreaking labour involved soon drives everyone else off. Bernard is particularly hurt by Rose, whose more fatalistic attitude means that she does not support the plan.

In the Swan Station Locke is trying to recreate the blast door map. He is rather unenthusiastic about pressing the button, remembering "Henry"'s claim that the button does nothing. Jack speaks to "Henry", telling him that since he won't give up any intelligence there is something else he can do. Jack plans to swap "Henry" for Walt and is going out to the "truce line" to negotiate with the Others. "Henry" tells him that they'll never swap Walt for him. Ana Lucia gives Jack her gun and Jack recruits Kate to go with him. Later on, Locke talks to "Henry" through the door, demanding to know if he pressed the button or not. "Henry" simply smiles.

Locke goes to the beach and Rose sits down with him. Locke is angry and says he is "done" with the hatch after his leg was injured. Rose thinks that unlikely and tells him that they both know his leg will heal much faster than it should do (Rose remembers seeing Locke in his wheelchair at the airport). This restores Locke's faith in the Island and he is able to finally remember the major features of the blast door map and write it down.

Eko and Charlie are continuing their construction project, which is now identified as a church. Bernard tries to get their help but is annoyed at yet another sign of people planning to live on the Island indefinitely. He goes to the beach to work on the sign alone. Rose comes up to him and tells him that Isaac couldn't heal her in Australia. The cancer was still in her. However, since arriving on the Island she has felt better. The cancer is gone and the Island has healed her. If they leave, it may come back again. That's why she doesn't want to leave. A shocked Bernard agrees to stay with Rose on the Island, forever if needed.

Jack and Kate reach the truce line. Jack yells for someone to come and talk to them, but no-one does. They spend hours waiting until past nightfall. Just as they're about ready to give it up, a figure staggers out of the jungle and collapses in their arms: Michael.
Major WTFery: The Island's healing power is now confirmed to have healed Locke's paralysis, Jin's infertility and Rose's cancer.

Hindsight: As of this episode, only Rose, Boone and (probably) Walt know that Locke was in a wheelchair before the crash. Surprisingly, this never becomes common knowledge and only one more person (Sawyer, in Season 3's The Brig) ever finds out about it, unless Walt or Rose tell them after the series ends.

This is the first episode to give a flashback to recurring characters who later do not became regular castmembers.

Neil "Frogurt", aka "the frozen yogurt guy" is first mentioned as being one of the survivors on Flight 815. He is mentioned several more times before finally showing up in Season 5's Because You Left and The Lie.

This episode was inspired by real-life events. Actress L. Scott Caldwell (Rose) had met her husband a few months before being cast in the show and married him in May 2004, during the filming of the pilot. He was very ill with cancer during the filming of Season 1, which prevented Caldwell from committing to the series as a regular, as had been planned. He passed away about a year later, in the spring of 2005. This episode was written by the scriptwriters as a tribute to the actress and to her late husband, which she found very moving.

Later episodes would confirm that there are other areas on the Earth where the Island's energies, or variations thereof, also exist: the Looking Glass in Los Angeles is one.

This is the last time that Rose appears in the show until Greatest Hits, almost a year later.

Review: This is a moving episode, even before you find out that it's based (loosely) on true events in the history of the actress who played Rose. L. Scott Caldwell and Sam Anderson completely kill it, and in the case of Anderson, a mainstay of American television in the 1990s and 2000s, it's great to see him playing a real human character rather than the authority figures he normally portrayed. It's also a good episode for showing what the other, non-main character survivors are up to, as well pushing forward mythology elements like the Island's healing powers. (****)

What can go wrong?
220: Two for the Road

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim, directed by Paul Edwards

Airdate: 3 May 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 63-64 (23-24 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Ana Lucia

Flashbacks: Ana Lucia is summoned to a meeting with her mother, who tells her that the man who shot her and killed her unborn baby, Jason McCormack, has been found dead. Teresa demands to know where Ana Lucia was when he was shot and makes it clear that she doesn't believe Ana Lucia had nothing to do with it, even if the investigation will likely be cursory. Ana Lucia quits on the spot.

She gets a job working security at a Los Angeles airport, which she finds tedious. Having a drink after work, she bumps into a man, a disgraced ex-doctor (Christian Shepard). They commiserate over their problems and he learns that she used to be a cop and hates the boredom of her new life. Christian makes a suggestion: he needs to go to Australia and it could get a bit rough. He offers to pay her to be his bodyguard. Ana Lucia is dubious but goes along with it.

In Sydney Christian goes on a bender and there isn't much for Ana Lucia to do until he knocks on her door. He gets her to drive him to a house in the suburbs. He talks to a woman and becomes agitated, yelling, "She's my daughter!" Ana Lucia drags him away. They drive past a cocktail bar and he volunteers to get out and let her go on her way. Sawyer knocks into the car on his way into the bar. Ana Lucia says goodbye to him and makes arrangements to fly home a few days later.

At Sydney Airport Ana Lucia overhears Jack remonstrating with the check out staff about getting the coffin on board. Ana Lucia is moved to call her mother, who tells her they can try to reconcile when she gets back.
On the Island: Jack and Kate are unable to revive Michael, so half-drag, half-carry him back to the Swan Station.

In the Swan, Ana Lucia feeds "Henry" and tells him it's unusual for him not to talk. Most murderers talk a lot. "Henry" becomes absolutely enraged and attacks her, calling her a killer for killing two of them (the unknown Other on the twelfth night and then Goodwin in The Other 48 Days) and denying he is like her. He throttles Ana Lucia but Locke bursts in and knocks him out with his crutches. Ana Lucia goes to the beach and talks to Libby, telling her what happened. Ana Lucia is enraged and clearly plotting revenge of some kind.

Locke demands to know what "Henry" was doing. "Henry" says that Ana Lucia is not a good person, not like Locke. "Henry" says his mission was to find Locke and bring him back, because he is "one of the good ones". "Henry" says he's now a dead man, as either Jack didn't get what he wanted and will kill him, or he will be returned to his people who will kill him, as their leader is not a forgiving man. They are interrupted by Jack and Kate returning with Michael.

Ana Lucia asks Sawyer for a gun but is rebuffed. She follows him to his gun stash, but is discovered along the way. They get into an argument, but it turns into a sexual encounter, Ana Lucia playing on Sawyer's jealousy of how much time Kate is spending with Jack. Ana Lucia steals Sawyer's gun whilst he isn't looking and returns to the hatch.

Hurley arranges for a romantic picnic with Libby, but forgets to bring any towel or drinks. Libby is touched, offering to go and get some towels for them.
Michael wakes up and tells Jack, Kate, Locke and Ana Lucia that the Others are animals. He managed to spy on their camp. They only have two guns in their entire group and are living in far worse conditions than the 815 survivors. There are only 22 of them, less than half the number of the 815 survivors. The survivors have the Others outnumbered and outgunned. The rest of the group are more sceptical, especially after Michael confirms that he never saw Cindy, Walt, Zach or Emma, suggesting they might be elsewhere. Locke and Jack discuss the situation and decide they can trust Michael. Along with Kate, they leave to get the guns back from Sawyer whilst Ana Lucia guards the prisoner. Sawyer is unhelpful until Jack throws his reading material - the Bad Twin manuscript - into a fire. Sawyer angrily reaches for his gun and realises that Ana Lucia has it. Hearing that, Locke realises that they have a problem and tells Jack about the attack on Ana Lucia.

Ana Lucia gets her gun and goes to kill "Henry", only to find she can't do it. She breaks down. Michael wakes up and listens to her saying how weak she is for not being able to do it. Michael says he'll do it: the Others are animals and he deserves no better. Ana Lucia gives him the gun and the combination. Michael says "I'm sorry" and shoots Ana Lucia dead on the spot. Libby walks in, carrying two blankets, and screams. Michael, shocked, shoots her twice in the stomach. Horrified at himself, he then opens the door to the cell. "Henry" stands up as Michael takes the gun, points it at his own shoulder and fires.
Major WTFery: The scenes in Australia had to be shot reversed, as the crew couldn't find the right-hand-drive cars they'd used previously. This involved all of the lettering on costumes and everything else in shot having to be reversed.
Hindsight: Ana Lucia is likely working at LA X, the Los Angeles airport that plays a large role in the Season 5 episode 315 and the Season 6 opening two-parter.

Henry/Ben's categorisation of "Him" - Jacob - as not a forgiving man is highly at odds with the Jacob we meet in Seasons 5 and 6. Along with what happens in Season 3 in The Man Behind the Curtain, it might be that the Jacob the Others refer to throughout the series is really the Man in Black posing as Jacob.

The Bad Twin manuscript appears again in this episode, which aired the same week The Lost Experience (which the novel was part of) launched.

The woman Christian met in Australia was immediately assumed by many fans to be Claire's mother. They were almost right: she was actually Lindsey Littleton, Claire's aunt. This storyline is continued in Season 3's Par Avion.

Conspiracy theories still surround the departure of Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia) from the show, as well as Cynthia Watros (Libby). Both actresses were arrested in Hawaii on 1 December 2005 for driving whilst over the limit (contrary to early reports, these were separate incidents but taking place within 15 minutes of one another). However, these incidents both took place four months before the shooting of this episode, in which they were written out. In addition, Michelle Rodriguez's contract was for one year only and confirmed that she would be killed off towards the end of Season 2. Rodriguez was building a film career following her roles in films such as Girlfight, Resident Evil, The Fast and the Furious and SWAT and only agreed to do one season of Lost before returning to the cinema. Showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof both confirmed that Ana Lucia was mean to be a one-season character only. Rodriguez was also happy to return to multiple later appearances in the show, as a vision or flashback, which does not support the idea of an acrimonious departure.

The situation with Watros appears to have been different: she was hired under a different contractual arrangement and, quite noticeably in episodes such as Dave, had a lot more backstory and foreshadowing established for her character. The decision to kill her off arose during the writing of Two for the Road, since Ana Lucia's death was regarded as possibly predictable (due to Rodriguez's fame and her backstory being more or less wrapped up) and killing Libby as well would completely blindside the audience. The death of Libby did cause issues for their storytelling, which they did get around (somewhat) with the use of flashbacks and other characters in later seasons. The producers did promise an episode which would really delve into Libby's backstory, but they never got around to making it.

Review: Lost took a level in hardcore with this episode. Ana Lucia's death was signposted rather thoroughly ahead of time, although it happening this week rather than in the finale was a surprise, but Libby's came out nowhere and achieved its intended effect of blindsiding and disturbing the audience. The high stakes, intense pacing and the overwhelming tragedy (for Hurley) all make for a great episode, let down a little by the feeling that maybe Ana Lucia and Libby hadn't quite been built up enough as characters for the audience to really get upset at their departure. (****½)

1 comment:

Zaister said...

Your rewatch has inspired me to do the same and read up your reviews afterwards, and now it's the first time I realize that the episode "Lockdown" actually has Locke down.