Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Lost Reviews: Part 8 - Season 2, Episodes 9-12

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.

The Horse of Bewilderment.

209: What Kate Did
Written by Steven Maeda and Craig Wright, directed by Paul Edwards

Airdate: 30 November 2005

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 49 (9 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Kate

Flashbacks: A 24-year-old Kate is at home when her stepfather, Wayne, returns from a night of drinking. She helps him get into bed with evident disgust. He calls her "beautiful" and makes several derogatory remarks. She drives away from her house on her motorbike. Seconds later it explodes in an apparent gas accident. Kate drives to the diner where her mother works. Her mother has several bruises, apparently inflicted by Wayne. Kate gives her mothers details of a house insurance policy she took out before telling her she won't be seeing Kate for a while.

Some time later, Kate is approached and arrested by the US Marshal Edward Mars. The Marshal is somewhat sympathetic to Kate deciding to kill her stepfather for beating her mother up, but wonders why she snapped now. Suddenly a horse runs across the road and the Marshal crashes the car. Kate kicks him out of the car and drives off, the horse looking at her.

Kate goes to see her father, Sergeant Major Sam Austen, at an army recruitment centre. She tells him that she compared the dates for her birth with when Sam was on deployment. Sam admits that Wayne was actually her real biological father. He didn't tell Kate because he feared what she would do. He tells her he has to call the police, but will give her a one-hour head start.

On the Island: In the Swan Station Jack is tending to Sawyer's wounds. Sawyer, still partially delirious, asks "Where is she?" and then says "I love her." Jack assumes he is talking about Kate. Meanwhile, Sayid is digging a grave for Shannon and Eko tells Ana Lucia that everyone accepts that Shannon's death was a tragic accident.

Kate is picking fruit in the woods when a black horse appears. She is bemused. She asks Charlie if he thinks there could be horses on the Island. He replies that there are polar bears and monsters, but he hasn't seen a horse before. Returning to the Swan, Kate volunteers to watch over Sawyer and attend to the button to allow Jack to attend Shannon's funeral. Jack and the other survivors gather and Sayid tries to say a few words, but is overcome by emotion.

After Jack leaves Sawyer suddenly wakes up and violently grabs Kate, yelling "Why did you kill me?" Kate, distraught, flees the station. Jack and Locke arrive back just in time to hit the button. Jack sets out to find Kate and succeeds. Kate kisses him, shocking them both, before she runs off into the jungle.

In the Swan Station, Locke uses boltcutters to remove the handcuffs Jin has had to wear for weeks. Michael notes that in the archways leading to the computer room there are thick blast doors. Locke is surprised as he hadn't noticed them before. Locke offers to show Michael the orientation film and he agrees. Eko also sits in. Michael is bemused by the whole situation, but Eko seems more intrigued. He shows Locke the Bible he found in the Arrow Station. The Bible is actually hollowed out, and inside is a splice of film. Locke realises it is part of the same orientation film and, using the timecodes, matches it up to where it should be. They watch the reassembled film, which now contains an extra section where Dr. Marvin Candle warns the viewers not to attempt to use the computer to communication with other parts of the Island or the outside world under any circumstances, as this may help bring about another "Incident", similar to the original one that required the Swan Station to be built and the button pressed. Locke is astonished at the sheer improbability of of them finding the Swan Station and then someone from the other side of the Island arriving just a few days later with another missing piece of the puzzle. Eko tells Locke not to mistake coincidence for fate.

Kate returns to the Swan and talks to the unconscious Sawyer. She admits that she killed Wayne because he revolted and disgusted her, he was dangerous and because she couldn't bear the fact that he was part of her. Sawyer wakes up, revealing he heard the whole thing and now shares Kate's secret. Kate is actually relieved. Kate shows Sawyer around the Swan Station. Sawyer is bemused by the relative comfort of the place, initially wondering if they've been rescued. Kate shows him the jungle outside. Both are startled to see Kate's horse suddenly appear. It lets Kate stroke it before disappearing into the jungle again.

Jack shares three miniature tequila bottles with Ana Lucia, recalling their first meeting at the airport.

Michael is studying the Swan Station in detail. He is in the computer room when he hears the computer beep, as if it is ready to accept the Numbers. This is odd as it is only supposed to do this four minutes before the timer runs out, and there are 51 minutes left. Suddenly the word "Hello?" appears on the screen. Michael, not having heard the warning from the orientation film, gamely replies "Hello?" and identifies himself as Michael. The response comes back: "Dad?"
Major WTFery: The horse is one of the bigger mindscrews up to this point in the show.

Hindsight: According to the producers, the horse is actually the Monster/Man in Black. How it was able to extract Kate's memory of the horse without "scanning" her (the way it did to Locke in Walkabout and will do to Eko in The 23rd Psalm) or without having a dead body to work with (like Christian Shepard's or Locke's later on) is unknown. Maybe it was able to do it whilst she was asleep, or was able to use the information that the Others were gathering. Exactly why the Monster was appearing as the horse is unclear: trying to get Kate to repent her crime and become a "good person"? It's open to speculation.

Some fans were mystified as to how the Others knew when to use the computer to talk to Michael. However, the episode ? confirms that the Pearl Station can access hidden cameras in the Swan to spy on the inhabitants. It is likely that the Others were using this system (or maybe remotely tapping into it) to see when Michael was alone at the computer.

Eagle-eyed viewers can see Sayid on a background screen in the recruitment centre. It turns out that Sam Austen met Sayid in Iraq in 1991 (One of Them). However, it's unclear why a video of this would be playing in a publicly-accessible army recruitment centre ten years later.

Apparently, Jin and Sun's child was conceived between the events of the prior episode and this one.

Review: It was probably a mistake for the producers to string out the mystery of Kate's original crime across the entire first season and then not answer it in the finale. They apologetically make up for this in this episode, revealing the magnitude of Kate's crime in just the opening minutes of the episode. The on-Island storyline with regards to Kate feels a bit random (especially Smoke Monster Horse) but there's some good forward movement with Michael's story and more stuff in the hatch. (****)

One of the most memorable moments of the entire series.

210: The 23rd Psalm
Written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, directed by Matt Earl Beesley

Airdate: 11 January 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 50 (10 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Mr. Eko

Flashbacks: Nigeria. Two brothers, Eko and Yemi, are playing football when a bunch of guerrillas descend on the village. The guerrillas want to pressgang the boys into their army and give Yemi a gun and tell him to kill an old man to show if he has what it takes. To spare his younger brother from this, Eko pushes Yemi out of the way and kills the old man. The guerrillas laugh, saying that "Mr. Eko" has the heart of a true killer. They take him with them and leave the other kids, including Yemi, behind. One of the soldiers throws Eko's crucifix on the ground, telling him he won't need it any more. Yemi picks it up.

Years later, Eko returns to the village. He is now a warlord with a fearsome reputation, brutally executing two men who casually insult him during a drug smuggling negotiation. He goes to see his brother, who is now a priest and wearing Eko's crucifix. He tells him that he has come into possession of a large quantity of heroin and wants to get it out of Nigeria altogether. The only way to do that is to use the planes employed by the Christian missionaries. Yemi refuses to help Eko at all. Eko at first seems to accept this, but then returns: his business associates are "insistent". Eko also promises help get more polio vaccines for the village. Yemi reluctantly agrees to sign a document identifying Eko as a priest and gives him a set of Virgin Mary statues that Eko can use to smuggle the heroin. At the airstrip Yemi pleads with Eko to change his mind and renounce his sinful ways. Suddenly the army arrives and opens fire on the plane. In the crossfire Yemi is hit and dragged into the plane by one of Eko's associates. Angry at the apparent betrayal, Eko's associate kicks him out of the plane and it takes off. The army approach Eko but mistake him for Yemi due to him wearing a priest's outfit, and let him go free.

On the Island: Claire introduces herself and Aaron to Mr. Eko at the beach camp and notices that he has been inscribing scripture on the large stick he carries around to defend himself with. She suggests that he talk to Charlie, since they have religion in common. She tells Eko about the Virgin Mary statue that Charlie carries around with him all the time. Eko, startled, takes a look at the statue and then smashes it. He angrily shows Claire the heroin and demands to know where Charlie is.

He finds Charlie fishing and demands to be taken to where he found the heroin. Charlie tries to prevaricate, but Eko is insistent. He goes to tell Claire where he's going, but Claire is furious at him for having drugs near her baby. Charlie takes Eko to a tree in the jungle and says he found the statue nearby. Eko says that Charlie is lying. Charlie becomes indignant and self-righteous, saying that he does not have to answer to Eko. Eko waits until he's finished and then tells Charlie to take him "to the plane". A stunned Charlie agrees. Along the way Eko sees black smoke darting between the trees, to his consternation.

At the Swan, Michael asks Locke to show him how to use some of the guns. Locke tells him that his father used to take him hunting but doesn't say much more than that. Michael proves a fast study and a good shot. Michael volunteers to take over Kate's next watch at the button, saying it helps take his mind off of Walt. Kate agrees. Michael instead uses the computer to try to talk to Walt again. The person at the other end of the computer lines says that he doesn't have much time and that "they" are coming. Jack interrupts Michael's conversation (but doesn't see what happened) to tell him that they are going to get Walt back just as soon as they can put together a plan. On the beach, life continues to get back to something approaching normal, with Kate cutting Sawyer's hair and Hurley helping Libby build her shelter.

Charlie and Eko make their way through the jungle and Charlie becomes disoriented. He climbs a tree to get his bearings. Eko starts to feel uneasy, and suddenly the ground explodes. Hearing the sounds of the Monster, Charlie tells Eko to run. Eko refuses, instead holding his ground like Locke once did. The ground explodes again and a billowing cloud of smoke roars outwards. The cloud - which is the Monster - seems to "scan" Eko and images from his life appear inside it. Eko refuses to move and the Monster, apparently mollified, turns and disappears back into the hole in the ground it created. Charlie asks Eko incredulously why he didn't run and Eko seems to dismiss the matter, saying that he wasn't afraid of it. Charlie confirms that he saw the plane from the tree and they press on.

Eko finds the plane and his brother's corpse within. He takes back the crucifix and then burns the plane and the heroin. He gives the last Virgin Mary statue to Charlie to replace the one he broke earlier. Charlie, confused by the whole thing (such as how a small, short-range plane launched from Nigeria ended up in the Pacific), asks Eko if he is a priest and Eko replies that he is. He and Charlie recite the 23rd Psalm as the plane burns. They return to the beach and Charlie apologises to Claire, but she tells him to stay away from her and her baby. Charlie returns to the jungle and hides Eko's statue alongside six other ones that he had previously removed from the plane.

Major WTFery: Confirming what was hinted at in the Season 1 finale, the Monster is actually a free-moving cloud of billowing black smoke. However, the smoke is tangible and can pick items up and smash vegetation out of the way. It is capable of "scanning" the minds of individuals and plucking out memories and faces.

How on Earth did a plane launched from Nigeria with a range of just a few hundred miles end up over 9,000 miles away in the South Pacific?

Hindsight: We know now that the Smoke Monster was once human, the Man in Black, and that taking on the form of the Smoke Monster was only possible after he merged with the Heart of the Island. It is possible that "Mother", the guardian of the Island before the Man in Black and Jacob, also had the power to become the Smoke Monster (given that she completely annihilated a village of dozens of people on the Island single-handed, which seems improbable for a middle-aged human).

It appears that when in the the Smoke Monster "form", the Man in Black doesn't entirely have control over his actions (he kills a bunch of people very, very violently in front of Ben Linus in LA X and apologises for the brutality of it later on) and in fact this form may really be the "security system" theorised by Danielle Rousseau in the Season 1 finale. It just needs a human soul or lifeforce to give it sustenance, in return for which it keeps them alive, possibly making them immortal in the process.

Depending on which interpretation of the Heart of the Island you go with, the Island may be considered to be the Smoke Monster's prison, with its unusual properties partially designed to stop it escaping into the outside world (which events in Season 6 suggest would result in the annihilation of humanity, or the Earth, or both). The Smoke Monster is constrained on the Island by certain rules, which it attempts to circumvent. It scanning Eko and manipulating people like Kate (with the horse) and Jack (with his father) may by it either looking for potential allies it can use and manipulate, or so it can identify the Candidates who could replace Jaco as the guardian. These story elements become - somewhat - clearer in Season 6.

The mystery of how the plane got from Nigeria to the Island is resolved - or hinted at being resolved - by the later revelation that there are special "windows" that people can use to access the Island from elsewhere on the planet. Some of these windows lead to places like the African desert, the Antarctic and elsewhere. It is likely that the plane somehow fell through one of these windows to crash on the Island.

Review: Lost rolls out a barnstorming episode by focusing on Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, its new standard-bearer in terms of acting and intensity. Triple A (as his fans call him) completely owns this episode in terms of presence and charisma, and even became the first actor to really help with the creation of an episode as he advised on the depiction of Nigeria and the use of correct Nigerian names. The plot rattles along quite nicely and our first proper look at the Monster is actually satisfying, in a completely surreal and bizarre kind of way. If there is a weakness it's that the show has decided to turn Charlie into an unlikeable idiot for no real reason other than they were running out of things for him to do. But beyond that, this is a highly enjoyable and intriguing episode of the series. (****½)

We're gonna need more and bigger guns, preferably not taken out of a facility that the enemy can spy into at will.
211: The Hunting Party

Written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim, directed by Stephen Williams


Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 51-52 (11-12 November 2004)

Flashback Character: Jack

Flashbacks: Jack and Christian hold a meeting with an elderly Italian man and his daughter, Gabriela, who have flown specially to Los Angeles to ask for Jack's help. Jack saving Sarah against the odds has become a minor news headline and Gabriela believes that Jack can save her father, who has a spine tumour that everyone says is inoperable. Christian outlines why the tumour cannot be operated on, but Gabriela flatters Jack's ego by saying he is a miracle-worker. Jack agrees to run more tests, to Christian's apparent disgust.

Jack works long hours doing his normal duties and attending to Gabriela's father. This puts a strain on his marriage at home. Christian also warns Jack that he can see that Jack and Gabriela are becoming attracted to each other. Jack performs the operation, but it goes on longer than planned. Gabriela's father dies on the table. Jack, upset, apologises to Gabriela and they end up kissing. Ashamed, Jack goes home and tells Sarah that he is reducing his workload at the hospital so he and Sarah can spend more time together. However, it's too late. Sarah tells him that she's been having an affair for some time and is leaving him. She tells Jack that he will always need someone or something to fix.

On the Island: Jack wakes up in the Swan Station for his shift manning the button, only to find Locke unconscious in the armoury. Michael points a gun at Jack and forces him into the armoury as well. He tells Jack he is going after Walt. Jack offers to go with him, but Michael refuses. He locks them both in. Locke recovers. Jack realises that they are on double shifts together, so no-one else has any reason to come to the hatch for a while. If no-one shows up in the next hour and a half, the button will not be pushed. Jack tries to escape through air vent (as Kate used it to get into the armour during their initial confrontation with Desmond), but Locke had sealed and bolted it from the inside. Fortunately, Sawyer's bandages need changing and he and Kate come back in time to release Locke and Jack and push the button.

Jack, Sawyer and Locke tool up with guns and head out after Michael. Kate offers to come with them, but Jack rather forcefully tells her to stay behind and out of danger. Irritated, Kate gets Hurley to watch the button instead and heads out separately. Jin tries to go with her, but Sun forces him to stay, saying she will not lose him again.

Jack, Sawyer and Locke head up the central valley of the Island. Locke is puzzled because Michael is heading north, rather than eastwards to the coast where he and the tail section survivors came from. Locke is bemused how Michael knows to go this way. Locke and Jack debate if they have the right to tell Michael what to do or not, and how they'll convince him to return home with them. Locke also asks Sawyer about where he got his nickname from. He knows from the manifest that Sawyer's real name is James Ford, and Sawyer is an odd alias to choose. Sawyer isn't interested in discussing it.

Several shots ring out, convincing the trio that they are close on Michael's tail. However, night falls and Locke loses the trail. They debate returning home, but are then approached by a bearded man: the captain of the boat who kidnapped Walt. Sawyer recognises him and nicknames him "Zeke". A warning shot rings out, a sign that the man has friends with him. Jack thinks there is just one guy out there, but the bearded man tells them to "Light 'em up!" A ring of torches surrounds Jack, Sawyer and Locke, indicating there are dozen or more Others surrounding them. The bearded man tells them that they are going to draw a line in the jungle, right here, as a boundary between the survivors and the Others. If the survivors step over it, there will be further unpleasantness. He also tells them Walt - "A very special boy," - is safe and that Michael will never find them. The bearded man forces them to hand over their guns and go back home. Jack refuses, so the bearded man asks "Alex" to bring someone over. This turns out to be Kate. The Others threaten to kill her unless Jack and the others agree to their terms. Jack reluctantly agrees.

Back at the Swan Station Charlie and Hurley find an album from a band called Geronimo Jackson. Charlie, who prides himself on his knowledge of even obscure classic rock bands, is baffled because he has never heard of them. Charlie expresses his hope he can reconcile with Claire and Hurley admits he is attracted to Libby.

At the beach, Jack seeks out Ana Lucia. He says that he heard that she was a cop and that she managed to kill one of the Others. He asks her how long it would take to train an army.

Major WTFery: Locke says that he bolted the air vent leading into the Swan Station's armoury, which is fair enough. But for some reason he put the bolt on the inside of the vent, rather than on the side in the armoury itself. Locke says specifically that he was trying to protect against what Kate did, which was to use the vent to get into the armoury...but if the bolt's inside the vent, they can still do that. It'd be more useful to have the bolt on the inside in the armoury to prevent someone getting in. Of course, if they did that Jack and Locke wouldn't have been imprisoned for very long.

Given the insane lengths that the Others later go to to capture Sawyer, Jack, Kate and Hurley, it's a bit puzzling that they don't simply take them all right there and then. Of course, this is because "the list" is only created later on, after this meeting.

According to Sawyer, Cindy was taken "less than a mile" from the camp. Given that the abduction apparently happened whilst the tailies were still crossing the high lands to the east (likely a passable section of the eastern mountain range) and that the tailies had to run through the jungle during full daylight and then met Sayid and Shannon after nightfall, that doesn't seem right. In addition, Sawyer was completely unconscious when all of this happened.

Hindsight: The episode Three Minutes shows the flipside of this episode from Michael's point of view.

"Alex" is, of course, Alex Rousseau, Danielle's sixteen-years-missing daughter. Slightly oddly, we never see Alex in this episode, just a pair of arms pushing Kate into shot, even though presumably Locke, Jack and Sawyer would have seen her. We meet Alex for the first time a few episodes down the line in Maternity Leave (presumably she hadn't been cast at this point).

Geronimo Jackson songs, records and mentions crop up through the rest of the show as Easter Eggs. The band was actually created for The Lost Experience game which took place between Seasons 2 and 3, and this marks one of the earliest pieces of foreshadowing specifically created for it (the Hanso Foundation appears to have been created for the show itself, but then developed further in the game).

The "army" is one of the more amusing, blatantly abandoned storylines from the series. Ana Lucia and Jack do apparently spend some time over the next few episodes considering recruiting more survivors from Flight 815 into a fighting force, and as late as The Long Con still seem to be discussing it, but it never comes to fruition. This may be because events overtook them and there wasn't enough time, or it may be because they concluded (rightly) that tooling up the survivors and taking them to fight an unknown enemy of unknown capability, numbers, intent, location or armaments was suicide.

The likely path of Michael and his pursuers, and the probable rough location of "the line".

The "line" is likely located in the northern part of the jungle, in the central valley: Jack, Locke and Sawyer travelled for almost a whole day and into the night, mostly through the valley where the going is easier than in the thick jungle. They also travelled due north, or as close to it as possible. This line is certainly way past the Pearl, with the Beechcraft crashed on top of it, as the survivors travel to and from there at will. It's also likely past the Staff (which the Others abandoned after Claire's escape, presumably as it was hard for them to defend). It's likely near the pneumatic tube dumping ground, which is where the Others feel able to attack Jack's group later on (Live Together, Die Alone), but not so far north that the Barracks are visible (A Tale of Two Cities).

Review: A pretty solid episode with a relentless pace and a dramatic final confrontation. However, it's all let down a little by being predictable, especially with Kate being captured. Also, "Zeke" appears to be rather obviously wearing make-up to appear dishevelled. This may actually be deliberate (since the Others are indeed faking their poor appearance) but, especially in HD, the make-up is so bad as to appear mildly comical. The army storyline never really gets going and the feeling is that the episode has wound up being filler cleverly disguised as being something revelatory. Still, a watchable enough episode with a rare, unobjectionable Jackback. (***½)

One of a handful of Lost episodes that makes you actively wish it was a Jack flashback instead. Although not the one about his tattoos, obviously.

212: Fire + Water
Written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, directed by Jack Bender

Airdate: 25 January 2006

Survivor Count: 50

Days on Island: 54-56 (14-16 November 2004) - Day 54 is the halfway point of the Oceanic Six's stay on the Island.

Flashback Character: Charlie

Flashbacks: Charlie visits his newborn niece in the hospital, telling his sister-in-law Karen that Liam missed his flight but will be there soon. In reality, Liam is at home getting high. Charlie angrily gets his brother to clean himself up and get to the hospital. 

Drive Shaft have been reduced to filming a children's nappy commercial, to their shame. However, Charlie is willing to put up with it if it means more money. However, Liam is in a bad state and disrupts filming until the band are all fired. Charlie realises his brother is in seriously trouble with his addiction and writes a new song. Liam seems impressed by the song, but soon relapses into asking Charlie for another fix. Charlie gets home another day to find that Liam has sold his piano to pay for airplane tickets to Australia. Liam plans to start over again out there with Karen and their daughter. He leaves a shocked and hurt Charlie behind.

On the Island: Charlie has a bizarre hallucination/dream in which he is playing a piano, apparently with Aaron trapped inside. Bemused, he wakes up and sees that Claire and Aaron are fine, with Locke apparently looking out for them.

Sawyer and Kate have worked out that Hurley has a crush on Libby. Sawyer tricks Libby into coming over whilst she's doing laundry and then makes a quick exit. Hurley offers to let Libby use the washing machine and dryer in the Swan Station. As they do the laundry, they chat and Hurley becomes convinced he knows Libby from somewhere else. Libby says that Hurley stepped on her foot on the plane in his hurry to get on board.

Charlie has another dream in which his mother and Claire appear and tell him that Aaron is in danger. He sees the Beechcraft crash in the distance and a dove fly past. Charlie wakes up to find himself standing in the water on the beach with Aaron. He hands the baby back, trying to explain he was sleepwalking, but Claire slaps him. Charlie asks Locke for help, appealing to Locke's spiritual side, but Locke seems to think that Charlie is using heroin again. Charlie points out that he cannot, as he burned the plane with all the heroin inside. Locke softens a little, saying that Claire needs time before she can trust Charlie again. Locke doesn't seem particularly interested in Charlie's dreams or visions, however. Charlie has better luck with Eko, who interprets the dreams to suggest that Aaron should be baptised, or something bad will happen to him. Charlie floats the idea to Claire, but she refuses to listen and has Kate get rid of him. Locke is concerned over Charlie's state of mind and keeps an eye on him.

Charlie goes to his stash of heroin in the jungle, but Locke finds him. Charlie says he was going to smash it all, but Locke doesn't believe him. He takes the statues away. Infuriated, Charlie fakes a fire near the camp to distract everyone, then tries to take Aaron to the water to baptise him. However, he is stopped by the rest. Eko tells him that this "is not the way". Locke carefully takes Aaron, gives him to Claire and then punches Charlie three times, leaving him bloody in the sea. Jack treats Charlie's wounds but forces Charlie to promise not to pull anything like this again.

Claire speaks to Eko, who says that baptism is a spiritual cleansing and a peaceful ritual. Claire confesses she hasn't been baptised either. Eko happily baptises both Claire and Aaron together. Locke locks the seven statues in the Swan Station's armoury. Charlie, ostracised from the rest of the group, moves a bit further up the beach.
Major WTFery: Libby makes a point of noting that the washing machine and the dryer in the Swan Station are newer than the other equipment, none of which is newer than the late 1980s. This may be a wry nod to the possibility that the production team couldn't source era-appropriate white goods so just used contemporary equipment. It's not impossible that there is some mechanism for the white goods in the hatch to be replaced if broken down, with replacements dropped from the resupply drones, but it seems rather unlikely.

Charlie raises a series interesting and valid point in this episode: Sayid and Shannon saw Walt in the woods, Kate saw a horse and several people have been chased around by a murderous cloud of black smoke, but his visions and dreams are dismissed out of hand. He also notes that it is strange that supposedly spiritual Locke completely ignores his dreams and visions in favour of lazily blaming it all on the drugs, which he quite clearly isn't taking because the statues are all intact and the plane has been destroyed (which Eko can verify). Locke actually acts rather annoyingly out-of-character in this episode for no real reason.
Hindsight: Libby's story about Hurley stepping on her foot is clearly incorrect. Libby was sitting in the tail section of the plane and Hurley entered from the front gangway, as we saw in the Season 1 finale. Presumably Libby saw him later on whilst moving up and down the plane before it crashed, or heard the story about him charging crazily on board from Bernard or Cindy. This isn't actually an error, as Libby was trying to distract Hurley before he remembered seeing her in the same mental hospital (as revealed in Dave).

The saga of the statues continues (groan) in The Long Con, ? and Three Minutes later this season.

Review: By a country mile, Fire + Water is the worst episode of Lost up to this point. In fact, it might be the worst episode of the entire series, despite some hefty competition from Jack's Tattoo Episode and That One With Nikki and Paulo. Nothing about it makes sense, it lazily leans on Charlie's recovering drug addict status for drama, Locke acts out of character throughout the episode, the flashback is utterly pointless and the whole thing is an ungodly, badly-structured mess. Congratulations to Lost for making it through 35 episodes before dropping the ball completely, but this is the first really wretched episode of the series. (*)


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've had more than one friend who I've tried to get into LOST stop watching at Fire+Water. They were feeling like season 2 wasn't as good as 1, and then that episode just killed it for them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fire + Water being the worst episode of the series...but man, Expose is amazing! I can't believe people hate that episode.

Tony Laplume said...

Completely disagree. To have everyone get along throughout the series would have been ridiculous. Early on it was the Jin swerve. "Fire + Water" might be viewed as a metaphor. We already know Michael is compromised. Soon we'll have "Henry Gale." And the whole Tailies saga, with Ana Lucia heading the charge. We'd already seen Shannon's struggles to be taken seriously, and of course, Sawyer's. But Charlie? Charlie's the ultimate martyr complex, in a whole series about characters with martyr complexes. And he'd got the most straightforward backstory to explain it, and is easily the most tragic. He went from being the most level-headed to being completely ruined. (Again, the Michael analogy.) And that's what this episode is all about. That's why Frustrated Locke (which is a character that, just as tragically, would never be happily resolved) takes his first public fight against Charlie, because Charlie, to this point, really had seemed redeemable, and it centers on Claire, the most likable (and hence why she has to be kind of taken away and corrupted). So to have Charlie smacked down so dramatically was absolutely necessary. Character-wise, not only a great episode, but one of the key moments of the series.