Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lost ReWatch Week #4: Hearts & Minds, Special, Homecoming & Outlaws

Good afternoon, Lost friends! Given that it is a sweltering 102 degrees outside, I thought it was a good time to switch on the a/c in my little Espresso Hatch and focus on this week's group of four episodes.

Weekly ReWatch Caveat
There are 8 other sites participating in this project. In order to provide the most fresh and honest perspective here, I do not read the recaps and analysis posted on my fellow ReWatch friends' sites until after I post my own. We all have different writing styles and are bound to experience similar epiphanies throughout this process. So if you come across any, please keep in mind that we've all seen these episodes multiple times and have analyzed them under relatively kindred microscopes for five years. Also...I am not perfect, nor is my memory; there are bound to be small mistakes here and there as I revisit and discuss all five seasons. So please excuse any errors in advance.

Enough small talk. Let's follow the cord into the ocean and examine this batch of four episodes...Hearts & Minds (Boone-centric), Special (Michael/Walt-centric), Homecoming (Charlie-centric) & Outlaws (Sawyer-centric).

Alternate Reality Bites

In my last post, I mentioned that
some are speculating that Lost may turn out to have been an alternate reality of sorts. Certain sequences deserve a second look, including Boone's vision of Shannon's death and Claire's disappearance...
Locke: It was only as real as you made it.
Jack: It is possible that her memory reset to the crash.
Background Check

After Hibbs made a vague reference about Sawyer and "the Tampa job" in Outlaws, I realized that we never found out the significance of that OR of Sayid's "Basra incident." Add both to the heaping pile of questions far too small to be answered before the series ends.

Behind the Wheel (Getting His Kicks on Route 666)

Literally and/or figuratively - am I the only one who is now questioning whether or not it was Jacob 'driving' the following cars? Because to be honest, many of these incidents influenced how and why each ultimately wound up on the island the first time (and second in some cases)...
  • Michael is hit in NYC (S1, Special)
  • Locke is run over as he was approached by his long lost mother in a parking lot (S1, Deus Ex Machina)
  • Shannon's father crashed into Jack's future wife Sarah (S2, Abandoned)
  • Bus that killed Juliet's ex-husband Edmund Burke (S3, Not in Portland)
  • Claire's car crash, ejecting her mom through the windshield and putting her in a coma (S3, Par Avion)
  • Anthony Cooper's Tampa crash, resulting in his arrival on the island (S3, The Brig)
  • Bridge car crash while Jack contemplates suicide (S3, Through the Looking Glass)
  • Hurley crashes his car after seeing Ghost Charlie (S4, The Beginning of the End)
  • Michael unsuccessfully attempts to kill himself by smashing car into wall (S4, Meet Kevin Johnson)
  • Emily Locke is run down in front of her house, causing her to go into labor and deliver a premature John Locke (S4, Cabin Fever)
  • Locke's car is rammed by another after he flees Abaddon's murder scene (S5, The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham)
  • Nadia is hit & killed by a car as Jacob himself chats w/Sayid (S5, The Incident)
If you'll excuse a rather shameless plug, allow me to name-drop as I quote lyrics from my very good friend Matt Nathanson's song "Car Crash." Certain lines are quite appropro of our favorite show...
I'm wide awake and so alive
Ringing like a bell
Tell me this is paradise,
And not some place I fell.
I keep on falling, down.
I wanna feel the car crash
I wanna feel the BOMB drop, the earth stop
'Til I'm satisfied.
I wanna feel the car crash
'Cause I'm dying on the inside
I wanna LET GO and know
That I'll be alright.
Crossing Paths

Sawyer was getting arrested in Sydney at the same police station where Boone was attempting to convince the authorities that his sister was in trouble.

Sawyer and Christian Shephard got drunk and commiserated at a bar in Sydney.

Dirty Flirty

From this group of episodes, I loved Kate and Sawyer's game of "I Never" and the beginning stages of chemistry between Sayid and Shannon.

But even though we all know that they are not blood-related...that sex scene between Boone and Shannon remains one of the more creepy seductions in Lost history. Frankly, I prefer his bromance with Locke.

Goosebump-Inducing Dialogue

Hearts & Minds
Hurley: This isn't a game, man.

Charlie: If there's one person on this island I would put my absolute faith in to save us all, it would be John Locke.

Locke: Time to let go. Follow me. [the last words of the episode, and of course there is a fire in the background; S5 foreshadowing!]
Locke (to Walt): See it before you do it. Visualize the path. See it.
Locke (to Michael): Walt knows his own mind.
Locke (to Michael): He's different. I think Walt should be allowed to realize his own potential.

Michael: This is us taking control of our destiny.
Walt: It feels like punishment.

Walt: Shouldn't we be studying birds of EGYPT or something?
Ethan: Bring her here. If you don't, I'm going to kill ONE OF THEM.
Jack (to Kate, regarding Sawyer): I just don't want you to have to owe him anything. [doh! cue the helicopter whispered favor]

Charlie: I killed Ethan, I can bury him.
Hurley: Yeah, until he rises from the dead.

Christian Shephard (to Sawyer): It's fate. Some people are just supposed to suffer.
The Joke's on...Us?

I find it fascinating that of the very few jokes that have been told on Lost...two of the main ones involve a cold locale. Those of you who read this site regularly are quite aware of my slight obsession with region as it relates to exactly what and where the island is.

So after I listened to the "what is black, white & red all over?" joke (answer: penguin w/a sunburn) in Special, I decided to add it to my ongoing list: frozen donkey wheel, polar bears, Penny's listening station, Desmond's snowman joke, Hurley's igloo drawing (and yes, I'm more than aware that Jorge said it was his idea & not related to the show; I am entitled to not believe him).

In my S5 analysis, I posted the following:

I am reminded of the following Robert Frost poem ("Fire and Ice"), and believe that we will discover at the end of S6 that the island is located either within a volcano or in a veritable snow globe (enclosed in an enormous research biodome housed in a frozen locale, being monitored a la philosopher Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon prison design):
Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate,
To know that for destruction, ice is also great and would suffice.
Another visual clue to support my insanity - the comic that Walt was reading in Special...

Loaded Titles


Just look who and what have been described as such:
  • Charlie (by mom Megan)
  • Desmond (by Faraday)
  • The island (by Locke)
  • Jin & Sun's love (by Jacob)
  • Juliet (by Richard Alpert)
  • Locke (by Alpert, mom Emily, pot farmer Mike)
  • Shannon (by Boone)
  • Walt (by Ben, Big Tom & Juliet)
  • Oceanic 6, anyone?
Outlaws addition to our favorite shirtless con man, the list of those who have been arrested or put in jail/prison at some point consists of almost all members of a little group called the Oceanic 6 (plus one great Scot who also got off of the island):
  1. Desmond (S2)
  2. Hurley (S5)
  3. Jack (S3)
  4. Kate (S1, S5)
  5. Sawyer (S3)
  6. Sayid (S1, S5)
Shiny Happy People

It is very disconcerting to see our favorite characters smiling and laughing. It didn't happen very often throughout the first five seasons, but it certainly occurred far more in the first season than the rest.

Rewatching the early episodes, I find myself wanting to yell "run!" and "if you only knew" as if I were watching a dumb horror film.

Significant Firsts

  • The first hint of the island's abnormal electromagnetic properties: Locke's compass (and it merits further discussion & analysis that said compass belonged to Locke)
  • Waaaalt! Yes, Michael yells for son far too early and often.
  • Michael hatches (pun intended) the idea to build a raft.
The Visual & The Visceral

In Hearts & Minds, there is a visual parallel with the S5 finale; Jack approached Locke as he was sitting on the beach and staring out at the ocean, just as Mystery Man did to Jacob.

When Jack asked "any ships?" reminded me of Jacob's statement, "I take it you're here because of the ship."

There is no denying that the ceiling in Susan Lloyd's house is downright Dharma-ish.

Christian Shephard

The Jack apple does not fall far from this old tree...

One simple phone call and I can FIX everything.
By the way, I love how even back then - they bathe Christian in a supernatural light. Oh, and notice the wheel on the wall behind him...


It occurred to me while watching Hearts & Minds that Desmond should have heard Locke and Boone's multiple attempts to break open the Swan hatch door.

His living quarters were not located far from that entrance, as we see in S2 when Locke & co. finally blast it open. We know that he was down there during that time, after accidentally killing Kelvin and then barely preventing the system failure (that released the electromagnetic anomaly which caused 815 to break apart above and then crash on the island).

Hibbs (Sawyer's former con partner)

Keeping in mind that this post has not been updated since S4, I will refer you to my list of missing body parts that we've witnessed (or heard about) over the years on Lost...

I still contend that most, if not all, relate to time shifts and/or time spent on the island at some point in time.

Locke or NotLocke? That is THE Question

Try as I might, I am still unable to get the idea of S1 Locke being NotLocke out of my head. So with that in mind, I offer up the following exchanges:
Sayid (surprised to see Locke emerge from the jungle): I didn't hear you.
Locke: I'm sneakier than I give myself credit for.
Locke gave Sayid a compass that he had with him when the plane crashed.
Sayid: Don't you need this?
Locke: Not anymore.
After drugging Boone...
Locke: I gave you an experience that I thought was vital for survival on this island.

Shades of Christian's speech to son Jack in a prior episode...when Sawyer goes to get the gun to kill who he thinks is the real Sawyer in Sydney, the gun dealer says:
A man who buys a compact 357 with hollow point loads - he's not looking to scare or steal. He's looking to kill. When it comes down to it, if he finds out he doesn't HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to do the job...
Given Locke's story in Outlaws about his sister's death and his foster mother's belief that she (or at least her soul) became a dog...exactly WHO was the boar that taunted Sawyer throughout that episode? At least Sawyer spares it, unlike that poor tree frog.


This is probably not relevant, but Boone mentions that Shannon had been married before. I doubt that we'll ever know who he was, but this is Lost, so it could be a familiar face or name.

Given that Boone had paid off three guys before rescuing her in Sydney, it's a safe assumption that Shannon's ex-husband was one of them.


Boone's vision (thanks to Locke's magical island paste) featured the first ever sighting of The Black Smoke Monster; we'd only heard him in previous episodes. What struck me during that scene in Hearts & Minds was that there was a faint heartbeat accompanying the usual mechanical and menacing sounds of Smokey.

In addition, Boone and Shannon hid from Black smoke in what looks like the same batch of trees that Kate and Juliet took shelter in a few seasons later; they were escaping White smoke.


File under: coincidence? Vincent disappears just as Claire reappears after being kidnapped by Ethan. Vincent reappears just as the survivors discover one of their own was killed by Ethan.

After further thought, Locke's story relates to not only Vincent, but to redemption for many others on the island:
My sister Jeanie died when I was a boy. Fell off the monkey bars and broke her neck. And my mother, well - my foster mother, she blamed herself of course. She thought she wasn't watching close enough. So she stopped eating, stopped sleeping. The neighbors started talking, afraid she might do something to herself I guess. About six months after Jeanie's funeral, this golden retriever comes padding up our driveway, walks right into our house, sits down on the floor and looks right at my mother, there on the couch. And my mother looks back at the dog. After about a minute of this, of them both staring at each other like that, my mother burst into tears. Beautiful dog, no tags, no collar - healthy and sweet. The dog slept in Jeanie's old room on Jeanie's old bed, and stayed with us until my mother passed five years later. Then disappeared back to wherever it was she came from in the first place. My mother thought that Jeanie had come back to tell her the accident wasn't her fault, let her off the hook.
As crazy as it sounds, my thoughts ran to Charlie (who blamed himself for not protecting Claire when Ethan kidnapped her), to Hurley (who thought that his curse brought them to the island), to Jack (for causing his father's eventual intoxication death), etc.


When Walt seemed to cause a bird to fly into the window when his mom and stepdad refused to look at him, I was hoping for a split second that it would have been a migratory bird (you know...the one that Claire attached a note to in S3). No such luck.

Then I started thinking about the time on Hydra Island when Walt caused a large number of birds to crash into the Other building where he was being brainwashed (mobisode Room 23)...

We have to reconsider many other strange on-island occurrences that may have resulted before and after that time from the young man's pent up anger and frustration. [sidenote: in this mobisode, which the producers have confirmed as canon...Ben says that Jacob wanted Walt there because "he's special." So of course I now believe that Jacob visited young Walt at some point before flight 815.]

And then there is this...

Walt was reading a book about birds when the bird flew into the window in Sydney.

Walt was reading a comic book featuring a polar bear.

...and shortly thereafter one chased him into the trees on the island.

That about wraps up this week's installment. Advance warning that the next batch may be delayed due to 4th of July holiday travel next weekend (but I will try my best to watch & post on schedule).

Thanks for checking in, reading along and leaving the comments! Enjoy your week.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lost ReWatch Week #3: Solitary, Raised by Another, All the Best Cowboys & Whatever the Case May Be

I realized after my last post that (thanks to a reminder from a comment from my friend Bonnie) I've seen these episodes so many times that I'm overlooking some major revelations during this rewatch. Apologies to those of you who are either new to Lost or are revisiting it for only the second time; I will attempt to point out more of the significant moments, events, statements, etc. from now on!

Overall, I have to say that the S5 finale is throwing me for a loop because despite my best efforts, I can't help but now wonder exactly who had a hand in saving certain people and who was involved with critical, life-altering events that have taken place. Before S5, I was satisfied with the explanation that the island was THE answer to almost everything (that it healed, etc.), but now we have Jacob and NotLocke to factor into this vast equation.

Weekly ReWatch Caveat
There are 8 other sites participating in this project. In order to provide the most fresh and honest perspective here, I do not read the recaps and anaysis posted on my fellow ReWatch friends' sites until after I post my own. We all have different writing styles and are bound to experience similar epiphanies throughout this process. So if you come across any, please keep in mind that we've all seen these episodes multiple times and have analyzed them under relatively kindred microscopes for five years. Also...I am not perfect, nor is my memory; there are bound to be small mistakes here and there as I revisit and discuss all five seasons. So please excuse any errors in advance.

Here are some thoughts about this batch of four episodes...Solitary (Sayid-centric), Raised by Another (Claire-centric), All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues (Jack-centric) & Whatever the Case May Be (Kate-centric).

Goosebump-Inducing Dialogue

Raised by Another
Hurley: The reason you were in Australia?
Locke: I was looking for something.
Hurley: So, did you find it?
Locke: No, it found me.
Malkin (to Claire): It is crucial that you yourself raise this child. This child, parented by anyone else, anyone other than you...danger surrounds this baby. Your nature, your SPIRIT, your goodness...must be an influence in the development of this child. There is no happy life, not for this child, not without you. It can't be another (an other?). You mustn't allow another to raise your baby.
All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
Boone: Are we LOST?
Locke: No, we're not lost.
Boone: I think we should GO BACK.
Locke: Don't you feel it?
Boone: Feel what?
Locke: IT.
Whatever the Case May Be
Charlie: Maybe I should have died.
Loaded Titles

This particular batch of episodes featured titles that are far more meaningful and ripe for dissection after five seasons.

Raised by Another: could also refer to Ethan, who was Raised by an Other (born to Amy & Horace Goodspeed, trained by Alpert & Ben)

Whatever the Case May Be: in addition to the Marshal's case, we still don't know the contents of either Ben's case (hidden in the hotel vent off island) or Hurley's guitar case (given that it was provided by Jacob).


Honestly, before the S5 finale I never paid much attention to the use and appearance of pens on Lost.

But after seeing Jacob give young James Ford a pen to finish his Dear Sawyer letter, I can't help but notice them now.

So when Claire seemed to take it as a sign to keep Aaron when several pens were conveniently out of ink as she was about to sign adoption stood out.

And when Christian insisted that Jack sign a falsified document covering up his old man's alcohol-related fatal mistake in the operating room, he was holding onto that pen as if his life depended on it. Turns out, it did. Jack signed it, changed his mind and turned his father in...setting off a series of events that led to Christian's death and arrival on the island.

Insert your fate vs. free will debate here.

Red Shirt Alert!

I had forgotten that in All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, they actually addressed the genesis of the infamous redshirt.

Boone (to Locke): Ever watch Star Trek? The crew guys that would go down to the planet with the main guys, the captain and the guy with the pointy ears, they always wore red shirts. And they always got killed.
Typically on Lost, background extras are designated and referred to as redshirts. But then they changed the rules...Juliet. They donned and doomed my girl with a red shirt a few episodes before the S5 finale.

Talk about a red herring - Hurley was wearing a red t-shirt too!

Relationship Development

I have never been a Lost shipper (for the uninitiated...shipper is short for relationshipper; a fan who loves/roots for certain couples on shows and creates Brangelina type names, like 'Jater' for Jack & Kate). But I find myself much more appreciative of the flirtatious and dramatic beginnings of both Sawyer & Kate and Charlie & Claire. It was almost disconcerting to watch Kate and Sawyer smile and laugh as they discovered and then explored the waterfall.

Charlie's genuine concern and care for Claire is never more real than right before and then immediately after she is kidnapped.

And for the record, speaking as a member of Team Juliet...I do believe that Kate and Jack belong together, as did Saywer and Juliet; one con, one doctor each.

By the way, one of my favorite Lost relationships has been the friendship between Hurley and Charlie. That golf scene in Solitary and Hurley's hug in S3 before Charlie swam down to the Looking Glass station are tops in my book.

Significant Firsts
  • We meet Ethan Rom and Danielle Rousseau. (Solitary)
  • Sayid finds the cord on the beach that we later learn leads to the underwater Looking Glass station. (Solitary)
  • First mention of The Others. (Solitary)
  • Whispers are heard. (Solitary)
The Visual & The Visceral

First introduced in Whatever the Case May Be, Kate's beloved toy airplane is relatively significant....
  • The obvious - it represented Kate's fate and future.
  • That her childhood friend/love of her life Tom Brennan had this toy in his hand when Jacob visited young Kate is worth noting.
  • They buried it in a TIME capsule.
  • As soon as they dug it up, Tom was killed while trying to help Kate escape.
And although they are different, I was reminded of Jack's leaf plane from the pilot episode, as well as the Oceanic toy plane on the crib in Claire's dream and the one in Lapidus' fish tank in S4.


Despite experiencing an unconventional, cold turkey drug rehab during his first weeks on the island, Charlie was unusually perceptive...

Raised by Another
To Claire (about her psychic's assurance that she & baby Aaron would be fine if they went to LA on flight 815): "Maybe he knew. You know, if he had the gift."
All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
To Jack (after Ethan took Claire): "All THEY wanted was Claire."

After Ben took Alex as a baby, Rousseau managed to co-exist with the Others on her own in the jungle for 16 years. After she captured Sayid, she told him that she had not seen anyone else on the island during that time. Do we really believe that Rousseau lived and roamed freely without threat from Smokey or the Others?

Sayid mentions that there are very challenging mathematical equations on the maps that he stole from Rousseau. My first thought was - Daniel Faraday. Given the time skips that we witnessed in S5, it seems possible that she stole those maps herself.


I forget - do we ever find out how and why Hurley received his real nickname?


I laughed out loud when Locke told Boone about his former occupation, "I made boxes." Sir Hunts-A-Lot wound up IN more boxes than he ever made.

Walt seemed to be able to stop the rain, and Locke was able to start it. Kill me now if someone asserts that they were NotLocke and Jacob at that time, respectively.

Immediately after Locke said "don't you feel it?" to Boone, they find the Swan hatch door. Score one for fate. Of course now that we've seen the Swan being built (and possibly destroyed by Jughead), the implications of that scene and discovery are far more important than the first time around.

RICHARD MALKIN (Claire's psychic)

It is fascinating to rewatch Claire's experience and interaction with the psychic, now that we know that certain people were specifically brought to the island via 815. We didn't see Jacob visit Claire before the fight, but I am now wondering if both Malkin and Thomas (Aaron's baby daddy) were visited byJacob, Alpert or even Abaddon because both of them were instrumental in getting Claire on flight 815; they were clearly scared/paid off by someone.

Malkin: This is what MUST happen. It HAS to be this flight.
Remember that in Season 2 (?), Eko discovers that Malkin is indeed a fraud.

By the way, when Malkin referred to the potential adoptive couple in Los Angeles that he was sending Claire to see, he called them "good" people. So of course now I'm assuming that they're Dharma/Other related.

SAM AUSTEN (Kate's stepfather)

We know that Kate's dad was stationed in Kuwait during Desert Storm with Kelvin Inman (Desmond's future Swan hatch mate), whom we can now assume was on the island working for Dharma.

That fact, coupled with the following statement, leads me to believe that her father was also stationed on the island at one point.
Kate (about her dad): Being in the woods - it was like his religion.
If I had to guess, given his military background and age...Sam Austen probably served with young Charles Widmore.


Your wish is your command, special boy. While playing backgammon with Hurley, Walt wishes for double sixes and gets double sixes. He should have fleeced Hurley for more money.

Speaking of...too bad Walt didn't ask for his $20k from Hurley when he visited him at the mental institution. Pay up, Hugo!

Hint, Hint?

Many people are speculating that Lost may turn out to have been an alternate reality of sorts. I'm not quite on board with that theory just yet, but certain lines of dialogue may be interpreted as hints of such a possibility.
You'll find me in the next life, if not this one. (Nadia's note to Sayid)

See you in another life, brother
. (Desmond to Jack & vice versa, Desmond to Jack, Dave to Hurley)

See you on the other side.
(Ben to Jack, Anthony Cooper to Locke, Jack to Sayid, captain of the sub that Juliet/Kate/Sawyer were on)
In addition, it can be argued that certain scenes that were previously thought to be dream sequences may now be looked at in this light.
  • In White Rabbit, Jack sees his deceased father Christian alive and on the island.
  • In Raised by Another, Claire wakes up and she is not pregnant. She encounters Locke...but perhaps it was MysteryMan/NotLocke at that time (for those of you who believe that Aaron may be Jacob in an alternate reality, consider Locke's statement to Claire during this dream: "He was your responsibility but you gave him away. Everyone pays the price now.")
There are many more examples...but we haven't arrived there yet. As we rewatch the episodes, I will aim to address possible alternate realities presented in each.

My $.02/Personal Perspective

I have had the opportunity to interview both William Mapother (Ethan Rom) and Andrea Gabriel (Nadia), both of whom are introduced early on in S1.

William is so sweet and friendly that is it almost shocking to be reminded of just how menacing and creepy Ethan was when we first met him.

And I loved Andrea's performance in Solitary; Nadia's inadvertant reunion with Sayid under such brutal circumstances (when she was his prisoner) was intense, and I only wish we were treated to more time between the two in future episodes.

And as for Kate and Sawyer's waterfall discovery...we hiked up to that very location during the Lost tour in February (I was sporting an ill-advised red shirt). It was one of many 'wow' moments along the way that day.

As usual, I would love to hear what YOU thought about this group of episodes, so leave comments if you would like to share and discuss!

Enjoy your weekend, and Happy Father's Day.

- Jo