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.



maven said...

Your usual great analysis, Jo. I wrote down many of the same quotes as omens of what was to come in the next seasons:

Susan tells Michael: "You said yu wanted to live on a boat." (like Desmond and Penny)

Charlie says "Ethan is the bad guy." (good vs bad guys)

Claire tells Charlie in "Outlaws": "I had dreams last night...sort of memories. You were in them." Could Claire be in a different time line...not remembering the crash?

Christian tells Sawyer in the bar: "It's fate. Some people are meant to suffer." Most of our characters are suffering and are on the island to find redemption.

I also wondered if Smokie was Ethan when he threatened Charlie. Of course, he had amazing strength (like Alex with Ben) and his make-up had a greenish tinge to it.

I thought that Sawyer might have been given Frank to kill to make him get on 815. (Of course, it was because Hibbs needed him dead to settle a debt.)

Jon Stueve said...

Hi Jo,

The first time watching I generalized the compass discrepancy with regards to the whole island.

This second time through, it was apparent to me, that it foreshadowed the specific magnetic anomaly centered at the Swan station, and Locke's fully functioning compass when he went boar hunting was now severely compromised by the strong magnetic field around where Lock and Boone were excavating the hatch.

A point more evident when we understand that Sayid noticed the variance in Locke's compass by using his fully functioning needle on a cork compass that showed no major discrepancy with observed north.

As to Locke's aside of "I don't need it anymore" when talking about the compass, I'm seeing that perhaps while everyone else was tracking down Charlie and Claire, Locke took the opportunity to search for something he was looking for "the hatch". No hare data in that theory, but a lot of coincidences. Locke was a good tracker, but let Kate and Jack take the good trail. Locke and Boone seemed to be on a wild goose chase after splitting from Jack and Kate. Locke wanting Micheal to search 'to the south' because they were going north. Locke trying to get rid of Boone at dusk while he continued. Lots of small clues that Locke had his own agenda in the search for Claire.

Also Ethan being Locke's hunting partner is an odd coincidence, Locke would have known a bit of Ethan's field craft, but on his trail Locke became clueless.

Just my $0.02.


Reversearp said...

In Hearts and Minds when Jack and Locke (Flocke?) are sitting on the rocks talking about the boar migrating, Locke comments that they adapt quickly when a new predator is introduced into their environment. Jack: You mean us? Locke: The most dangerous predator of all.

Did anyone else think back to the opening of the S5 season finale when MIB says "They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt."

Is this more evidence that Locke is not Locke but actually MIB posing as Locke?

Hillary said...

If Jacob could have something to do with the cars, could MIB have something to do with Kate's black horse? (Yes, I'm already into S2 b/c I cannot stop watching once I start...)

I … 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):

If they are in a snow globe setting, how might it be explained that the 06 got to land and ultimately home? (My mind drifts to The Truman Show, when Jim Carrey reached the wall and found the door out from the ‘ocean’.) Do you think it’s a less literal enclosing and more like a region somehow blocked by satellite or site from above unless you’re within it? I like the idea, it just leaves me with questions.

Outlaws: love the ‘great Scot’ line. ;-)

Deneph said...

One thing that stood out to me was the "It'll come back around" from Confidence Man. It does all seem to be coming back around.

Great catch on the "I don't want you to owe him anything" line.

Sorry, I'm not getting the Oceanic 6 reference from Homecoming. Can someone spell it out for an old lady?

Jo said...

Maven: Call me stubborn; I am still undecided about whether or not Smokey has ever really embodied someone on the island. But I do agree with you that Hibbs played a role in making sure that Sawyer was on 815 (then again, I'm convinced that every passenger had a person who was hired to do the same).

Jon: excellent points!

Reversearp: good observation & question. at least to me, the jury is out about when Locke was himself...

Hillary: I pondered Kate's horse as well, and obviously we are more likely to link it to MysteryMan because he was donning the black clothing.

As for my ice theory - I don't think the island is enclosed in an actual snow dome. But I do believe that it is located in a man-made, controlled environment/experiment, a la the real Bentham's panopticon prison idea.

Deneph: For Homecoming...I just meant that a few of the six were able to go home. :)

Jarrad said...

Great stuff Jo!
My favorite picture from this review is definitely Christian with the wheel in the background.
Fantastic stuff. I'm about to start my own re-watch and can't wait to discuss further notes with you then.
The Lines that Gave You Goosebumps are the best. No need for episodic recaps, just the cold hard lines and moments that make you wonder..

Thanks again :)

Nurby said...

As for the ice/cold referencing... It seems interesting to me, that we have never seen snow on the island, except for underground where the frozen donkey wheel is. So usually on the island it is hot and there are lots of fires. And then off the island, Penny's listening station, or in illustrations there is snow and cold.
And then to look at that a little more, there are Polar Bears on a hot island and the Penguin joke is about a Cold animal getting what would be considered a hot condition. I don't know what the significance is, but it seems interesting and I wish I could figure out some significance.

Anonymous said...

Desmond listens to music very loudly ... that's why he didn't hear attempts to open hatch.

Diggity said...

@ Anonymous

Is there another way to listen to music? :)