Wednesday, April 30, 2008

3.1 A Tale of Two Cities

The first episode of season three focuses solely on Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. They are being held in captivity by the Others. We start with a bit of backstory on the Others. They are living on the island in comfortable homes, seemingly living a normal, upper middle class existence. When a tremor occurs, the Oceanic plane crashes. Henry (real name is Ben) send Goodwin and Ethan to infiltrate the groups of survivors.

Cut to the present. Jack is being held in an underground cell while a good-looking woman named Juliette tries to get him to accept some food. She asks some questions, which Jack for the most part refuses to answer, then later reveals that she knows everything about Jack and his family. When Jack finally relents, he uses the opportunity to hold Juliette at poison dart point and demand a way out. Juliette and Ben tell him not to open the door, but he does anyway, flooding the cell with ocean water (it seems they are under water, in a Dharma station called ‘Hydra’). Juliette helps to rescue him, and then knocks him out with one punch.

Sawyer is in a cage used previously to hold bears. He gets shocked when he repeatedly pushes a big red food button, ignoring the advice not to do so by a young man in a cage across the path. The young man (Carl) breaks out and unlocks Sawyer’s cage too, but both are captured immediately. Carl is nabbed and hit in the face by Mr Friendly (Tom - who no longer wears his beard). Sawyer is shot with another tranquilizer dart by Juliette.

Kate is treated differently. She is allowed to have a hot shower, then is made to wear a sundress. She joins Ben for a gourmet breakfast at a gazebo overlooking the ocean. Ben tells her that she is being treated to this because the next two weeks are going to be very unpleasant. Soon, she is in an old-fashioned outdoor zoo cage, across from Sawyer.


Many of the main characters have been torn down. Jack is revealed here to be a man capable of severe jealousy. Sawyer and Charlie have already been torn down numerous times. Locke recently was a whimpering mess. Even Eko resorted to using dynamite. It seems the more we learn about the vulnerabilities of the characters, the less pleasant they are to watch (at least that’s how I feel).

I’m not sure if Lost is moving closer to Jumping the Shark, but I didn’t enjoy this episode. Perhaps it was because it tore down my hero, Jack. Or perhaps I couldn’t get myself too excited about finding out why the Others are doing what they are doing. I don’t want to stay in the world of the Others too long. It has become more of a standard action/torture show, and less about surviving on an island. I think the ‘survivor’ camping out in the elements aspects, in all their simplicity, appealed to me more. There was something special about focusing on the original cast too.

Quotable Quotes

Tom: Hey, you got yourself a fish biscuit! How'd you do that?
Sawyer: Figured out your complicated gizmos, thats how.
Tom: It only took the bears two hours.
Sawyer: (thinks) How many of 'em were there?

2.23 Live Together, Die Alone

The sailboat’s sole occupant is a very drunk Desmond. He’s dejected at having sailed for Fiji and ended up back at the island. His reasoning is that the island is all that is left – he could find no other land masses.

Sayid’s plan is to take Desmond’s boat to the north side of the island, scout the area, then make a signal fire on the beach and rendezvous with Jack’s party. He asks Jack to tell anyone that they know that Michael has been compromised. Sayid wants to take Jin for sailing expertise, but Sun also asks to come. Partway through their journey, they see the remains of a huge statue on a jetty or island near the beach – a huge lower leg with a four-toed foot.

While on their journey, Kate spots two Others who are tracking the party (and doing a really horrible job of staying hidden, considering how good the Others are supposed to be at this sort of thing. She and Sawyer shoot one of them, but the other one gets away. Kate starts out in pursuit, wanting to stop that one before he warns his people that they are coming. But Jack tells her they already know, and takes that moment to confront Michael. Michael not only admits that it is a trap, but he also admits that he killed Ana and Libby.

Sayid arrives at the camp and finds it deserted. He builds his signal fire on the beach. When Jack sees it, he realizes that they are too far inland. Michael has still led them into a trap. Sawyer, Kate, and Jack are nailed with darts and collapse. Soon, they are on a dock. A boat pulls up with Henry aboard. It appears that Henry is the leader. He agrees to fulfill his part of the bargain, giving Michael the boat (which already has Walt aboard) and pointing him in the right direction for rescue. Hurley is told to go back to his people and tell them never to come near the Others again. Bound and gagged, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are hooded and led away.

In the meantime, Locke physically tries to stop Eko from pushing the button, but instead gets punched in the face and kicked out of the hatch. He elicits Demond to help him stop Eko from pushing the button. Using a little trick that Desmond learned, they are able to lower the blast doors and lock Eko out of the control room. Eko climbs out and gets Charlie to lead him to the dynamite. Eko’s plan to blast the blast doors doesn’t work, however, and he and Charlie are both injured. As the countdown nears, Demond remembers the last time he didn’t press the button on time – how the entire station shook in an electromagnetic shudder. He checks the logs from Pearl Station and realizes that this incident happened on the day when the plane crashed. Now he believes that the Swan station is real and the Pearl station was the experiment. (This is backed up by Jack’s party finding the resting place of the journals logged by Pearl observers and sent into the pneumatic tube: they end up in a big pile in a jungle clearing). Locke can’t be convinced, and the button is not pressed. As the electromagnetic incident occurs, metal objects are sucked toward the station wall, endangering the lives of Charlie and Eko. Desmond remembers his failsafe key, and goes below to use it. A huge white light engulfs the island as he turns the key, and the hatch door is blown onto the beach. Some time later, Charlie emerges from the jungle with no idea where Eko or Locke are, and seemingly no need to explain what happened, even when asked by Claire. Claire kisses him anyway.

Desmond’s backstory: Desmond loved a woman (Penny), but her father deemed him unworthy. He was in the army but did something bad and served time in jail before being given a dishonorable discharge. Penny’s father tries to pay him off to stay away from Penny, but Desmond doesn’t take the money. His plan is to beat the father in an around-the-world sailing race, but he has no money for a boat. Fortunately, he meets Libby in the US. She has just lost her husband, and she gives her boat to him. A storm near the island washes Desmond up on the beach. He is rescued by, Kelvin, the on-site button pusher. Kelvin makes Desmond stay inside and always wears an environmental suit when he goes out. (By the way, Kelvin was in the US Army in Iraq before joining Dharma – he was the commanding officer who deal with Sayid when he was captured). One day, after three years, Desmond notices that Kelvin’s suit has a rip below the knee. Desmond follows Kelvin outside and watches him remove his helmet – it was all a joke. Desmond continues to follow Kelvin and finds his boat intact (Kelvin has told him it was never found). Kelvin says he is leaving and invites Desmond to join him. Desmond is angry about being deceived, and while expressing his anger to Kelvin physically, accidentally kills him.

As the episode ends, two men at a observation station in some cold place read that an electromagnatic anomaly has taken place. They ring Penny to let her know.


And so, season 2 ends with more cliffhangers than you can shake an electromagnetic core at. Jack, Sawyer, and Kate are being held by the Others. Michael and Walt are sailing away. We don’t if Locke, Eko, Desmond, or the hatch has survived. And we don’t know why Charlie isn’t telling.

And somehow, something that happened regarding the meltdown/explosion has sent an alert to Desmond’s waiting lover, Penny.


As mentioned earlier, I thought the Others were experts at moving through the jungle silently on their bare feet. Didn’t they abduct Cindy right from other Ana’s eyes? But here, two of them are easily discovered by Kate. They are in plain sight to all of us, too.

Memorable Moments

This two-part episode is filled with exciting moments: Jack’s confrontation with Michael is probably the most dramatic of the lot.

Quotable Quotes

Eko: Charlie, do you know how they got the hatch door open?
Charlie: No, but if you hum it I can probably play it.
Eko: How did they open it – the door that says quarantine?
Charlie: They blew it up – why?
Eko: Charlie, I need you help.
Charlie: Oh, now I’m back in your good graces, father?
Eko: Charlie, John has locked me out of the hatch, and I believe he is doing this because he is going to stop pushing that button. And Charlie, I am absolutely certain that if he is successful, in ninety minutes, everyone on this island will die!
Charlie: (stops to think) Alright, I’m in, I’m in.

(Desmond is studying the print-out taken from The Pearl)
Locke: What are you doing?
Desmond: When did you come here?
Locke: What?
Desmond: The island. When did you come here? How long ago?
Locke: Sixty, sixty-five days-
Desmond: What was the date, what was the date?
Locke: September 22nd. It was September 22nd.
Desmond: I think I crashed your plane.

Locke: (to Eko, as the station shakes apart) I was wrong.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2.22 Three Minutes

It’s been pretty obvious that the only thing that would drive Michael to kill Ana and Libby and release Henry was that Walt’s life hung in the balance. In this episode, we find out that this was true: we get the backstory of what happened to Michael after he took off alone in pursuit of Walt.

Michael was captured almost immediately, and was actually being held, gagged and under guard, while Mr Happy was negotiating the Kate-for-guns deal in episode 2.11 (The Hunting Party). Michael is taken to the Others camp, where he is kept prisoner, fed, and asked questions about Walt by a black woman with a soft voice. He is then given the details of the deal: he has to free Henry, bring back Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hugo – and only those 4, no more – and in return, he and Walt will be set free. Michael demands to see Walt, and Walt is led in, escorted by a personal guard. Walt looks healthy but says he has been subjected to tests. He breaks away to beg Michael to take him away – he also mentions that the Others are not what they seem – that they are pretending.

Michael has been playing the ‘they took my son’ card all season, and here, he uses it once more to convince Jack that only those four people should go in pursuit of Walt. When Sawyer invites Sayid, Michael appeals directly to Sayid to stay away, once again saying that he has to go after his son in his own way. Sayid gives in, but later tells Jack that he thinks Michael has been compromised.

Michael has a hard time with Hurley. Hurley has no interest in coming along for revenge, and does not respond to Michael’s badgering. But after Hurley says a few words about Libby at the burial ceremony, he tells Michael that he will go.

The aforementioned burial ceremony is a moving moment, with two graves set side-by-side overlooking the beach. We stop and pause to wonder why so many (three) of the female main characters have been killed off. But before we can think about that, Sun sees a sailboat, about half a mile away and drifting toward the beach. This is the cliffhanger ending for this week, and with that, we also have the intrigue of how Jack and Sayid will handle making an alternate plan of attack, all without letting Michael know that they suspect. It is also unclear just how much weight Jack has given to Sayid evaluation of Michael.

In other side-stories, Sawyer tells Jack that he ‘screwed Ana Lucia’, and Charlie gets angry at Eko for abandoning him and the plan to build a church (Eko is now sitting in the hatch, dedicated to pressing the button). But it’s not all bad for Charlie. Somehow, he has managed to get his hands on a Dharma case containing a pneumatic injector and a few vials of what would appear to be vaccine. He tries one on himself, then presents the case to Claire as a gift. Apparently, it makes enough of an impression on her that she grabs his hand and holds it during the burial ceremony.

Vincent brings Charlie a Virgin Mary statue. Charlie follows Vincent back and finds all the statues in the hiding spot in Sawyer’s tent. Locke spends the entire show sitting on the beach. He’s there – but makes no comment – as he watches Charlie throw all of the Virgin Mary statues far out into the ocean. As the burial ceremony is in progress, Locke cuts away his splint, grabs a backpack, and heads down the beach alone.


I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about whether Michael would really be able to do what he did – kill two people in cold blood – just for the chance to free his son. It’s hard to say – I don’t know Michael very well. And let’s face it: these people (Jack, Kate, etc.) may be his friends, but he has only known them for a few weeks. I think if I were in his shoes, I would have told them the story and hoped that they would work with me to rescue my son. Who knows what a parent would do. But how will Michael live with the guilt of two wrongs for a right?

Memorable Moments

  • Sayid revealing that he has Michael all figured out

  • Sawyer admitting to Jack that Jack is his closest thing to a friend

Quotable Quotes

Sawyer: So what happened out there in the jungle?
Jack: Exactly what he said happened. He found a camp-
Sawyer: I ain't talking about Mike. You and Freckles. Before you found him, you all were gone all night.
Jack: We were caught in a net.
Sawyer: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Jack: It means we got caught in a net.
Sawyer: Is that what they're calling it these days?

Eko: Charlie, would you do me a favor? I was hoping you could bring my things from the beach here.
Charlie: What for? You moving in here? Fancy yourself a little bachelor pad?
Eko: Yes. I’m moving in here.
Charlie: Well…what about the church? You said we were supposed to be building it together, man.
Eko: I am supposed to do something different now.
Charlie: What am I supposed to do?
Eko: Bring me my things.

Sawyer: Who's gonna talk?
Jack: What?
Sawyer: The funeral. Who's gonna talk?
Jack: I'm sure Hurley'll wanna say something about Libby.
Sawyer: I never even knew her last name. Ana-Lucia.
Jack: It's Cortez.
Sawyer: Cortez. Well there you go…I screwed her.
Jack: What?
Sawyer: That's how she got my gun. Ana, she jumped me. We ‘got caught in a net.’
Jack: Why're you telling me this, Sawyer?
Sawyer: ‘Cause you're about the closest thing I've got to a friend, Doc. And cause she's gone…well at least now we get to kill somebody.