What I’m doing: Racing through Lost in an attempt to catch up before the season finale airs and I get spoiled all to hell.
What this is: These are my thoughts as I watch the episode.
What’s important: In an effort to avoid spoilers, note that I won’t be reading any comments made to these posts until I’ve caught up. Feel free to say whatever you like and discuss among yourselves, just don’t expect a reply from me for the next month or so.
Stating the obvious: There are spoilers in this post for any and all events through to the episode I’m making notes about. If you don’t wish to be spoiled, please stop reading now.
– Great, another Jack flashback.
– Jack’s dad walks out after Jack agrees to do the surgery. Mike: “Son, I am disappoint.”
– And now Jack’s so fixated on the computer and button that a threat against it is the same as a threat against him?
– Is Kate going to see the chat? No, it would appear not.
– The exchange between Jack and his wife: warning signs a’blazing. Wife left him perhaps? I’m sure the very late nights with the attractive and exotic daughter won’t help matters here.
– God, you know Jack’s being an irritating son of a bitch when I’m on Kate’s side. If she wants to go, let her.
– Hee. Jin’s even cuter now he’s loosened up a bit.
– “Who are we to tell anyone what they can or can’t do?” THANK YOU, LOCKE.
– Grieving daughter, guilty doctor … yeah, here’s where something is either going to happen or his wife is going to see something that’s going to make it look like something happened. Aaaaaand there we go.
– The hell. That sounds like his father. But from appearances it’s the crazy Gordon’s fisherman. Who apparently knows them all quite well. But he wants to talk! Oh yes please.
– Aww, does Hurley have a crush? Heee. “It’s the classic desert island scenario. I mean if I ever had a shot, this is it.”
– There’s something actually kind of endearing about Charlie and Hurley sitting in the “living room”, listening to records and talking about girls.
– “Just sit down Jack, nobody gonna hurt YOU.” Very interesting emphasis on the “you”.
– They brought those torches up damned fast. They must’ve all prepared a fire spell this morning.
– That looks like an old ass gun The Other has shoved into Kate’s neck.
– All of that and you guys gave them better weapons and still don’t know where Michael is. So well done there, thanks Kate.
– Holy crap Jack’s house is like 93% support beams.
– Well I will give Jack credit for being up front about the kiss. Oo she’s having an affair right am I right? Well maybe not, but she’s leaving and– Oh, yeah, there we go.
– Your hair Sawyer geez. Didn’t Kate cut it? Maybe
– You know as much as they show these characters drinking water, I bet the actors have to pee all the time.
– Train an army huh? I’m guessing we’re going to see a dramatic reduction in the cast here before too long.
I find I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode save that I was content enough while watching it. Nothing too annoying going on, but nothing too compelling either. Even the meeting with The Others didn’t grip me quite like I thought it would – quite possibly because nothing really came of it beyond the almost childish declaration of “this is MY half of the island and that’s YOUR half of the island and if you come on my half I’m telling Mom!” But after their appearance I still have the exact same questions about them that I had before; nothing answered, nothing new.
Even Jack’s flashback was fairly middle of the road, and so blissfully free of anvils that I’m not entirely sure of its point. The past two flashbacks (Anna and Echo) made sense as it was their first and thus the all-important backstory, but this is Jack’s, I dunno, 67th flashback now, so the writers can be a little more precision when choosing the subject. Why then focus on something that has nothing to do with his current situations? Now don’t get me wrong: I was complaining about the hamfisted symbolism in the flashbacks and I WOULD much rather take this over that any day. But I like the non-establishing flashbacks best when they’re tied in some way to what’s happening. I can’t help but feel as though this was the writing team at a loss for ideas this week so they took the opportunity to show us that Jack’s wife left him (after cheating on him so Jack can continue to be perfect and blameless), making his attraction to Kate and chemistry with Anna okay because he’s unattached. Other than that, what was its point? To show us that he’s devoted to duty? That he likes to comfort and protect? That he takes risks that others won’t take? The show’s already gone pretty well out of its way to demonstrate all of these things. Repeatedly. Nothing new was learned about Jack-the-character, just a little bit of filling in on Jack-the-history. Overall then, pretty pointless.
But not an objectionable episode. I move onward.
– Guessing this is little Charlie. With a piano for Christmas? Yes so would appear. They did say he wrote all the music for Driveshaft right? Whoa did he just cut the head off a baby? And now suddenly he’s IN The Piano.
– This is twice now Charlie’s watched Locke bonding with the baby when he can’t. I’m going to guess that will not go over well.
– Charlie watching Aaron, slinking back into the jungle. Mike: “My preciousssss.”
– Thought apropos to nothing: Charlie’s beard/stubble is black but his hair is blond. Dyed then I assume, but shouldn’t his roots be coming in at least a little bit by now?
– Looking in on his niece I’m guessing. This is probably where his brother decides to go straight.
– Like their Union Jack wall.
– Charlie keeps tightening that string he’ll snap it in a second. Who wants to guess he doesn’t keep spares in his case either?
– Well that’s a weird vision. What’s up with the dove? Did it look black before it turned white or was that just me?
– And of course Charlie can’t win here. If he tells of his vision, Claire will think he was high.
– “Pretty much everybody” has seen Walt wandering around in the jungle? Speaking in hyperbole or literally? If the former, Sayid is the only person alive who saw him and he mentioned it briefly to Kate, so have either or both of them been spreading that tidbit around? And if the latter than who? When? Why haven’t we heard about it before now?
– God dammit Charlie stop lying. :(
– Leave Claire and the baby alone? He can’t do that – he’s addicted to them now. Up until this point I thought it was possible that Charlie was using again, but now I don’t think he has been. He didn’t have to. He found a new drug. And now he’s withdrawing.
– Music video? Oh no worse, sell-out commercial.
– Liddy (Libby?) is indeed right – that’s a pretty modern front-load washer. Further evidence that someone from the outside has had contact here, and relatively recently. When are they next due back is the important question.
– “Do I know you from somewhere?” Huh. She’s a medical psychiatrist, Hurley was in a psyche ward ….
– “I’m marking trees.” “Why?” “Because these are the ones I like.”
– Save him in a spiritual sense, baptise him? Well I wouldn’t have thought of that and I’m not sure it’s right, but the interpretation could work and makes sense for Charlie to go there.
– And Locke watches on. Locke and Charlie are gonna have a Come To Jesus here in a few that has nothing at all to do with baptism.
– Here we go, Liam’s about to hit bottom. When will Charlie I wonder.
– And we cut to a shot where we don’t have to watch Monaghan not play the piano.
– “Got a fix?” DOH. And no Liam has not hit bottom yet clearly.
– The sad part is that maybe Charlie really was here to destroy the drugs. I don’t know. They’re keeping just enough ambiguity in place so we can’t be 100% sure either way.
– Now Locke moving next to Claire, seeming to physically take Charlie’s place? This is going to go very very badly. I’m also now getting the idea that maybe Charlie is the one who’s the danger to Aaron, is going to kill him, which is why he wanted him baptised first so that his soul would be saved. Can men who have no parental link to a baby get postpartum depression?
– A thought: why isn’t anyone at the caves anymore?
– Oh burn Liam sold the piano didn’t he?
– For your family? Well what the hell is Charlie then? Man Liam’s such a knob.
– OH SNAP Locke beatdown. So Charlie gets smacked down into the water – his own baptism maybe?
– Holy shit how is Charlie not flinching which Jack stitches his FACE. I’M flinching and I’m just watching it.
– Mike points out that if the end result of all this is Claire and Aaron getting baptised then, in a way Charlie DID save them.
– Locke locking the heroin away? Seems so. Why is he keeping it? It would seem like destroying it would be the only real solution. I hope he at least tells those with access to the gun room what they are and why they’re there.
I go through cycles with Charlie. I like him, then I’m angry at him, then I have a sort of disgusted pity for him, then I like him again. It’s a weird thing, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s maybe the way I’d feel if I actually knew a junkie. I know I said this in another recent Charlie-focused ep, but I do think that in Charlie they’ve created their most real and three-dimensional character. Charlie can wear so many faces, some even contradictory, and yet I believe them all. And again I’m struck by how they could’ve gone the easy route with him and either made him the lovable junkie or the detestable weakling. Instead the character constantly walks a tightrope. Kudos.
Now all that being said, I still don’t entirely get why we’re in this mess. I get the rockstar lifestyle and all, but his turning to drugs basically boils down to “because his brother was mean to him”. Even drug addled Charlie had it (relatively) together. He was there for his niece and sister-in-law, able to function just fine in the commercial shoot, and was even writing again. While they’re playing the aftermath very well indeed, I still feel that I’m missing some key piece of the puzzle when it comes to why he was addicted so very badly in the first place.
Another thing that wasn’t too clear to me was, why the illusions? Why did Charlie just suddenly start having these elaborate waking dreams? What triggered them? How long has he been having them?
You know, Mike said something a little bit ago that I’m recalling now. He theorized that the sickness the french woman was on about? Well our guys already have it. It’s a mental illness and they’re all already suffering from it. Constant thoughts of the past, elaborate illusions, irrational behaviour, the whole lot. Result of the sickness. And while I’m not sure I buy into the idea just yet, I like it. It explains a hell of a lot. But I’m not sure I’m quite willing to give the writers that much credit of forethought.
– From the title I’m guessing a Sawyer ep?
– “You even got Locke to take a swing at you. That’s like getting Gandhi to beat his kids.”
– Really after all this you’re still “That’s mine” with your “stash” Sawyer? We go so far and come right back where we started.
– Snerk, I like that flashback girl caught Sawyer’s game pretty fast.
– Mention of Rose and Bernard again, apparently off in limbo for a while once more. A dentist though eh? With a sweet tooth. Cute.
– Sayid could indeed do with a distraction at this point with the radio. He’s STILL moping geez.
– Uh oh – Sun alone in the jungle. Do you not hear the ominous violins, Sun?! Oh it’s just Vincent yay. But OH NOES KIDNAPPING. Man The Others sure like the rain don’t they.
– Kate could recognize it was Sun just from a few muffled sounds? But they found her fast. Why drop her? Why bother? They said they’d leave the Lostaways alone if– Ohh okay this is, like, Anna doing it, right?
– A train of thought that Sawyer has obviously bought a ticket on. Well I could see the story going either way now then though I don’t think it’s a real attack by The Others. Could be someone with The Others trying to incite a movement against them so they can retaliate. Seems unlikely though. Could be Anna and/or Jack for much the same reason? Or since it’s a Sawyer episode, guessing maybe Sawyer though I don’t know why yet, nor how since he was with Kate when Sun was Sunnapped.
– Even the newbie who never met both Scott and Steve can’t keep them straight.
– Sun recounts what happened. Vincent was there first. Vincent didn’t react. Vincent likes Anna, we saw. But he also likes and is used to all of them. Makes it unlikely to be one of The Others.
– Well in the Sawyer flashback one of these two is still being conned. I’m just not sure which one it is, Sawyer or the lady?
– Locke searching the books. I’m not sure what he’s looking for but the only title I saw was “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. I’m going to have to give that one some thought. I know the story backwards and forwards (THANKS, HIGH SCHOOL LITERATURE) but I dunno what purpose it serves just yet.
– Locke and Sawyer’s exchange didn’t sit too right. Definitely leaning toward this all being Sawyer’s design.
– Jack and Locke about to come to blows but … yeah okay it’s Sawyer then. How long does he think he can keep the guns away from everybody though? Seriously?
– Now a manuscript, “Bad Twin”? Going to keep assuming that books (expanding that to literature) has a deeper meaning. I mentally file it away.
– Sayid saying they probably won’t get anything on the radio. Mike: “Which means they will on the first try because it’s almost the end of the episode.” And lo. Seems like just a radio station. Now there’s something inherently creepy to me about radio transmissions (I once spent like a whole week getting seriously freaked the hell out by numbers stations; this is something of a closet fascination for me) so I can’t tell if the vibe I was supposed to get from this was disturbing or comforting.
– “Could be from any place.” “Or any time … just kidding dude.” Okay now that was gratuitously meta.
– Ahhh okay Charlie yeah. With a heroin payoff? Nope, humiliation. I get that. A “nemesis” for Locke? Charlie certainly seems to be in a bad place and has Locke to focus all his not inconsiderable frustration on. This could go very badly when all is said and done.
– And Sawyer is probably pretty bad right up to the end. I’m still not sure I understand his motivations, but I think this ep confirms one very important idea: Sawyer cannot be trusted.
Let’s look at this first of all from a writers’ standpoint. I think what we really have here is the writers attempting to backpedal out of the hole in which they found themselves. On an island such as this, with the dangers they face, a gun is pretty much omnipotence. It’s a feeling of safety, whether true or illusion, and will always be the answer to any problem. That’s a bit of a hairy truth when you’re trying to maintain tension and have situations where answers come, however slowly. Charlie shooting Ethan last season may have been frustrating, but it was believable. The same could be said if it was the end result in any Other/Lostaway face-off. But it’s a bit tough to get answers revealed in a trickle when logic is armed and working so stridently against you.
So whatever else, I’m sure that was the main goal here: get rid of the guns. That said I think Sawyer was a good vehicle for that. Neither Locke nor Jack can be trusted. They both have their own agendas and are both self-righteous enough to be utterly convinced in their own certainty. Both have demonstrated that they’ll say anything, do anything, when they are so sure they are in the right. And they so very easily are sure they are right. Sawyer though, he’s actually a lot more level and consistent. His interest is singular: Look out for me. He has no grander goals or aspirations. He’s utterly untrustworthy but that makes him the person you can trust the most.
My biggest problem with this is the idea that Sawyer can actually keep all those guns hidden for any length of time at all. What I think is going to happen then is that he will eventually lead the Lostaways to his hiding place, either by force or change of heart, only to find them missing, taken by The Others. That will upset the balance of power quite nicely and restore a lot of the tension that has been lost by both familiarity and the overabundance of firearms.
Looking beyond this to Sawyer himself and his flashback. Pretty enjoyable and did keep me guessing as to whether he was conning or being conned all the way to the end. His seeming about-face does have me scratching my head a little. Can it really be as simple as Kate said? That he just wants people to hate him? Possible, but I hope there’s more to it than that. WHAT I don’t exactly know, but I’m hoping so.
Probably the most striking part was how easily Charlie is falling into the villainous role. I really do think something snapped inside him last episode. He’s definitely got a coldness to him now. And while I wouldn’t have thought to say this, if I were Locke I’d be careful. Charlie would never take him in a face-to-face, but he’s a devious little hobbit with a very definite ruthless streak. Like I said in my notes above, this could go very badly indeed.