Abandoned (S2 ep. 6)
Shannon’s swan song, in which we learn that our favorite spoiled, bikini-flaunting half-sister is a fundamentally decent human being who’s lost her way.
--Sayid builds a love-hut for Shannon, replete with candles, flowers, and a cozy-looking bed. This is one smooth move. Note to self: Carry a gun on my person the next time I’m looking to mack on my wife. It is, apparently, quite the aphrodisiac.
--Walt appears to Shannon again, just after some sweet lovemaking. This appearance is even freakier than the last, with Walt barely visible at the flap of the tent, shuddering and talking in his newly acquired little-man-from-another-place patois.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, and to the people with far more free time than I possess, we know that Walt says “They’re coming, and they’re close.”
Is he attempting to reunite the castaways with their fellow survivors and the tailies? Is he warning Shannon, because ‘they’ will end up killing her? Is he deliberately leading Shannon to her death? It’s unclear.
Charlie: “You heard screams, so you woke up the baby and ran towards them?”
This episode marks the beginning of a depressing downward spiral for Lost’s resident hophead. Claire is beginning to bristle at the way Charlie has assumed a fatherly role in the life of Aaron and herself. As she says to Locke, they’re practically strangers in many ways, and yet Charlie hovers over her and the baby like an over-attentive helicopter parent. To make matters worse, Claire tips Locke off to the fact that Charlie has taken to carrying around a statue of the Virgin Mary – one of the statues filled with Heroin found in the Nigerian plane.
--Shannon’s step-mother is a monster, yes? How else do you explain her denying Shannon a plane ticket to New York, given that Shannon’s been accepted as an intern with the Martha Graham dance company? Could it be that, like Ms. Hawking, Mrs. Rutherford knows something about her daughter’s destiny?
Libby: “How’d you get shot, anyway?”
Sawyer: “With a gun.”
--Rose is back out on the beach hanging laundry again, despite having learned of the Swan station and its alluring washer/dryer. She doesn’t like the Hatch and we continue to receive the vibe that the Hatch is not a ‘good’ place. Rose steps up for us and utters what might well be the ruling ethos of the Island and its band of merry Others:
“Who needs a dryer when we’ve got sun and fresh air – wouldn’t want to spoil ourselves, would we?”
This basic mantra crops up over and again, in different forms and from the mouths of different people, throughout the run of the show. Ben informs Locke that Jacob doesn't like technology (though who knows if that was the truth), Locke questions Ben's comfortable barracks lifestyle and asks if it's what Jacob wants...there's a naturalism at work here on the Island, and it seems to be arguing that a 'good' life is a life stripped clean of the trappings of technology and society.
--Shannon makes it her mission to find Walt, despite Sayid thinking she’s crazy. She does something arguably clever – she finds one of Walt’s shirts and has Vincent scent it, then follows him. But Vincent doesn’t bring her to Walt – he brings her to Boone’s grave. Not a good sign for your longevity, kiddo.
Locke: “Babies like the feeling of being constricted. It’s not until we’re older that we develop the desire to be free.”
--I love that Shannon and Boone drink scotch out of Shannon’s old toy tea cups. It’s a great detail.
--Ana Lucia finally gives us the bare bones of the tailies’ story as they continue making their way toward the beach camp on the other side of the Island, now hauling Sawyer along on a stretcher because he’s gone and passed out from infection on them. Her story: On the first night they crashed, the Others came and took three of them away (if memory serves, they attempt to take Eko as well, but he doesn’t look too kindly on their efforts). Two weeks pass, and then another nine are taken away.
Ana Lucia: “They're smart, and they're animals, and they could be anywhere at any time. Now we're moving through the jungle - their jungle - just so you can save your little hick friend over here. And if you think that one gun and one bullet is going to stop them - think again.
It’s unsettling stuff, and all of this build-up over the Others and how frightening they are makes me reflect on the apparent disappointment of some when they were revealed to be Dharma barracks-living, book reading, erudite pretenders with too much spirit gum and too many fake beards. I never experienced that disappointment, for two reasons: (1) I loved the notion of Ben and Co. living cozily in the barracks, but traipsing about the jungle in disguise, and (2) I’d assumed (and still assume) that the Others Eko and Jin spotted in the last episode were Richard’s – a group far less likely to be living in decadent comfort (comparatively speaking), and far more likely to be out learning the trick of silent jungle-walking.
Ana Lucia: “You would risk our lives – for him?”
Eko: “It’s the only way I know.”
No, it’s really not, sir. It’s the way you know now.
--Backgammon makes its return, with Locke and Charlie playing in the sand. It’s difficult to tell for certain, but I’m fairly sure that Locke is playing on the dark side.
--Cindy the flight attendant vanishes into seeming thin air, leaving no trace behind. We won’t see her again for some time, and what happened to her has never been explored or hinted at. We’ll learn that the Others took her – but to where, and why? To Room 23?
--Ghost-Walt appears a final time in the closing minutes of the episode, and both Sayid and Shannon see him. Mrs. Clugh (sp?) will inform us later this season that Walt sometimes appears in places that he shouldn’t be – is this an instance where he has physically transported himself to warn Shannon? He shushes both her and Sayid several times before running off – but he runs directly to where Ana Lucia and her crew are emerging from the jungle in the rain.
--Directly before Sayid and Shannon see Walt, they hear the Whispers once again. If you’re in the mood, you can access the (assumed) translations of those Whispers here. It won’t spoil anything for you, but it will make you scratch your head.
--Of course, we all know how this ends: In gunshots, blood and anger. In mistrust, fear and regret. And in death, of course – this place is death, after all. But that’s just this episode – the show must go on. And as Jacob has told us, it only ends once – everything that happens before that is just progress. Rest in Peace, Ms. Rutherford. To date, you are the only major character not to have resurrected or reappeared in one form or another.