Thursday, August 6

Do No Harm, The Greater Good, Born To Run (S1, eps. 20-22)

Do No Harm, The Greater Good, Born To Run (S1, eps. 20-22)

These episodes are fun, but they don't offer a ton of stuff to chew on in terms of the show's larger plot - they're great, character-based television (generally speaking), but that's not really what I'm aiming to write about here, unless it connects to the overarcing story in some way. As such, I'm cramming these episodes into a shorter, more focused recap.

Do No Harm (S1, ep. 20)

Christian Shepard: "Committment is what makes you tick, Jack. The problem is, you're just not good at letting go."


-- This show is not afraid to get a little gruesome on us. Jack ventilates Boone's collapsed lung with a metal spike. Hardcore.

-- Jack's Best Man in his flashback to pre-wedding shenanigans is played by Zack Ward, probably best known as Scott Farkus, the bully with yellow eyes (So help me God! Yellow eyes!) in A Christmas Story. According to Lostpedia, it's his character we see being beaten up by schoolyard bullies in White Rabbit.

-- Note the black and white yin and yang symbol on the t-shirt Jack wears during their first scene.

Great Jin Line Delivery: "Oh."

-- As Boone dies, Aaron is born. This is relatively stock dramatic symbolism, but the Island's fertility issues make me wonder if there's something more to this than just symbolism. Does Boone's death trigger/allow for the birth of Aaron? There's certainly something to be said for the way the notion of balance is reinforced by this idea.

Jack: "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

-- This episode starts to delve more into Jack's 'over-commitment issues' in a big way. His quest to save Boone's life isn't about Boone as much as it's about the notion that he can't let go. It's a self-centered need, not a selfless one. In this, as in other ways, he mirrors Locke more than either of them would like to admit.

-- I'm almost positive that Kate says 'fuck' as she falls and breaks the liquor bottles in the jungle. It's realllly hard to hear, but it's there.

-- As Kate helps Claire give birth, Season 5 Sawyer is watching from the shadows.

-- Aaron is clearly important to this story but it's still not clear why, or how. Is it because, as Farsight suggests, Aaron will become Jacob? Is it because Aaron will become the MiB? And if Aaron's destined to grow into one of these enigmatic figures how will he do so, considering that he's been left off-Island with Claire's mother? Will he seek the Island when he learns his mother died/turned into a smirking ghost there?

The Greater Good (S1, ep. 21)

Sayid: "John, no more lies."


-- Another great Sayid-isode. His flashback is compelling stuff, and the on-Island business regarding the fallout from the death of Boone is stirring stuff.Random thoughts: Another heavily character-based episode. Shannon's grief over Boone's death humanizes her further, and Sayid's inability to help her or his flashbackfriend is believable and sad. I didn't remember Locke's admission at Boone's grave ("It was my fault"), but I'm glad that they included it. It makes Locke seem more human and not as coldly-driven to have him honestly (apparently honestly at least) grapple with guilt over the death.

-- I'm also grateful yet again for Naveen Andrews, who turns his questioning of Locke's story into an artful game of "I See You." Sayid reminds us that, much as we may want to trust Locke it's not clear that we should.

Asam (Sayid's Martyr buddy): "So much for my philosophy degree." I can relate, my Muslim friend. I can relate.

-- From the looks of him, Asam is Gerard Butler's long-lost skinny brother.

-- It was about halfway through this episode that I realized: Hey! Locke's legs are all better. Why is this? What happened, or didn't happen, to grant him a new license on mobility?

-- According to Locke and Sayid's conversation by the Beechcraft they've now been on the Island for a month's time.

-- Hurley singing James Brown (poorly) in order to calm Aaron: priceless.

-- Aaron calming down at the sound of Sawyer's voice is pretty damn adorable.

-- John admits to sabotaging the attempt at triangulation that Sayid, Sawyer and Shannon made earlier in the season - he was the one that bopped our favorite Iraqi on the head. John thinks that information like this ought to enable Sayid and the others to trust him. As Sayid notes in pointing out that John has been carrying a concealed weapon, admitting to having a secret after being called out on it does not earn a person trust - it earns them 'adaptability.' Adaptability is a trait that both Locke and Benjamin Linus have in spades.

Born To Run (S1 ep. 22)

Jack: "My God...what is this thing?"


-- Artz makes his first appearance (that I remember at any rate), claiming that monsoon season is coming. This never occurs on the show, and as someone noted earlier in the thread it's probable that the Island's movement (Sayid notes the sudden, inexplicable shifting of tides) pulls them out of the danger zone.

-- Tom, Kate's childhood friend in this episode, is played by MacKenzie Astin - Sean Astin's younger brother, better known as Dodger, the lovable homeless scamp that helps a bunch of vomiting, alligator-faced, pimple-pocked nightmare children put on a fashion show in Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie.

-- Finally, Locke reveals the Hatch to Sayid and Jack. This episode really highlights the ways in which Locke and Jack handle their respective secrets, and how similarly they justify keeping others out of the information loop. Locke, as is typical of O'Quinn's portrayal, appears to appreciate this irony. Jack, being Jack, just gets all pissy and self-righteous about it.

Great Charlie Line: "This is track two. It's called 'Monster Eats The Pilot.'" That's a great band name, I thought. Someone's going to steal that. Sure enough, here they are on MySpace.

-- I love that Kate and Tom's time capsule is a New Kids On The Block lunchbox. That's a cute, small joke and an example of attention to detail. Note that in The Incident, it's this lunchbox that Kate is stealing when she has her encounter with Jacob. Jacob buys it for her, further cementing the notion that, while Jacob may be a sympathetic or even 'good' character, he's got no qualms with helping folks along to their painful, painful destinies.

And speaking of Kate, her backstory is much more interesting to me this time around. This time through it's about the emotions, not the mystery. The lightly-etched history between childhood friends and the awful way that Tom dies make that plane seem meaningful in ways it didn't the first time I watched. And while Kate remains sympathetic, given both her on-Island kindness and the hints that she's not a cold-blooded murderer, it's much clearer why the Yellow Eyed Marshall Demon would be as contemptuous of her and as cautious around her as we see him.

Ominous Walt Line: "Don't open it. Don't open it, Mr. Locke. Don't open that thing."

Walt apparently recieves some kind of psychic flash when he touches John Locke. Is this meant to represent Walt getting a flash of future events? Is this a warning from the 'Island'/Jacob? It's not clear. But if 'whatever happened, happened,' holds true then Walt's words are so much dust in the wind. Locke has already opened the Hatch, further down the time-line.

Sawyer: "There ain't anything on this Island worth staying for."

Well, he's certainly changed.

Michael: "We can stay here. Just you and me. We don't have to go."
Walt: "Yes we do."

Given Walt's psychic-friends moment, you can read this comment one of two ways: (1) they need to get away from the Island, because something 'bad' is going to happen, or (2) Walt knows that leaving is what Michael and he are going to do, giving them no apparent choice in the matter. They have to go because they've always gone.

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