Exodus, Part I (S1, ep. 23)
Rousseau: "The Others are coming."
Much as I thoroughly enjoy the character-oriented flashback episodes on this show, at the end of the day I'm a total whore for the overarching plot. That's what gets my biscuits warm. And here, at the very end of Season One, the writers pull the strings Bela Lugosi-style, unleashing a torrent of plot-threads that they will willfully pick at, tease over and flat-out ignore for seasons to come. Bless them.
The sorts of things that make Lost great television are generously heaped all over this two-part finale: smartly-essayed character work, twisting mysteries, pulpy action and spectacle, emotional truthfulness, and a kind of sadistic glee in torturing the audience. I guess that makes me something of a masochist.
Long story short: The Others are (supposedly) coming. Jack wants to hide everyone in the newly-revealed Hatch. John wants to see what's inside, and pretends at caring about hiding everyone. Much drama ensues.
- Exodus can be seen as a reference to the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. It can also be seen as a reference to Kirk Hammett's old metal band but should not be.
-The fourth book of the Hebrew Bible? Numbers. Both books deal with Moses and his brother Aaron leading the tribe of Israel to the promised land.
- The writers introduce Ana Lucia to us and to Jack, having her meet him in flashback at an airport bar before 815 takes off. Michele Rodriguez took a lot of fan hate for her character/portrayal, and I recall some of it being justified. But I also think the brief scene between her and Jack here is some of the softest, most vulnerable work I've seen her do, and it makes me look forward to re-visiting her character in season two. I'm already planning to argue that the negativity directed at Ana Lucia is based around ideas of gender. We'll see if that hypothesis holds up.
Artz (referring to Hurley): "If you wanna keep a secret, don't tell the fat guy." Nice one, chubby. Pot. Kettle. Black.
- Danielle's story about how the Others came to take her baby seems like outright fabrication to me. Speaking for myself, at this point in time there's only one plot point about her stories that outright bothers me. We'll get to it shortly.
- This episode is the first to use a multiple-flashback structure, in which all the main characters are featured. This must have been difficult and a lot of fun to break in the writers room.
Sawyer: "Small world, huh?"
- Sawyer's revelation to Jack - that he met and spoke with Christian in Sydney - remains genuinely powerful stuff. If Lost had been cancelled after the first season, Josh Holloway and Matthew Fox could have used that scene on their reels for the rest of their lives.
- Great Locke/Rousseau exchange:
Locke: "Where'd you get the scratches?"
Rousseau: "A bush."
Locke: "Mean bush."
- As for Rousseau's story...from the speech she gives in this episode, as compared to the events as we know them from "This Place Is Death," it sounds as though the Black Rock and the Temple are in close proximity to each other. Either that, or the Temple essentially replaced the Black Rock for the writers as the location of/center of the 'sickness/infection/mind control/enlightenment' that Rousseau's crew undergoes. Anyone know if, canonically, the Black Rock and the Temple are in fact close together?
- The constant references to the ship in Rousseau's story sort of aggravate me. In the seasons to come, the ship essentially disappears from the story (making a supremely memorable reappearance in "The Brig"). It resurfaces at the end of season 5, but I'm fuzzy on how the timing of the Black Rock/Temple shenanigans works out and I'd like that clarified in one way or another. Why was her team going back and forth from the ship? Simple curiousity? If she saw the ship as the site of/catalyst for infection why would she bring the castaways there?
- Apparently it rains on only one part of the Island at a time. It's sunny on the beach, where Michael Sawyer and Jin prepare to set sail, but it's pouring rain in Rousseau's "Dark Territory." Dharma weather control? Bad Island mojo? An artificial/supernatural system? An editing mistake?
- Rousseau tells the castaways, and us, that the Monster is a security system meant to protect the Island - the same explanation that her lover will give her 15 years earlier just before trying to shoot a pregnant woman in the face.
- Walt gives Vincent to Shannon, and it's pretty moving. Nice work by both actors.
- No one says thank you on this show. At least, not when they're upset/angry/depressed. Learn some manners, Lost.
Great Shannon Line:
Shannon: Some arab guy left his bags by me and walked away."
Security: "Could you describe him, please?"
- The Black Rock is a terrific set. It looks practical to me, which is a testament to the relative quality of the CGI here (a far cry from the eye-rollingly terrible CGI that typically infests this show) since common sense tells me that there's no way the entire structure was practically built. If it had been practical I imagine they would have used it more. And they should have. It's good stuff.
- As previously noted everywhere, the Black Rock calls 'Portsmouth' home.
- Okay, so Jin and Sun's reunion may have made me mist up.
-It's jarring to see random castaways interacting with and saying goodbye to the raft people. I have no investment in any of them. They are red-shirts to me.
- Okay, so Vincent's swim may have made me mist up a little also. Sue me.
- Locke calls the skeletons in the Black Rock slaves, but it strikes me that there's a better explanation for the ship and the skeletons and I'm not sure that it's been addressed. Australia was originally used as a British prison - the first penal colony there was established in 1788, and it was common practice to ship criminals there throughout the 18th and 19th century. A ship full of criminals and suspicious folks? Sounds a lot like flight 815 to me.