Friday, August 7

Exodus, Part II (S1, ep. 24)

Exodus, Part II (S1, ep. 24)

Locke: "Do you really think all of this is an accident?....we were brought here for a purpose - a reason - all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason."
Jack: "And who brought us here, John?"
Locke: "The Island. The Island brought us here...The Island chose you too, Jack. It's destiny."

Locke: "Boone was a sacrifice that the Island demanded. What happened to him was part of a chain of events that lead us here - that lead us down a path - that lead you and me to this day, right now."
Jack: "And where's that path end, John?"
Locke: "It ends at the Hatch....All of this happened so we could open the Hatch."
Jack: "No. We're opening the Hatch so that we can survive."

This conversation between Jack and Locke serves to sum up the cosmic questions being asked on Lost (Fate or coincidence? Determinism or free will? Science or faith?) and to answer them, all in one fell swoop. The answer is both, of course. Science and faith. Fate and coincidence. Determinism and free will. Like the black and white Dharma bagua that will soon be introduced, these seemingly antithetical concepts coexist side by side, incompatible and inseperable - human perspectives on the inscrutable.

Jack and Locke spend the majority of this episode working to accomplish the same goal for philosophically different reasons. Jack wants to open the Hatch because he sees it as a hope for survival. Locke wants to open the Hatch because he sees it as his destiny. But no matter the motive, the fact remains that they're working together, rigging the charges to open it. Their interactions sets them at odds, but their actions unite them.

-- The idea of Boone as a sacrifice that the Island demanded is deeply troubling to me. As was pointed out a page or so back, the Locke/Boone beechcraft scenario in some ways mirrors the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible. However, the Bible paints a different overall story than Lost does. In the Bible, God urges Abraham to sacrifice his son but then, crucially, stays Abe's hand via angelic proxy. Here, there's no literal sacrifice. Locke doesn't willingly take Boone's life by his own hand - he watches as Boone seems to sacrifice himself. But that is not to say that 'God' does not intervene. The closer Locke comes to the plane where Boone will die, the more his newly-restored legs begin to give out on him.

I believe that Locke has decided to use his faith to justify what happened to Boone. This sort of justification is arguably a salve to emotional pain. But it's also a gateway to sin. Human sacrifice is not something a 'good' God should ever demand.

-- Blowing up Artz = bliss.

Paik's Man: "You are not free."

We learn that Jin was also planning on running away, ironic given that his wife was plotting the same thing without him. Now that I know the full story behind Paik's watch it makes ZERO sense for Jin to have beat Michael up over it. What does make sense: Jin was jealous of the obvious attraction between Michael and his wife.

--For all that Hurley might typify the concept of PU, he's got a lot of Eeyore in him.

--We learn that, at some point during Claire's disappearance, she scratched Rousseau in the jungle. I have no recollection on this at all, but I assume Rousseau was helping her to escape?

-- Charlie, beat up by a junkie groupie = pathetic

-- The Last Temptation of Chuck: a plane full of heroin revealed to him. It's no surprise to learn that he's kept one of the statues. At this point in the series it does look as though some force/someone is actively taunting/tempting Charlie.

Sun: "Do you think we're being punished?"
Shannon: "Punished for what?"
Sun: "Things we did before. The secrets we kept. The lies we told."
Shannon: "Who do you think is punishing us?"
Sun: "Fate."
Claire: "No one's punishing us. No such thing as fate."

-- The Hurley Bird makes its first appearance in the Dark Territory. It's the only bird I've seen on the Island to date. The interpretation is up to you, but both times it calls out, its cries do sound an awful lot like Hurley's name. Note that the bird calls out, flies away, and is immediately followed by the first visible appearance of Smokey. Note also, that between Smokey's mechanical clanking, the same bird cries out again, and seems to call Hurley's name a second time. In both instances, the show's editors have chosen to feature Hurley on the screen directly before and after those calls. This seems deliberate, but I do not know what it means.

-- Locke's confrontation with the Monster is markedly different than previously. It behaves as we see it behave in "This Place Is Death" - attempting to yank him down a hole into the underworld of the Island. Like Juliet at the Swan, Locke wants to be let go of, but Jack refuses and dynamite is used to free Locke from the Monster's grip. Is Smokey/the MiB attempting to 'convert' Locke as it converted Rousseau's team? What does this say/mean about the ultimate game plan of this entity?

Sun: "Aaron is a beautiful name. What does it mean?"
Claire: "I don't know what Aaron means."

I'll help you out, Claire:

1) In ancient egyptian, 'Herr' is 'to concieve.' 'Hrara' is 'conception.'
2) In Hebrew, 'Har' means 'from the mountain,' which may refer to the place of the Biblical Aaron's death.
3) In Arabic, 'Haroun' means 'high mountain.'
4) Unascribed to another language, it apparently also means 'one of light' and 'exalted.'

-- As Hurley rides his scooter through the airport, the numbers on a soccer team's jerseys spell out 4 8 15 16 23 42.

Locke: "We shouldn't be this close to each other, Jack."
Jack: "If we blow up, we blow up."

Nice metacommentary, Lost.

-- We see the Numbers have been etched on the Hatch and we've now seen that etching take place, four seasons later.

-- Tom Friendly makes his first appearance as the Others finally show their faces. This is a deeply creepy moment in the show's history. God knows that the first time I saw this sequence the banjo line from Deliverance snaked through my mind.

--The final shot of the first season: Locke, Kate and Jack staring down into the Hatch as the camera pulls further and further away, making clear just how deep this particular rabbit hole goes.

Much like the Harry Potter books, future generations will have no real understanding of what it was like to have to wait and gnash teeth over the lack of any resolution. They'll just shrug and pop in Season 2. When they do, I'll pop my dentures in and lecture them on 'the way things used to be,' when 50 cents would get you all the penny candy and moon pies a boy could want.

On to Season Two!

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