Monday, August 3

Hearts and Minds (S1, ep. 13)

Hearts and Minds (S1, ep. 13)

Boone and Shannon get a turn in the flashbackinator, and it results in some solid drama for the both of them. They were never the most fascinating characters, but their stories are well-told and of a piece with the themes of no communication, familial betrayal and protective instinct that run through all of the back stories.

Sayid and Shannon are ramping up for (brief) romance, and Boone doesn't like it. His 'threat' to Sayid comes across as over-protective, and we'll see that in part it is, but it's also a warning to Sayid that Shannon is, essentially, no good. The first time through, I remember classifying Shannon as a 'bitch.' This time, I'd say she's a scared little girl doing stupid stuff because she has no power in the world and has never been taught to fend for herself. And Shannon's noticeably softer with Sayid than she has been - you can see why he'd appeal to her. What I can't quite see is why she appeals to him. Ah, love.

And speaking of Shannon and romance, it's creepy that she and Boone knock boots in this episode. They're step-siblings, so it's not nearly as creepy as it could be, but it's still icky. Yes, icky.

Interesting Locke Line (referring to Sayid): "He's very competent. We don't want to make an enemy out of him. We're gonna want him on our side."

Locke and Boone have been pretending to hunt for boar as they clear debris from the Hatch. For a week's worth of work, they haven't gotten very far. Locke tells a terrific story about Michelangelo that illuminates the scene and gives us viewers a lovely metaphor to throw around whenever we're feeling contemplative. 27 years earlier on that spot, Juliet is just about to attempt setting off Jughead's core.

I know that some people are bothered by Hurley, but I love him. He's such a wise innocent.

Locke: "How do you open a Hatch that has no handle or latch - no discernable way of opening it?"

I love this line. Locke speaks it as they're at the Hatch, referring directly and literally to it. However, he's also preparing to 'open Boone's mind' - another puzzle without handle or latch or 'discernable' way of opening it.

Great Hurley Line (to Jin): "You just said something mean, didn't you."

Locke forcibly ties and drugs good ol' Boone with a homemade LSDGourd. We know that Locke is a survivalist and a damn good hunter, but how in the hell does he know how to mix up hallucinogens in the jungle? And this question helps me segue into my larger Locke questions:

Sure, the man's an obvious badass, but he's also an obvious manipulator and a shockingly callous pragmatist. I don't know that he's a 'good' man (in the moral sense of the word), at least, not as the Judeo-Christian religions that help inspire this show have defined 'good' in a moral sense. Locke becomes more and more primal as the season goes on, less an embodiment of any ethical code (as his name heavily suggests he might be) than an embodiment of nature - the Island itself. Locke is a capital-I Individual. I'd trust him to help me survive, but I wouldn't trust him to run a society - nor to lead a group.

Charlie seems to disagree with me, and I can't blame him. Locke did save his life (from drugs). But as we'll see, Locke and Charlie's relationship is knotty and complicated, and as effective as Locke's hard-line approach was with Charlie's heroin addiction, its a lot more difficult to put up with his attitude in other settings. That relationship, come to think of it, will mirror the young-Jack and Christian relationship we've already seen and heard about. And this in turn mirrors the relationship between some conceptions of the Judeo-Christian God and mankind - a strict, unyielding force that demands without pity, but loves all the same. This relationship is also arguably largely similar to the relationship between Jacob and his people.

We get our first character-crossover, as Sawyer is seen being lead into an Australian jail as Boone attempts to get the police's assistance with his sister. A big 'screw you' to the fictional Australia's utterly retarded Domestic Violence policies, by the way. Officer, you are a dick.

I like how Kate discovers that Sun speaks English - you would notice if someone began to react to your jokes and asides.

Jin and Hurley are a terrific pairing. Watching Jin attempt to help Hurley out of the water: priceless.

Greatest Hurley Dialogue Ever?: "You need to pee on my foot, man! Just pee! Pee on it! PEEEE ON IT!"

Locke and Sayid have a bonding moment in the jungle and what does Locke give Sayid? A compass. It's not the same 'magic' compass Richard will later give Locke, but I still thought it was worth pointing out.

Courtesy of Locke's LSDfruit, Boone has his vision quest, is chased by the Monster, and watches Shannon die, to his shocked relief. Two things about this subplot:

1) The morality/point of it completely eludes me on the one hand, but makes total sense on the other. It's Boone's concern for Shannon that frees him from the ropes Locke has trussed him up with. Traditionally speaking, this sort of concern is encouraged between family members. While Shannon was acting out in mind-bogglingly wild ways to get the money her mother will later (earlier?) deny her, she's also, as previously mentioned, a pretty good hearted, typical teenage type. She's not Anthony Cooper/the Original Sawyer, for instance. So I'm not truly clear on why it's a 'good' thing for Boone to have felt relief at her death, necessarily. It's natural, yes. But it's also curiously self-absorbed and shallow as far as reactions go. As I see it, the basic point of this whole subplot was to introduce the necessity of killing (literally or figuratively) the demons of the past. This is, after all, what Ben requires Locke to do in order to assume leadership of the Others - literally kill the man who was emotionally stunting him. And this in turn ties into my theory regarding how Jacob chooses who is 'good.' But the fact that Ben tries to have Locke kill Cooper, and the obviousness of the fact that Ben does not want Locke to become the leader, makes me question the subjective morality of slaughtering another person on this Island, much less the figurative slaying of one. Just food for thought.

2) Even in visions, the Monster doesn't appear willing/able to penetrate those banyan trees on the Island. What's up with that?

Sayid's compass doesn't point toward where he and Jack believe North should be. He comments that a minor magnetic anomaly would throw the compass off by one or two degrees, but that his compass is off by much more than that. Is this the first direct hint regarding the Island's electromagnetism?

Charlie finally brings Claire up. Thank you, Charlie. It still doesn't make much sense to me that they aren't raking the jungle looking for her.

Ironically Prescient Charlie line: "No offense, man, but if there was one person on this island I'd put absolute faith in to save us all, it'd be John Locke."

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