Monday, January 20, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Do No Harm
You know what is tough about committing to watch and blog about each episode of LOST that I watch with my kids? They don't care about the blogging part of it, which does take a bit of time on my part every day. Usually this happens in a few spare moments between arriving home and dinner. Or most often after Hannah has gone to bed and the other two are taking showers and preparing themselves for sleep.

But when you have a three-day weekend with no pressures of school or work to call an end to things at the end of an episode? Well, then we watch more than one. And on especially long weekends, we watch even more than that. And especially as the pace of Season 1 begins to hurtle to its dramatic conclusion, we watch EVEN MORE THAN THAT!

So, yeah. I'm behind . . . and I'm struggling to catch up today while also doing some office work in preparation for the week ahead. And I feel about as busy as Jack did in this episode, as he struggled to keep a very damaged Boone alive with very little medical supplies and even less knowledge--because Locke skedaddled out of there after bringing Boone back to the doctor.

So, this episode tells the Island story of Jack struggling to keep Boone alive and a Flashback to when he was preparing to marry Sarah (played by actor Julie Bowen)--a former spinal patient of his. We learn yet more about Jack's all-consuming focus and inability to give up. But we also learn that Jack is consumed with doubt in himself and a fear of not doing enough. He reflects this in his medical actions by doing remarkable things to stitch Boone's chest wounds and to reset his fractured leg. But he can't stop the internal bleeding that is slowly killing him. Jack even provides Boone with his own blood--as they can't find an exact match for Boone--further weakening him and making his decisions cloudier.

Luckily Sun reveals herself to be a calm and reliable presence in the medical arena. She helps Jack locate a sea urchin spine to adequately serve as a makeshift syringe. She helps Jack reset Boone's broken leg. And, most importantly, she tries to talk Jack out of desperate actions that will be examined later.

In the Flashback, we learn that Jack is preparing to marry Sarah, who was in a terrible car crash and suffered severe spinal damage. Improbably, Jack repaired the damage and promised Sarah that he would "fix her." Which he did. She was able to stand, walk, and dance again against all odds and carries a hero complex for Jack that he has not dissuaded her from having. But on the night before the wedding, he can't figure out how to write the vows that Sarah wants him to write. He is struggling with doubt and desperately asks Christian if he (Jack) can be the right kind of husband and dad (by which I presume he means--not like YOU, Christian).

Christian replies to Jack that "Commitment is what makes you tick." It is the drive that makes him a great doctor. But the fear of being wrong also holds him back.

And back on the Island, Jack needs to be held back, because he is desperate to fulfill his promise to save Boone and settles on the crazy idea of amputating the damaged leg to prevent internal bleeding from causing Boone's death. Against Sun's protests, he prepares to remove the damaged limb by severing it with a steel luggage compartment door that is found in the Caves. Just as he gets ready, Boone awakes enough to tell Jack to stop . . . to let Jack off the hook . . . to ask for the peace to die.

Matthew Fox does his best crazy/sweaty/tense jawed/blinking back emotion face and relents. But before Boone passes on, he mumbles something about a Hatch in the jungle that Locke made him swear not to reveal. And he mentions the plane that he fell from. Jack realizes that Locke didn't tell him the truth about the accident and kept other things from him as well.

Mad Jack face! The sweaty emotion is now replaced with the determination of revenge and righteous certainty. John Locke is bad! He must be found and punished. Because it is Locke's fault that Boone died under Jack's care. (It's not about Boone dying, you see. It's about Jack's failure.)

Oh . . . and also, while all of this is going on. Claire decided to dramatically have her baby. But Jack can't leave Boone so he tells Charlie to lead Kate though the delivery process. Which she does along with the watchful help of Jin. It's a touchingly-acted scene between Evangeline Lilly and Emelie de Ravin. And the baby is born triumphantly while Boone slips away.

Life and death tied together. (But not literally, or anything. The baby isn't Boone reincarnated or anything crazy like that.)

The following morning the Lostaways gather on the beach to celebrate the birth of the baby as Shannon and Sayid approach. They, you see, had been gone during all of this on a romantic night away. But the afterglow is immediately dimmed when Jack is forced to tell Shannon about the death of her brother.

Then . . . he immediately sets off to find John Locke and put things right!

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