Sunday, January 12, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Raised by Another, All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Tell me the truth, okay? When you see notification of a new LOST Rewatch post on your social media network of choice, are you surprised when the title indicates that I've (again) watched two episodes instead of the (often) promised one?

Do you shake your head in shame or surprise? Or are you simply non-plussed by the fact that I have failed again? Is it preferable that I continue this way, no matter the hardship it might present to me in keeping up or writing coherently?

Any opinions you may have are always welcome in the comments. Seriously. I never get very many comments and I welcome the feedback if you feel that any is warranted.

But, on to this next installment.

Raised by Another: This episode focuses on Claire (Littleton) and the past and future of her coming baby. We already know from a previous episode that Claire likes astrology. So, the dramatic hook of this episode (in the flashback) is that she went to a psychic in Sydney that was freaked out by the vibes he was getting off of her--though he didn't specify what the problem was. But he wouldn't take her money and shooed her out of the house very rapidly.

And here in the Island world, the problems with Claire are only just beginning. The crash survivors are woken in the night by Claire's screaming from a nightmare. The following night, it happens again--and further, she claims that this time, someone was there . . . injecting her belly with . . . something? Jack, ever the rationalist is questioning Claire's story of the events. He chalks it up to pre-labor nerves and suggests she take some mild sedatives and calm down. This, of course, angers Claire, who stomps off away from the caves to relocate back to the Beach and away from Jack.

And why is Claire ignoring this problem? Well, the news of the night attack got Hurley investigating the survivors that surround them all. Who are they exactly, he wonders? So, he begins asking around, gathering names, and comparing against the airplane's passenger manifest. And from that, he discovers that  . . . last week's Ethan character WASN'T ON THE PLANE! This becomes clear when he appears in the jungle, accosts Claire and Charlie, and abducts them both.

Along with this revelation, we also pile on that Sayid returned with his own news. The Frenchwoman is still alive, on the Island as well, and talking of Others . . .

So, suddenly this Island is getting much more complicated and layered that it at first seemed. And from this, we begin the plot journey that, in one way or another, defines the show from now on. Who are the Others? What is really going on with this Island? What are the parameters of trying to live here really going to be about, after all? Add to that the increasingly mysterious element of Claire's psychic warning her that the baby should be raised by her and no one else. It is only a hint, but we now begin to see that more than normal forces are shaping events on Mystery Island. (So much more on that to come.)

All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues: This episode continues the events of Claire and Charlie's kidnapping by Ethan. Search parties are quickly set up, with Locke, Boone, Jack, and Kate heading off to follow the trail left by Ethan. Michael gets chesty and angry that he's not consulted and creates a search party of his own . . . though we never get to see it on camera.

(And remember in the last post when I complained that they were rehabilitating Shannon and Boone and making them sympathetic? Well, they were back to their bitchy, crabby selves in this one, as Shannon questioned Boone's fitness to help out in the search. So that is a relief.)

But there is no good relief during the search for Claire. The search parties are coming up empty in their search and only fighting amongst themselves. The aggressive certainty of Jack's need to FIX things is butting up against Locke's calm confidence that things will be okay if they TRUST in the Island. And yet another Series-defining Theme is introduced. Many more times ahead with these two fight and butt heads regarding the right thing to do.

The Flashback is the critical breaking moment between Jack and his surgeon father Christian Shepherd. Jack intervenes in a surgery that Christian undertook while affected by some afternoon lunch martinis. The patient died and Jack is urged by his father to move on, to let it go, to accept. But Jack--as we see in the Flashback and in Real Island time--is never comfortable to simply accept things as they are. He must shape them, he must mold them, he must make them HIS. (And while Jack would never see it this way, those motivations also play a part in Christian's manipulation of Jack throughout the years to become a surgeon.)

During the search, Boone and Locke split off from Kate and Jack to follow separate trails. Kate and Jack eventually find Charlie, strung up by Ethan and looking, for all the world as if his time on the Island (and the show) is complete.

And here comes my own first truly sad moment of the series, when I was completely convinced that my favorite (early) character was gone and Michael Giacchino hit me with the "Life and Death" theme music that would, again and again, underline moments of loss, release, and understanding.

But Jack won't quit, as we have been taught that he will not. Jack wills Charlie back to life despite Kate's tearful protests to stop and let him rest. And that is where this episode ends. Charlie in recovery back in the Caves. Claire still missing. Everyone reeling to try and wrap their heads around the true nature of what living on this Island really means.

Except . . . what about Boone and Locke? While they were searching along their own search trail, they encounter a strange patch of metal buried into the jungle floor. What, oh what, does this new discovery signal for our castaways?

What indeed.

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