Thursday, January 23, 2014

LOST Rewatch: Exodus, Parts 1 and 2

The Season 1 finale! Two hours! Lots of stress and decisions and discussions and danger! Featured in this episode: the Black Rock, dynamite, the Travelling Music, the return of Smokey and our first real look (if brief) at it, Arzt, the numbers are bad, the Hatch, columns of smoke, Rousseau, the Others, the Raft crew.

Rather than only one character flashback, in finale, everyone gets a flashback . . . Oprah style.[Jack gets a flashback! And Hurley gets a Flashback! And John gets a Flashback! Sun and Jin get a Flashback! You get the idea.]

For those in the know, we also get hints of season 2 when Jack's Flashback centers around a conversation he has with a sassy Latino girl in the airport bar pre-boarding. In fact, all of the Flashbacks take place in route to the plane or in the airport awaiting the time to board. I don't think any of the Flashback moments present information that we didn't already know about the characters over the course of the first season's episodes. So . . . if you want to call all of it padding to fill out the need for two episodes of run time, I'm not going to disagree with you.

Anyway, what is happening on the Island? Remember how Dr. Arzt berated everyone in the previous episode that the Raft needed to get underway? Well, the story arc for the first hour focuses on finishing the raft build and safely getting it into the water. When the crew launches there is much rejoicing. Everything looks like it's gonna work out great. But (if you will allow me the right to stick with this storyline and divert from the broadcast plotting . . .) later that night, in the dark . . . things take a sinister turn.

The raft's makeshift radar that Sayid cobbled together indicates that there is a boat nearby. After some debate, they decide to use their one flare to signal the raft's presence. A small boat appears from the dark. There are threats, confusion, dismay. Sawyer is shot and falls into the ocean, Jin dives in after him, the mysterious boaters deliver the line "We're gonna have to take the boy." (Which they do.) They also toss a bomb onto the raft, Just before it blows up, I swear it looks like the bomb is made from the carafe of a Mr. Coffee maker. The raft goes up in flames and Walt disappears into the night on the boat. Michael begins to scream that familiar scream: Waaaaaaaaaalt!!!.

As if that wasn't bad enough, back on the Island, the Lostaways don't know that their hopes of rescue are actually going up in flames. What they do know is that Rousseau is back on the beach and she is warning them all of the Others who, she claims, are on their way. They have set a signal fire of black smoke and the last time they did that, the Others stole her baby Alex from her 16 years ago.

As all of the Lostaways prepare to relocate from the Beach to the Caves--under Jack's reassurance, there is confusion. Rousseau takes little TurnipHead from Claire (who had her own Ethan-abduction flashback saying that Rousseau was involved?). Claire names the baby Aaron and begs Sayid and Charlie to go get him back for her.

Charlie and Sayid pass by the Beechcraft during the race to catch up with Rousseau. Unfortunately, that puts Charlie right on top of the Virgin Mary statues filled with heroin that was uncovered by Locke and Boone several episodes back. We see later that Charlie was not able to avoid the temptation to take one of the statues and puts it in his pack. Also, later, while following Rousseau to the black smoke column, Charlie trips one of her traps. He gets a nasty head wound and Sayid seals the bleeding with gunpowder and a match. It's pretty gnarly.*

So, okay. Let's take stock. Um . . . the raft rescue mission hasn't gone well at all. And the attack of the Others and Aaron's disappearance has turned the Lostaways into turmoil. How are the Lostaways going to be kept safe from the Others? Locke convinces Jack to blow open the Hatch and let everyone hide down there. Supposedly there is some dynamite at the Black Rock (whatever THAT is). So, Kate, Jack, Locke, Hurley . . . and Arzt head off to find the Black Rock's dynamite.

When they finally get there, they discover that the Black Rock is the name of an honest-to-God wind-powered sailing ship that has apparently been beached in the middle of a jungle. But these sorts of oddities are just normal for our Lostaways these days. They've got to get some old dynamite and transport it quickly and blow up a mystery Hatch and get on with things.

Sadly, our favorite new character Dr. Leslie Arzt becomes a casualty of the old and sensitive dynamite. Hurley is sad and keeps seeing bits of Arzt everywhere (and that is a literal statement, not some metaphor for the fact that he can't forget him). Anyway . . . after some Alpha (fe)male jockeying between Jack and Kate about who should carry the deadly dynamite in their backpacks, they make it to the Hatch.

As they are preparing to use the Black Rock dynamite to finally blow open the hatch, Hurley sees the numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42) stamped on the exposed side of the Hatch's structure. Frightened, he tries to get Locke to stop going through with the plan because, as he shouts "The numbers are bad!" But Locke won't listen and light the fuse and . . . well . . . Boom Goes the Dynamite!

So, when the smoke clears and everyone dusts themselves off, what do we see? The door of the Hatch has been blown off and Jack and Locke huddle at the exposed entrance. They look down and down and down into a shaft that bores into the earth.

What's down there?!!!!

*The upshot of the chase for Aaron? Rousseau was hoping to trade baby Aaron for her own Alex. But the Others she keeps claiming are around never showed up. So Claire's baby is saved and Sayid and Charlie return to the Caves as heroes. This endears Claire to Charlie further and allows Shannon to forgive Sayid for not killing Locke as she asked him to do in the previous episode.

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