Overthinking Lost: Episodes 2.9-2.16

Overthinking Lost: Episodes 2.9-2.16

The OTI readers who have seen all of Lost ask someone who has seen only one and a half seasons their burning questions. This’ll work.

Lost-TheHuntingPartyIf you read last week’s OTI open thread, you would have learned that I was having trouble coming up with the content of this week’s post.  The eight episodes of Lost I watched were all over the place in terms of tone, theme, character, and so on.  For the first time ever, I got the impression that wildly different writers were working on the different episodes.  Take Locke, for instance.  In one episode, he’s punching a guy out over a misunderstanding; in the next, he’s so trusting of other people that he does the stupidest thing imaginable, allowing Sawyer to steal the camp’s entire supply of medicine and guns.  Then, in the very next episode all-trusting Locke is allowing Sayid to torture a guy just because he looks a little fishy.  Say what?

So it was hard for me to get a handle on these episodes.  Add the fact that I still don’t have any real information about who The Others are and you can see why I couldn’t think of a good topic for this blog post.  Luckily for me, the wonderful readers of this blog deigned to help me by giving me some good topics and questions to overthink.  But before we get to that, let’s review what we watched last week…

Episode 2.9 (“What Kate Did”): In the past, Kate done blowed up her step-dad (step-boyfriend?) when she found out he were her real daddy.  In the present, Kate makes out with Jack but Sawyer loves her and she wants to bone him except he reminds her of said step-dad and oh the drama.  Although I have to say, I did find Kate more interesting in this episode than ever before.  So kudos, writers, for that.  Meanwhile, in Non-Kate World, Eko gives Locke the rest of the Dharma Initiative film strip that he found, and Michael chats with Walt (maybe?) on the hatch computer.

Episode 2.10 (“The 23rd Psalm”):
In the past, Mr. Eko had a really interesting past.  In the present, he makes Charlie lead him to the heroin plane, which has Eko’s dead priest brother inside.  On the way to the plane, Eko stares down the Monster, because he is that badass.

Episode 2.11 (“The Hunting Party”): In the past, Jack became the miracle worker doctor but then failed to live up to his name.  So he makes out with some Italian lady and his wife leaves him.  In the present, Michael runs off to save Walt, and the titular hunting party runs off to find Michael.  The bearded dude who kidnapped Walt tells the hunting party to back off, under pain of Kate’s death.  Then Jack asks Ana Lucia to start building an army.  Then I say “yay!” because this totally validates the theories about empire in my post from last week.  Score one for me.

Episode 2.12 (“Fire + Water”):
This episode was weird.  In the past, Charlie was screwed over by his brother.  In the present, he’s having symbolic Renaissance painting dreams about Claire’s baby.  Eko tells him it means the baby needs to be baptized, so of course Charlie sets the jungle on fire (!) and kidnaps the baby (!) so he can baptize the kid himself.  At no point does Charlie or anyone else on the island suggest that Charlie go see Libby, the new island shrink.  Oh, and Locke doesn’t destroy the Virgin Mary statues for some contrived reason.

Episode 2.13 (“The Long Con”):
Here’s a tip, in case you’ve never seen a con artist movie before.  When you watch a movie or show about a con, the plot is a con.  The person being conned is you.  The person conning you is the writer.  Within the world of the story, the con-artist is the main character.  Yes, even when it looks he’s screwing up, he’s totally conning everyone.  This is the case in this episode.  I like that Sawyer owns all the camp’s medicine and guns now.

Episode 2.14 (“One of Them”): In the past, the Americans taught Sayid how to torture.  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!  In the present, Rousseau catches a potential Other, Henry Gale, and Sayid tortures him.  Um, Sayid, I thought you said you weren’t going to do that anymore?  Oh, and I almost forgot the best (worst) part: Jack almost lets the timer run out.  Actually, it DOES run out.  And I sit up really excited.  But then the timer turns back to 108.  Damn you, writers!

Episode 2.15 (“Maternity Leave”): In the distaff episode of Lost, Claire, Kate, and Rousseau go off on a hunt for medicine for Claire’s baby, based on Claire’s returning memory of her kidnapping a month ago.  Apparently, Ethan drugged up Claire and was going to cut the baby out of her, killing her (maybe?), until Rousseau’s daughter (maybe?) saves Claire’s life.  Meanwhile, in the hatch, everyone is busy interrogating Henry Gale, who seems to be having a fun time pitting Locke and Jack against each other.

Episode 2.16 (“The Whole Truth”): In the past, Sun was told she was infertile, but really it was Jin.  Meanwhile, she was having a kind-of affair with the hotel guy the matchmaker set her up with that one time.  In the present, Sun tells Jin’s she’s preggers, though she never does come out and say, “BUT IT’S NOT YOUR BABY!” in the soap opera way I was hoping for.  In other news, Ana Lucia gets Henry Gale to draw her a map to his hot-air balloon and goes off with Sayid and Charlie to find it.  But, in the words of Admiral Akbar, it’s a trap!  …Or is it?!  Dun dun dunnn!

20 Comments on “Overthinking Lost: Episodes 2.9-2.16”

  1. Jess #

    “Does this mean that we have found the man behind the island’s curtain, so to speak?”

    *bites tounge*


    You’ll know what I mean, eventually.


  2. Gab #

    From the moment he first showed up, my fellow Lost fans and I called “Henry Gale” “Not-Henry.” We just didn’t trust him at all. Why? Because LOCKE didn’t. Oh snap.

    So, here are two more: Do guns or people kill people? And, Are drugs bad?

    “The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say *this is mine*, and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had someone pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: ‘Do not listen to this impostor. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!'”

    This quote from Jean-Jacques Rousseau sings to the character of Danielle from the show. Danielle is Jean-Jacques’s ideal Man- she sees through the BS, calls it out, and does what she needs to do to survive. But she is empathetic and looks out for others as much as she can, so long as it doesn’t directly interfere with her own self-preservation. She is Man pre-social contract. And she’s friggin’ awesome. I can picture her taking those stakes and telling that guy where to shove them, if not actually shoving them for him. (And I just love that quote, too. “Simple enough.” Heh.)

    The follow-up question is, “Where does Henry Gale fit into the political structure, so far?”


  3. Matt #

    You forgot the most important question of all! Mr. Eko: Badass or GREATEST Badass?


  4. Matt #

    Oh, and Mike Westen couldn’t be on The Island, it’d solve too many mysteries too quickly. “When you’re a spy, you learn to recognize when con artists are trying to play you, and you play them instead.” And, BOOM, Kate and Sawyer are out of the game. I guess the smoke monster might give him a little trouble, but the Burn Notice gang would end all the backstabbing in the Land of (the) Lost. Although, I would totally watch that crossover and buy the DVDs.


  5. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    @Matt – I haven’t seen a lot of Lost. But I’ve seen enough to know that as badass as Eko is, Adebisi could destroy him. Adebisi rules.

    (I’ll save you the trouble of Googling – Simon Adebisi is the character Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) played on HBO’s prison series Oz. I wouldn’t really call Oz a “good” show, but it’s very entertaining. It’s about a prison where the inmates are totally free to wander around and socialize. Predictably, they all kill each other in horrible ways. It is without a doubt the stupidest prison ever.)


  6. stokes #

    Incidentally, Harold Perrineau (Micheal) also had a major role in Oz. He delivered an opening monologue in each episode, which usually boiled down to something like “Are we trapped on the Island? Or is the Island trapped on us? Think about it!”


  7. stokes #

    Re: Michael Westen, Matt is right. It is inconceivable that Westen et al would sit around punching in those numbers with their existential thumbs up their butts. The first episode of that nonsense, he would be tearing the hatch apart to figure out how the system worked. I won’t say whether that would be a good idea or not – I stopped watching the show right around this point, so I’m honestly not sure – but it would certainly speed things up.


  8. Saint #

    Burn Notice has got to be the most-referenced show in the comments that never gets an article.


  9. Saint #

    Nevermind. There was a gigantic article about Burn Notice just three weeks ago. I’m a doof.


  10. Gab #

    Re: Eko.

    Even if his character from “Oz” could beat him up, the way Eko stared down Smokey was just so mind-bogglingly badass that my mental diaper needed a change.


  11. Eric #

    Glad you used my suggested topic. I like your take on it. But keep in mind there may be other ideas of what fate or destiny itself is, not related to religion. Maybe fate is just knowing what will happen, not actually creating it.


  12. Gab #

    Whoa, I missed the third page… So one more thing about the race issue: The initiation videos are hosted by an Asian man. Does that count for anything?

    And another point: I can’t remember which man I preferred at this particular stage in the series; but now, after the most recent season finale, I’m tied between Sawyer and Desmond.

    So the big spoiler you were spoiled for hasn’t shown up yet?


  13. mlawski OTI Staff #

    @Gab: No, the spoiler hasn’t shown up, though the events happening now in the episodes I’ve been watching suggest it might show up fairly soon.


  14. Tom P #

    The show kind of loses its way for a bit here as they figure out this storyline is not open-ended and they need to set an end point to avoid episodes where nothing happens (and there are quite a few of them between now and the middle of S3). Until they break out of that, just enjoy the awesomeness of Michael Emerson.


  15. John #

    I think “Henry Gale’s” scene towards the end of 2.16 is one of the key scenes all season 2. The one where he asks about where the food and the hatch comes from, and expresses surprise that the Losties aren’t more curious about the place they find themselves in. In essence, he points out that they have been asking the wrong questions.

    And as interesting as the parallels to “Lord of the Flies” may be, it might be worth overthinking the fact that this is a place where the crippled walk. Where some survive a plane crash with a few scrapes where most do not survive while strapped into their seats. Where a column of black smoke wanders the jungle killing some, and leaving others. A place in the South Pacific that freaking big that is somehow unnoticed by the outside world. The biggest question on the island is not “Jack vs Locke vs Sawyer,” although most of the time so far Jack, Locke and Sawyer might disagree.

    I like to make the parallel between this scene and the one in Season One where Michael and Jin are about to fight, and Locke bursts in with his “WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES HERE (FOOLS!)” speech. Our Losties like to be distracted with their own dramas whenever bigger issues rear their heads. In fact, the Losties make a habit of it.

    Con men, like magicians and some television writers, like to make a lot of noise to make sure you notice one of their hands. The real magic is taking place in the other hand.


  16. Eric #

    Well said, John.


  17. Jayemel #

    My comments for this week will be short and sweet and refer back to a couple previous entries.

    Last post, you mentioned people starting to question Jack’s power position. I’m extremely surprised you didn’t mention Sawyer’s speech in “The Long Con.”

    If you go back to my comment on your first post, I point out that, in contrast to the two you suggest, there are three places the characters can exist: the caves (with Jack), the jungle (with Locke), and the beach (with ??). Could the beach be with Sawyer? Do we have a third leader (and philosophical alternative) emerging? Is he intended to be more “American” than other characters?


  18. James T. #

    Interesting bit of trivia: the bit where Kate points out that John Locke is called John Locke was filmed but cut; probably they thought the reference was too painfully obvious already.


  19. manscaper #

    regarding your comments on race in Lost. If you’re watching on DVD be sure to watch the special features on season 1, specifically about casting. The show went out of their way to be open about race, even for specific characters. For instance the actress who plays Sun originally auditioned for Kate, but then they created the role of Sun for her to capitolize on her huge success in Korean films. Also Hurley originally auditioned for Sawyer…ect, most of the characters didn’t have an assigned race until the role was cast then the writers worked with the actor in mind (obviously, in case of somebody like Sayid there are exceptions)


  20. Dee Rush #

    In regard to the series’ approach on race, I suggest people should read Maureen Ryan’s book, “Burn It Down”. It’s very illuminating.


Add a Comment