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Lost

Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010

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Episode 23 - Live Together, Die Alone (1)

17 May 2017

Present: Desmond is in the boat which appears off the beach. Drunk and angry he explains that he sailed for two weeks to try and reach Fiji and wound up back on the island. Eko kicks Locke out of the hatch after he tries to stop him pressing the button. So Locke recruits Desmond to fake a lockdown and lock Eko out with the intention of not pressing the button. Sayid recruits Jin and Sun to sail the boat around the island with him to spy on the Others. They come across the remains of what appears to be a giant statue. All that is left is a foot with four toes. Michael leads Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley across the island. They see some Others following them and Kate shoots at them. Sawyer kills one of them forcing Jack to tell them what Michael did.

Flashback: Desmond is dishonourably discharged from a military prison. He is picked up by Charles Widmore, the father of the girl he loves, Penny. Widmore offers him money to leave her alone. Desmond decides to try and win the round the world race which Widmore sponsors in order to restore his honour. He gets his boat from Libby who offers it to him for free. He washes up on the island where Inman (from 214) teaches him about the hatch.

The Good: Desmond’s reappearance is most unexpected and interesting. It seems another bold move by the producers to give this unknown character the final flashback of the season. And of course once his story begins you see the genius behind it. Not only does Desmond’s love story make him into a sympathetic figure but his time in the hatch ought to answer some important questions for us. Interestingly we now know why he was so chirpy when he first met Jack (201); he had just seen Penny for the first time in what must have been many years.

Intrigue should always be a highlight in the first part of a season finale and this has no shortage (see the Unknown). The greatest example of this must be the four toed statue. It raises so many questions about the history of the island and the Others that you don’t know where to begin. Within the plot the prospect of seeing what happens when the button doesn’t get pushed is hugely intriguing. The show has built steadily and carefully for that moment for the whole season.

The emotional confrontation between Michael and Jack is very strong as well (see Best Moment). The acting is good, especially as these intense emotions aren’t something most viewers can easily relate to. All those involved mix their shock, disgust and sadness effectively.

The Bad: If you swim with guns in your jeans are those guns going to work soon afterwards?

Is Charlie meant to be coming across as such a dislikeable person? He practically revels in John and Desmond’s misery. I’m not sure the producers are trying to make Charlie an unlikeable character but that is the result. His story has lacked any form of redemption all season. He has gotten more and more unpleasant and it’s difficult to understand quite where his character is going.

The unasked questions have become Lost’s greatest weakness. Inman tells Desmond to inject himself with the drug and doesn’t explain why. Then Desmond talks to Claire about it and she doesn’t ask what it is for or anything else for that matter. It’s clear in these situations that the producers don’t want to reveal that information yet. But in that case they ought to have Inman and Desmond explain their ignorance of this fact rather then ignoring it. Ignoring it annoys viewers because they can see through the characters behaviour to the writing and good television shouldn’t remind you that there are writers.

Kate just shooting at the Others seems a bit hasty. I know it makes sense that she doesn’t want them to know they are on their way, but again the trivialisation of murder is a worrying sign. It’s not worth debating the rights and wrongs of the Other's behaviour toward the survivors here, it’s just worth saying that unprovoked killing like this shouldn’t happen so easily. They don’t even search the body thoroughly or check who the Other was.

The Unknown: Is there significance to the full name Desmond David Hume? David Hume being a philosopher influenced by the work of, amongst others, John Locke. Speaking of Desmond, why was he in prison? Was Libby telling the truth about her husband? We last saw her in a mental institution (218), so maybe she didn’t really have a husband. What is the true significance of Inman knowing Sayid before joining the Dharma Initiative? What are those injections for? Why did Radzinski edit the orientation film? The four toed statue, where do we begin? Stranger even than that is the bird who Hurley thinks said his name. At face value it’s just a comic interlude. But a similarly noisy bird flew past Hurley on his trek back from the Black Rock in the previous season finale. Are the producers having a laugh or is something going on there?

Best Moment: Jack shouts at Kate and Sawyer not to go after the Other who they shot at. He forces Michael to admit what is really going on. Michael begins crying and says it was the only way to get Walt back. They all look shocked and confused and then Hurley realises something. “Did you kill them? Ana Lucia and Libby?” Michael claims he had to. His acting is superb as he conveys his desperation and guilt. “Libby was a mistake, I didn’t have time to think” he moans. But in a great piece of writing Hurley sees through this and calmly asks “But if you did have time, you still would have killed her right?” It’s such a good line because it exposes Michael’s guilt and shows that he must be held fully accountable for what he did. Michael stammers and apologises and eventually all he can say is “It’s my son.” It’s such an emotional scene and the writers and actors did a tremendous job with it.

The Bottom Line: This is a very good set up episode (despite a few drawbacks). It’s filled with excellent intrigue and rattles along at a good pace. The choice of Desmond for flashbacks is very bold and makes loads of sense. It shows good planning and forethought from the producers and gives the viewer faith that they will finally get some answers.

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  • I thought this was rock solid for the most part with the one excellent scene where Michael reveals the truth.

    I had thought that Libby would get more character in flashbacks after he appearance in this episode, but unfortunately we get very little information about her after this.

    Widmore's first appearance is here and it's hard to realize how big of a player he would become later on in the show. I did like that he prevented Desmond from talking to Penny though, it fit their story well.

    The sickness was a very annoying plot point because it's one that never adds up any way you look at it. It could be said that the sickness was fabricated by the DI to make sure the people in the hatch never left, but then what about all the other mentions of sickness? It's far too messy by this point to make any sense of it.

    Viewer score: 75 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 15/05/2017 1:55pm (2 months ago)

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