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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 17 - Lockdown

21 April 2017

Present: The hatch goes into a lockdown. Locke gets his leg trapped under one of the blast doors. He asks Henry to go through the vents and press the button. Jack is playing poker with Sawyer and so no one comes to help. Henry does help Locke. Jack and Kate come across a Dharma parachute full of food. Then Sayid and company return. They dug up Henry’s wife’s grave and find a man buried there. A man who is clearly the real Henry Gale.

Flashback: Locke goes to Anthony Cooper’s funeral. But soon after Cooper comes to see him and asks him to retrieve some money for him. Locke does and some criminals come to his home looking for the money. When Locke gives Cooper the money, Helen follows him and despite his marriage proposal, she leaves him for lying to her.

The Good: The story in the hatch is tense and exciting. Just as I complained of not getting much in the way of story about the hatch, we get several big reveals.

First off Locke and Henry work together with interesting results. Despite the revelation at the end of the episode, Henry does help Locke and earns his trust. It’s a logical story that by being trapped Locke manages to bond with Henry who has been imprisoned the whole time we have known him. The button countdown provides the necessary impetus to make the story tense and exciting.

Locke’s leg getting injured again is highly symbolic. When Boone died, Locke had lost feeling in his legs (119). It was as if the island was taking back its gift to him in order to test his faith. Now Locke’s own doubts have been growing (after Michael, Charlie and Sawyer all made him look foolish and Jack constantly questions him) and his legs are once more injured.

And again at his lowest ebb the island offers him something to keep him going. The blast door map is hugely. It’s also a brilliantly clever idea. It is clear to the casual viewer that it is a map of the island with the positions of various Dharma stations on it. However hardcore fans were able to examine the map in greater detail and get some answers. And even better those answers point toward things without ruining the plot or giving away things which casual viewers would miss intriguing (see The Unknown). The big question mark in the middle of the map could be the key story for Locke from now on.

The Dharma food drop is also hugely intriguing (see The Unknown). For those who argue that Lost never answers any questions, I would point you toward this episode. Without spoon feeding you answers, the producers are cleverly feeding us with information which can slowly build our understanding of each mystery.

Locke’s flashback shows us his path from happy boyfriend to miserable loner. Once more his father is the catalyst for his own mistakes. Before he came to the island Locke was searching for validation and love from his missing parents. Sadly he clearly valued that love more than Helen’s and so loses her as a result. It’s terribly sad because as we can all understand why Locke desperately wants to feel connected to his father.

At least Hurley acknowledges the obvious by telling Jack that he is out of the loop and no one shares anything with him. The final revelation that Henry has been lying about his story is strong. It makes Sayid look like a thorough and intelligent man and sets up the next episode really well.

The Bad: The two criminals who Anthony Cooper conned couldn’t have been any more type cast could they? They look like they just walked off a mafia film casting line.

Henry’s tumble in the storage room seems a bit redundant to me. With the alarm sounding, I feel his crawl through the vents would have made for a dramatic spectacle. There was no real need for him to fall off the shelves to create extra drama.

Poor Sawyer looks castrated by losing so completely to Jack at poker. Sawyer is meant to be the con man after all. Fine if being good at poker was part of Jack’s character but it just seems to be an excuse to show who the true alpha male is. Well that was unnecessary. Sawyer is a dark and interesting character. He already has his light side through wearing funny glasses and making up silly nicknames. He didn’t need to be humiliated by Jack, who through his morality, leadership and obsessive nature has already proven to be top dog.

The Unknown: Locke meets Nadia (Sayid’s love) in his flashback. We have now seen almost every character meet someone else pre-island. Do these meetings have any significance? Did Locke go back into the motel and get the money?

The major practical question about the Dharma drop is where did it come from? Did a plane fly over the island to drop it? If so did it come from somewhere else on the island or from off the island? Both answers have huge implications for the story. And why are Dharma still feeding their operatives in the hatch when the rest of the Initiative seem to have disappeared? Is the Lockdown in place to stop the residents of the hatch from signalling the plane to rescue them or otherwise learning where the planes are coming from?

The blast door map has plenty of information on it and many a mysterious notation and Latin phrase. But the main information seem to be the following: the monster has been nicknamed Cerberus, the dog who guarded the gates of Hades in mythology. The polar bears seem to have been brought here by Dharma as part of zoological experiments. There are a number of other Dharma stations yet to be discovered by the survivors. Alvar Hanso (mentioned in the Orientation video in 203) may have been related somehow to the Black Rock (see 124) crashing on the island.

Best Moment: The sight of the map. A brilliant idea and of course a tantalising sight for Locke. So many answers within inches of him. A metaphor for his struggles on the island, while totally in the dark the island shows him a glimpse of what he is looking for.

The Bottom Line: It’s a much better effort from Lost. The question of Locke’s priorities provides a strong narrative for both his flashback and his struggles in the hatch. The episode is dramatic, full of big revelations and finishes on a strong cliff-hanger.

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Comments

  • I enjoyed this.

    Henry manipulating Locke was excellent and increased Locke's doubts about the island. This episode was very essential to the season and was the turning point for Locke's character in this back half.

    I like that we once again see Anthony taking something important away from Locke. It was very important to demonstrate just how much he ruined Locke's life before the island considering the events of the next season.

    In the end this is the most pay-off we get from Sawyer taking the guns, which is hugely disappointing. I wish more had been done in that storyline.

    The blast door map is exciting but it leads to very little. Only the ? matters in the end, which is unfortunate because there are loads of little details that could have been so much more important. I wish Lost had returned to this plot point.

    Viewer score: 75 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 19/04/2017 4:44pm (9 days ago)

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