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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 15 - Maternity Leave

12 April 2017

Present: Aaron is sick with a fever and a rash. Rousseau appears and Claire begins to remember what happened to her during her time with the Others. She seeks Libby’s help in remembering more and then decides to head off after Rousseau to try and find medicine for Aaron. Kate goes with her but Rousseau doesn’t know where Claire was taken. They come across a Dharma medical station but no medicine is left. Kate does find clothes and fake beards which imply the Others have been fooling them as to there true appearance. Eko discovers Henry in the hatch and speaks to him alone. He confesses to him that he killed two Others and cuts a piece of his beard off to signify the sin he had been carrying with him.

Flashback: Claire remembers Ethan injecting her with vaccine and drugging her to keep her compliant. He treats her with kindness though and shows her a nursery where the baby will live. We briefly see “Zeke” asking Ethan why he brought her in and what he is going to say to “him.” Ethan insists that Claire choose whether to let them take her baby but also points out that they don’t have enough vaccine for her and the baby. Finally a girl helps Claire escape when the Others are going to perform a caesarean on her. Rousseau finds her in the jungle and takes her back to the beach.

The Good: Similar to The Other 48 Days (207) the producers break from standard flashbacks and show us roughly what happened to Claire during the time she was missing (110-114). It’s a clever idea and shows us loads of interesting things about the Others.

Rather like the survivors flashbacks, it changes our perspective on the Others a bit. First off they seem perfectly “civilised” in their use of clothes, technology and just communication. Kate’s discovery of false beards and outfits we have seen before (125, 210) imply that they have been trying to fool the survivors as to who they truly are. Similarly Ethan is kind to Claire and seems genuine in his affection for her. Though the “choice” he offers her is clearly no choice at all after he points out that he only has enough medicine for the baby and not for Claire. In her drugged state she will hardly be able to resist the desire to protect the baby.

We also get the implication of some sort of leader for the Others or at least a hierarchy when “Zeke” talks of a “him” he has to report to. We get to see a lot more of yet another Dharma station. This one is pretty surreal, complete with wall paintings, muzak and little replica Oceanic planes. It raises interesting questions about the connection between the Others and the Dharma Initiative, as well of course about why the Others want children in general. All these revelations are enjoyable to see and slowly feed our growing understanding of the mysteries of the island.

Rousseau’s story is further advanced which is more good long term planning. Claire seems to have been helped by her daughter, now a teenager. While poor Rousseau begs Kate to kill her, her misery and loneliness still has no ending in sight.

Back in the hatch, Mr Eko steals the show by demanding to see Henry alone (see Best Moment). While Henry makes another “mistake” by deliberately trying to ferment tension between Locke and Jack, another strong implication that he is an Other. Locke’s anger is interesting to see. We haven’t seen much evidence of Locke’s destiny taking shape lately and it seems he is getting frustrated by his situation. His faith appears to be being questioned all the time and he doesn’t have an answer. When he asks Jack what the plan is for Henry, Jack dismisses him by pointing out that he has no long term plan for the button either. Then almost hilariously when Locke asks Eko not to tell Henry what the button is for Eko asks “What is it for?” Locke has no answer and that is presumably the route of his frustration. Of course Michael (211), Sawyer (212) and Charlie (211) all deceiving or lying to him hasn’t helped his confidence.

The Bad: Claire is badly written and her performance is whiny, grating and annoying throughout. Almost every line she says is an accusation, yelled or whined at whoever she is talking to. She moans at Jack, is pretty rude to Sun and constantly treats Rousseau badly. She almost never asks someone for help in a kind way or explains her needs logically or calmly. It seems the writers are trying to get across her desperation and show how much she now cares for Aaron. Unfortunately the impression she gives is of an irrational and irritating woman.

Again Henry ruins the possibility that he is an innocent bystander by behaving like a clichéd prisoner at the end. The old cause-dissension-amongst-your-captors idea is so obvious it will be a real disappointment if that is where the plot heads.

Why must everything on the island be a secret? No one seems to have taken much interest in the hatch and yet Locke and Jack see fit to hide Henry’s presence from everyone. Are they afraid people would try and kill him? It’s not clear why they need to lie and if everyone is really helping out with the button then it should seem pretty odd, pretty quickly when they tell people not to take their shift. Similarly Kate demands a gun from Sawyer and won’t tell him why. Why? She then immediately does tell him and it makes no difference whatsoever to him. Except of course that he hands over the gun immediately. So why exactly couldn’t she just tell him the truth?

In the season premiere we saw Desmond had loads of vaccine in the hatch. Hasn’t anyone found that to offer to Claire yet?

The Unknown: What is the sickness? How does the vaccine help? Why does the vaccine have the numbers on them? Why do the Others want children so badly? How are they connected to the Dharma Initiative? They certainly seem to know how to operate their equipment. Why would the Dharma Initiative make theatrical glue? Why do the Others feel the need to deceive the survivors about their true appearance? Is that Rousseau’s daughter? If so why is she behaving differently to the Others?

Best Moment: Eko comes to see Henry who looks suitably terrifying. He tells Henry about the two men he killed on the island. He says he wants Henry to know how sorry he is for this and that he is now back on a righteous path. He asks him for his forgiveness. When Henry asks why he is telling him this Eko says “because I needed to tell someone.” He then draws his knife and cuts off two pieces of hair which he had grown from his chin, symbolising the two lives he took. It’s an incredible scene because you don’t know what Eko is going to do and for a second it looks like he is going to kill himself! But once you realise this was his confessional, you are further impressed at the weird and wonderful depth the writers have given this spiritual man.

The Bottom Line: It’s another interesting plot based story for Lost. We don’t learn much at all about Claire but we do get a lot of juicy information about the Others. There is loads of good stuff to enjoy but in a way this episode symbolises what Lost has become. We don’t get to know Claire at all and if anything like her less by the episodes end. The show has become more and more about the island and less and less about how the island has affected the survivors. I believe that is a trade off which is leading to a poorer show. Though the show is still very good, I believe it has settled for a lower level than the heights it reached in season one.

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Comments

  • I absolutely agree about there being too much plot focus this season. It started out promising with the hatch and I thought the Tailies provided effective characterization but everything else has been much lower than the quality of season 1 which is a shame.

    In the end the sickness was never followed up on, which I don't like. It's never clear what it was or if it even existed which is disappointing.

    The Others were very promising in this episode as they seeed more civilised. I wish that more was explained about how they functioned since that ended up being all we really learn about them; they are more civilised than we thought.

    This episode provided answers to a long-standing mystery which was nice. Not much is answered later in the series but this episode was an early promise that answers are coming.

    Viewer score: 62 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 12/04/2017 5:27pm (1 month ago)

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