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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

67
/100
Viewer
71
/100

Episode 14 - One of Them

11 April 2017

Present: Rousseau takes Sayid to where Henry Gale is trapped in a net. She shoots him with an arrow and Sayid takes him to the hatch. While Jack treats his wound Locke changes the combination to the gun room. Sayid then locks himself in there and questions Henry. Once he no longer believes him he begins to beat him up. Jack holds Locke down threatening him with not pushing the button until Locke opens the door. Sayid tells Charlie that he knows Henry was lying because he felt no guilt at what he did. Sawyer enlists Hurley to help him catch a bullfrog which he kills.

Flashback: Sayid’s English allows him to communicate with the invading American soldiers. They want him to translate while they question his commanding officer. Eventually they ask Sayid to torture him in order to get the information. He does successfully and the war ends soon after.

The Good: Lost is getting close to really good episodes but keeps stumbling, which is frustrating to watch.

The plot is very interesting throughout. It is not clear at all to the viewer whether Henry is telling the truth or not. His acting is terrific and Sayid is good too. As Sayid questions him the mystery deepens until he seems to make a mistake when he says that he was rich rather than is. Sayid seems to turn at that and his questioning becomes intense and relentless and makes for compelling viewing. Bitter from Shannon’s death Sayid begins beating Henry’s face in.

Outside the door Jack and Locke share a couple of great moments. Despite his deception the affable Locke asks if he can help Jack tidy up and Jack delivers a wonderfully cold “Shut up!” Then when the button needs pushing Jack traps Locke and forces him to unlock the door. It is a clever situation because Jack has been looking for an excuse to rough up Locke and clearly doesn’t care what happens with the button. We then get our first glimpse of what happens when the button isn’t pushed (see Best Moment).

Sayid definitely looks younger in his flashback. The haircut he wears is a job well done from the makeup department. The story shows us that Sayid’s desire to do what is right ironically led him to be a torturer. It is a skill which has unleashed his full “potential” but at what price to his conscious and mental health? While far from fascinating, the flashback does at least further explore one of Lost’s more interesting characters.

The Bad: There are serious clues given to us that Henry is an Other and they are both slightly irritating. First is that Rousseau insists so strongly that he is, but she gives no reason why which is annoying. Then once Jack prises Sayid from Henry we get a close up of his cold stare while the music blares an ominous note. Lost relentlessly “leads” viewers emotions through its use of music. Many fans love this aspect of the show and certainly an attractive score can add greatly to some scenes. In this instance it seems the music infers guilt on Henry. If that turns out to be true then the show has rather ruined what was an interesting mystery.

There is also something missing from Sayid’s conclusion that Henry is lying. He seems to leap on Henry’s mistake and begin screaming at him about his wife. But under such physical threat it is entirely possible that Henry wouldn’t be able to instantly recall details of his wife’s burial. Worse still Sayid shouts questions at him without waiting for the answer, so he hardly caught him in the lie. Of course the story could be that Sayid was blinded by his grief over Shannon and made a horrible mistake. But as I say, the evidence points to him being right. Particularly his final words to Charlie, it would seem the army will soon be in action.

The frustrating thing is that had there been no sideplots and Sayid’s interrogation been more thorough, this could have been Lost’s chance to prove it can do 24 better than 24 can. Henry says he arrived on the island four months ago and yet Sayid never asks him who the President is or test his knowledge of current events or pop culture. Sayid arrived on the island two months ago so he should be able to tell from those answers if Henry is lying. If he is an Other he presumably might not be able to answer those questions at all.

Sayid’s final conclusion to Charlie that he feels no guilt for what he did is confusing too. It seems as if Sayid believes his emotional reaction to the torture somehow proves that Henry is an Other. That conclusion doesn’t sound like Sayid at all, he has constantly sought evidence for anything supernatural on the island (like with Shannon’s visions of Walt in 206). If something else was meant then it wasn’t well explained.

Locke and Jack seem to have swapped roles temporarily which is also annoying. Jack has been the one always to rush out looking for revenge and yet he doesn’t want anyone to question Henry. While Locke who usually tries to calm everyone down and pursue a peaceful solution encourages Sayid to torture Henry.

Sayid’s flashback doesn’t add a great deal to his story. Nothing much about it tells us what we couldn’t have already assumed (in the same way that Michael 202 and Hurley’s 204 flashbacks did). While I don’t feel that Sawyer’s bullfrog adds anything to the episode at all. The writers clearly felt that the story could use some comic relief and in an ensemble show I am sure there is pressure to make use of the actors. However the plot serves no real purpose other than to tell us what we already know about Sawyer. That he can be nice but chooses instead to be seen as an ass hole.

The Unknown: Is Henry an Other? He says his wife got sick. Both Rousseau and Desmond used this generic term for ill health rather than give any specific symptoms. If true did Henry’s wife did of this mysterious sickness? What do the symbols which replaced the numbers mean?

Best Moment: As Sayid beats on Henry the alarm begins to sound meaning the button needs to be pushed. Jack looks as thrilled as he did in 201 when he asked Locke if this was where his destiny had brought him. Jack looks practically hysterical as he holds Locke against the wall and tells him he will let the time run down to zero. Locke can’t enter the numbers in time and the clock reaches zero. A great whirring sound begins and the numbers switch to black and red symbols of a bird and a flame amongst others. It is our first scary glimpse of what might happen if the button doesn’t get pushed.

The Bottom Line: A frustrating episode. It’s so good for so long and keeps you gripped and yet it leaves you with too many questions. And not questions about the plot but about the story and how it was written.

Lost has moved away from characters and focussed more heavily on the overall plot this season. This episode almost comes good on that change of direction but ultimately leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

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  • I agree with your points about season 2 being more plot-driven. That has taken away from most episodes which could have benefitted from having more character to them.

    It seems clear to me that Sayid had a credible reason to suspect Henry, but his talk with Charlie afterwards was contradictory to what I had interpreted which was the problem for me.

    Ben making his first appearance was well done, though I question the logic of sending the leader of the Others' as a prisoner. That doesn't make much sense and feels too risky.

    It's interesting to see Kelvin and Kate's father here as well. Los loves making all of these random connections.

    I wish Rousseau had been more clear about recognizing Ben from before. It would make her lies seem credible, but she's also not entirely stable so there will always be doubt.

    Viewer score: 71 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 10/04/2017 2:41pm (3 months ago)

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