Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Lost » Season 5 » The Little Prince
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.
68
/100
Viewer
72
/100

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

65
/100

Episode 4 - The Little Prince

28 March 2012

Present: Kate meets with Mr Norton (the lawyer who came to see her) but he refuses to tell her who his client is. So she follows him. Jack joins her and they find him visiting Claire’s mother. But when Jack confronts her she doesn’t know anything about it. It turns out Ben hired the lawyer who is also working on getting Hurley’s charges dropped. Jack brings Kate to meet Ben and Sayid as Sun watches from her car with Aaron and a gun.

Flashback: We see Kate telling Jack on Penny’s boat that she wants to adopt Aaron and that she will support his decision to lie.

Charlotte wakes up and says she feels fine. Miles and then Juliet develop nose bleeds. Daniel thinks it has to do with exposure to the island, implying that Miles and Charlotte have been there before. Locke convinces them to head to the Orchid. They travel back to a couple of months ago and Sawyer sees Kate helping Claire give birth. They go back to camp to find it somewhat decayed and some canoes near by. They take one and begin paddling around the island. They are soon chased and shot at by the canoe owners but the flash comes to save them and the weather changes to a bad storm. They find wreckage nearby of a French ship. Danielle Rousseau and company come across Jin, alive floating on a piece of the freighter. When she introduces herself he sees the significance.

The Good: Again a fast paced, question answering episode. There is lots to enjoy and be happy about.

On the island the big twist is that Jin is still alive. It will please a lot of people and certainly sets up some intriguing plot possibilities. Off the island Sun’s attitude to the Oceanic Six and returning would be totally different if she knew. While on the island Jin is the ideal man to meet a young Danielle Rousseau. We don’t know how much information Jin has absorbed about the islands history and the significance of certain events which he may be about to witness. We don’t know how much he will understand about the sickness which will befall Rousseau’s camp or the abduction of baby Alex or the futility of the rescue message. That will all come of course after we see him deal with the fact that he has travelled through time.

Again the time shifting makes for a wonderful plot device. Sawyer’s glimpse of Kate is a very direct reminder to him of what he has lost and really stirs him up. Then we jump into the future or perhaps the present where the remaining survivors get into a canoe gun fight of all things (see Best Moment). The developing nose bleeds also give the island events a sense of urgency. We know that Locke needs to act fast to avert the others dying off one by one. The implication that Charlotte and Miles were born (or at least lived once) on the island makes their stories seem more significant (see The Unknown).

I like the flashbacks to Penny’s boat (we saw one in 502); they are filling in gaps in the story. Here we see Kate letting Sawyer go and affirming her love for Jack. And taking ownership of Aaron and the lies that had to be told. It’s good to see her thought process and get a sense of how things came to be.

In the present we see that Ben is pulling the strings to get Kate to play ball and get Hurley out of jail. And presumably Widmore is the one sending hit men after Sayid and providing Sun with a gun and intelligence to feed her desire to kill Ben.

The red herring with Claire’s mother was a nice touch to keep things interesting, though it may turn out to have more significance. It was nice to see Jack trying to be reasonable and logical after all the lying did no good. And to patch things up with Kate (after the events of last season in 410 and 413) and of course try and fix things.

I liked Jack being told off for barging into a hospital when he is not allowed to be there. It reminded us of his addictions and gave a more authentic feel to what was going on. Locke behaved almost like Ben, though I’m not sure it was intentional. He told Sawyer that they needed to go to the Orchid and then “lent” on him by using his feelings for Kate to get him to agree to come with him.

In many ways this felt like a setup episode because what it created for the next episode is far more intriguing than anything we saw here. But if it is fair to regard it as such, then it did a good job making the next episode seem like a “can’t miss.”

The Bad: The one really annoying thing is Sayid cooperating with Ben and not discussing why he had lost trust in him. Having been a major part of Hurley’s story it sort of made a mockery of the significance of that episode for Sayid to suddenly be riding in a car with Ben and no hint of an explanation.

Aside from that I can’t say there was much wrong here. But I still feel something is missing. There isn’t quite the sense of significance to the drama which there should be.

For example Widmore (presumably) keeps sending random men to capture Sayid. They all use stun darts and not guns so we know Sayid isn’t going to be killed even if he is captured. And we have no reason to believe that if he were captured, that anything bad would happen to him. Plus if he really wanted to capture him then why not hire a gang to do it? Even if discretion was key, surely there could be a more efficient way to do it.

Then there are the nose bleeds. It seems so unlikely that Miles or Charlotte will be killed off before we learn who they are. And of course it works the other way in that we don’t know who they are so if they die we won’t care as much. I have already commented that off the island it seems impossible that anything bad will happen to the Oceanic Six. We have been told that they must all go back to save their friends and avoid some kind of world-ending catastrophe. So there isn’t that sense of consequence to what they are going through. Jin still being alive adds further to this watering down of the sense of consequence and significance to the drama. I think he is a good character, so I’m not really complaining but the sense of bitter tragedy around his death has now been wiped away for the viewers. If we really believed Sun might kill Jack then his reappearance would have been far more interesting. And though the mystery of who is bad Widmore or Ben remains solid, it does rob their machinations of emotional significance. We don’t know for example if Sayid might be better off getting kidnapped.

I go back to two feelings I have expressed before. First is that by seeing the future the show has lost something. It affects all the stories being told because there have been limits placed on what can actually happen in the island scenes. And second is my feeling that the individual character flashbacks are being sorely missed. They may have had problems and been unpopular with some fans but they gave the show a unique dimension. They allowed one character to have a strict focus on who they were and why they made the decisions they did. Now that that has gone Lost feels more like other television shows. It feels more like Heroes, Prison Break or 24 where the narrative jumps between a wide cast. That focus on characters is what gave Lost its true abiding strength. Twists and turns are only significant if as a viewer you care about the characters caught up in them. And seeing each character’s past (and to a lesser extent future) really helped us empathise and sympathise with them.

The Unknown: Did the survivors jump into the future or the present when they found the canoes? Who are the Ajeera people and how did they get to the island? Were Charlotte and Miles born on the island? The smart money is on Miles being Pierre Chang’s (Marvin Candle) son. If true it would mean Miles’ powers may be a result of some island phenomenon. That would answer my criticism that his powers implied supernatural activity was an everyday occurrence instead of unique to the island (402).

Widmore, we assume, provided Sun with a gun and information on how to find Ben and Jack. We know that for some reason Widmore and Ben won’t kill one another (409). If that extends to assassinations as well, perhaps Widmore has a loop hole if he simply points an angry Sun in Ben’s direction. Could their agreement not to hurt one another be as simple as Others don’t kill each other (we saw Juliet being tried for it in 309)?

Best Moment: The canoe chase scene. Just the sight of the remaining survivors on a canoe is different but once they are being shot at we have such an innovative, exciting and unpredictable scene. With other survivors blown to pieces in the previous episode and several of them heading for brain haemorrhages, we had every reason to believe that those bullets might have hit them. The flash comes to save them and saves the intrigue for another day. Sawyer in a great moment of genuine feeling yells “Thank you Lord!” as the flash arrives. The scene shifts to darkness, pouring rain and the canoe is now in the middle of a nasty storm. “I take that back!” Sawyer yells to the heavens.

The Bottom Line: Ambivalence is the bottom line. I can’t tell if what’s missing from Lost is gone for now or if it will come back when the plot moves into more significant territory.

The show’s characterisation has been largely sidelined by the focus on mysteries and the islands history. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if there was a real sense of consequence to all the developments. But the much stronger sense remains that nothing bad is going to happen to the characters we know.

('DiggThis)

Feedback

Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment

Comments

  • Kate claiming Aaron as her own child has to be one of the most despicable acts I have seen on this show. The fact that she, along with Jack and the other members of the Oceanic Six, dragged an innocent child into this deception and kept him from his real family for nearly three years makes my stomach turn.

    Posted by Rosie, 19/12/2011 8:32pm (9 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments