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68
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Viewer
72
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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

65
/100
Viewer
72
/100

Episode 24 - Exodus (2)

23 February 2017

Present: Locke, Jack and Kate head into the Black Rock and bring out a crate of dynamite. Arzt demonstrates how to safely transport a stick of it when it blows him to pieces. Locke and Jack carefully pack up some more sticks and head to the hatch. On the raft Sawyer reads the letters which the other survivors wrote and rescues the rudder when it breaks off and begins to sink. On the beach Sayid leads everyone off to the caves. But Rousseau steals baby Aaron from Claire and heads off to the black smoke to presumably make a trade for her daughter Alex. Sayid and Charlie chase after her and come across the beach craft full of heroin.

Technically Lost released this episode as two hours in length. However in order to be compared with other episodes I am choosing to review it as two separate episodes.

Flashback: Sayid is released by airport security after Shannon handed him in. Jin heads to the bathroom and meets a man who works for Mr Paik. He tells Jin that he has been following him and knows he plans to run away. He tells him that if he does so he will lose Sun and that he is not free and never will be. Charlie wakes up in a hotel before the flight with a girl he had done drugs with the night before. They fight over the remainder of his stash. Michael calls his mother from the airport and asks for her help in looking after Walt.

The Good: The twist with Rousseau is clever and unexpected. When she leaves Jack and company at the Black Rock I felt it was a logical move. She has been alone for sixteen years and presumably believes that the survivors could all become “sick” at any moment. So her leaving seems like consistent behaviour from her. But she then appears and creepily asks to hold Aaron. It’s an intriguing plot and the idea of trading for her own child makes sense for her delusional mind.

Claire is pretty annoying to listen to throughout the episode. She is loud, whiny and hysterical. Of course it is difficult to relate to a new mother who has had her child stolen, so credit to Claire for her acting. It seems most likely that experiencing this trauma would make you seem hysterical.

The survivors continue to address the various wider theories about the show in their dialogue which is good. Michael asks “How does a place this big never get discovered?” While Sun asks Shannon if she thinks that they were all sent to the island to be punished for the bad things they did. I have complained about the survivors not asking obvious questions about the existence of Ethan and the hatch and so on. So it is encouraging to hear them discussing issues which would naturally run through your mind if you found yourself on an island which exhibited such strangeness.

We get the now expected nice character moments, with Sayid comforting Shannon, Walt showing Michael some affection and Locke making a buzzing noise to try and scare Jack when removing some dynamite.

Charlie has some of the best moments both in flashback and on the island. We jump back to be reminded of what a junkie he was before the island in a pretty convincing scuffle with a girl and then he ends the episode staring at a huge plane full of heroin. It would seem “fate” is testing him once more. Of course that moment would have meant even more if we had actually seen Charlie suffering more with his withdrawal.

The Bad: While giving a stern but sensible lecture on the dangers of dynamite Arzt blows up. It’s a shocking moment and effectively demonstrates the danger which the survivors are in. Or does it?

As this is a television show, by blowing up, we now know that Jack and company are safe. Not that we ever thought it would happen, but we now know that no one else is going to explode into tiny pieces because it has already happened once. And Lost is hardly going to sacrifice its main characters to make the dynamite seem more threatening. But there lies the problem. Arzt was introduced into the show in order to be blown up, which seems an awful waste. By introducing a minor character, in order just to kill him off, Lost has become Star Trek, the very show it mocked earlier in the season (111).

This is of course a well worn tactic in both movies and television shows. A death is a dramatic moment, but shows don’t want to lose their established characters and so they kill off characters who don’t matter. I could forgive Lost if it had served a greater purpose. But they play Arzt’s death for laughs. The whole thing seems like an excuse for Hurley to make jokes, which is pretty appalling. Death shouldn’t ever be trivialised this way. It makes the whole show seem cheap and tacky.

Even worse than that though, if you can believe it, is the way Arzt was made to look like a pathetic, insecure and annoying character before he died. The writers seem to make him the voice of the fans when he complains about the preferential treatment which the “cool” survivors receive. And the way Hurley blows him off almost implies the writers are mocking their audience for wanting to know more about the other thirty survivors. But beyond this Artz is a coward (running away from both the monster and refusing to enter the Black Rock), a loser (he talks about his third wife leaving him and being rejected by other teachers at school) and a prick (he barks orders at Jack and Kate in a rude manner). When a character like that blows up, you have to assume the writers want the audience to be glad that he is dead. Which together with laughing about his death is a terrible message to be sending out.

The entire Artz story feels terribly out of character for the Lost writers. I complained a few episodes ago that all their characters were nice people deep down, with admirable qualities coming from even the harshest seeming people. So when they finally create an annoying character they immediately kill him off. Maybe they don’t mean to but the message which comes across is that annoying people aren’t worthy of the show and are only fit to be ridiculed. Just a mess all around.

I don’t know many people who use the word “fate” in place of God. When Shannon asks who could be punishing them, Sun’s reply of “Fate” sounds very unconvincing. I have heard people say “the universe”, “the world” or even more vague descriptions instead of God. But I haven’t heard anyone use fate. The writers have done this before and although the concept of fate is a good one to discuss, it needs to be used in the context which real people actually use it.

The Unknown: The discovery that the Black Rock was a slave ship opens up all sorts of possibilities about the islands previous or indeed current inhabitants. Was Rousseau involved in abducting Claire? Is she working with “The Otehrs”? Was she working with Ethan?

Best Moment: Sawyer reading the letter’s on the boat. It has been well established all season that Sawyer doesn’t respect other people and that he loves to read, so it couldn’t fit his character any more perfectly. He then says aloud “I for one never knew how much Tracy missed her hubby and two kids back in Fresno. Yet she’s sleeping next to good old Scott to keep her warm at night!” His amusing delivery aside that is a great line on so many levels. It hints at the lives of other survivors while also reminding you of the reality of new relationships which have formed amongst the survivors. And of course the joy he takes in reading it is also really funny. He then follows up with another “in joke”, at least for the viewers when he asks “Who the hell is Hugo and how’s he got a hundred and sixty million dollars to leave to his mama?”

The Bottom Line: The Artz stuff aside this is more solid tense build up. But the Artz stuff sticks out badly. The way Jack, Kate, Locke and Hurley move on so quickly is a clue to how frivolously the writers treated Artz’ death. Death isn’t something to be mocked, not on a drama show like this.

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Comments

  • This episode had some issues as you stated, but it was more of what made the last episode so great.

    First off, I agree almost wholeheartedly on Arzt, but I don't think it affected the episode for me as much as it did for you. I was excited to learn more about him, but I was disappointed to see him killed off in such a stupid way. I also agree that his death was brushed off too quickly and really didn't have any purpose or lasting impact.

    Everything else is similar to what I said in the previous episode. The flashbacks were excellent and there were plenty of amazing character moments as usual. I love the variety of large and small moments. The examples you put of Shannon and Sayid and Locke's talk of operation is a prime example of this. This episode was great because it succeeded in making both of these large and small moments so good.

    The flashbacks were excellent as we continue to see the stories of our characters as they head off to board flight 815.

    I was most impressed but the raft scenes in this episode. So much great characterization and emotion with all of those scenes.


    Finally, the Rousseau twist was also amazing. It was surprising and completely changed the story of the finale.

    Overall, this was another strong episode that continued to set-up and provided more excellent character moments. While I didn't think it was quite as good as the first part of this finale, I still really enjoyed it.

    Viewer score: 72 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 18/02/2017 8:19pm (4 months ago)

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