Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Lost » Season 1 » Exodus (3)
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

77
/100
Viewer
79
/100

Episode 25 - Exodus (3)

27 February 2017

Present: Jack and Kate see a moving piece of smoke. The “monster” then attacks Locke and attempts to drag him down a hole. Locke begs Jack to let him go but Jack clings on and uses the dynamite to deter the threat. Hurley sees his numbers on the hatch and yells at Locke not to light the dynamite. But Locke does anyway and they blow the door off the hatch. He and Jack stare down at an incredibly deep tunnel. Sayid and Charlie retrieve Aaron from Rousseau. Michael and company see something on their radar and shoot their flare gun. Unfortunately they attract the Others who come and take Walt and destroy the raft.

Flashback: Hurley suffers terrible bad luck as he desperately tries to make the flight. Locke suffers the indignity of being carried to his seat by flight attendants. The final flashback shows all the survivors taking their seats on flight 815.

The Good: There are four stories to cover here, so let’s follow each in turn.

Charlie and Sayid retrieve Aaron without too much difficulty in a solid story. Sayid fixing Charlie’s wound with gun powder is a very effective scene. It’s the type of brutality that you would expect the survivors to have to put up with when trapped on an island with no hospitals around. You really feel sorry for Rousseau who is so desperate to see her daughter again that she is willing to trade Aaron for her. Both Sayid and Charlie’s reactions are well characterised. Charlie is angry and cynical because he is so emotionally close to Claire and her baby. While the more worldly Sayid looks at Rousseau with pity and empathy. The final shot of Charlie with one of the heroin statues in his bag is a nice touch to draw his fans back next season.

The flashbacks throughout are excellent. Hurley’s one looks all comedy but may contain a more subtle story (see The Unknown). Still his sweaty run to the airport is full of amusing moments, including a brief cameo from Arzt. And the numbers make multiple appearances, including on the back of a girls sports team which will delight the hardcore fans. Locke’s flashback reminds us of his handicap and does so in a very simple poignant way when he has to be carried on to the plane. The final flashback of the survivors all getting into their scene is very effective. It reminds you of how much has happened this season and how far the characters have come. The shot of Boone helping out Shannon is particularly sad. It’s a very clever idea by the producers and frames the whole season superbly.

Out on the raft we get some very nice moments between Michael and his companion. He and Sawyer share some real sounding dialogue about child discipline and Jin’s gift to Michael is very touching. It’s also believable that Jin would wish to honour Michael after he gave Jin this chance to save his wife and escape the island. But the best thing about these scenes is the way the tension and sense of impending disaster is expertly built up. When Rousseau claims she heard the Others were coming for the “boy” you just know Walt is in trouble. But that sense that all is about to go wrong adds hugely to the gripping scene where the boat approaches the raft. Michael’s sheer delight at being rescued also adds to the crushing disaster which unfolds as the Others shoot Sawyer, burn the raft and steal Walt. It’s a superb scene and couldn’t be any more effective at setting up next season.

Finally Jack and Kate spy a piece of black smoke floating around the jungle. It’s our first hint of what the “monster” looks like and it soon drags Locke off down a hole. It’s an exciting scene as Jack saves him just as Locke begs to be let go. Logically that leads Jack to confront Locke about his strange behaviour and to a scene which sums up the whole show pretty well (see Best Moment for a lot more on that). It’s also interesting that Locke refuses to listen to Hurley once he sees the numbers on the hatch. He is so determined to follow his destiny that he won’t let anyone stop him. The final shot of the long tunnel is again a very effective cliff-hanger for next season. It hints at so many possibilities (see The Unknown).

The Bad: Unfortunately the scenes with Locke and the “monster” give the episode a credibility problem. After Arzt has just been blown to pieces, Jack’s idea to throw dynamite down a hole seems ridiculous. He could easily blow Locke’s legs off (ironically) or even kill himself. The fact that it deters the seemingly supernatural “monster” seems equally weird. But Jack’s reckless behaviour aside, what they have all just witnessed was the island’s unreal properties at their most glaring and obvious.

So it really hurts the subsequent science \ faith conversation with Locke and Jack when Jack can’t seem to see Locke’s point of view. First off, Hurley, Kate and Jack should have been talking all the way back to the hatch about the shocking thing they just saw. They should be speculating and panicking and at least be in some way shaken up by what was an inexplicable event. And secondly Jack should at least acknowledge that Locke has a point about the island’s weird and wonderful nature after what he just witnessed. Instead he looks at Locke like he is delusional.

The writers have basically created a hugely dramatic revealing scene but don’t want it to effect the essential disagreement between Jack and Locke. It’s poor writing to position the scenes the way they do because they make Jack look foolish and just generally chip away at the credibility of the characters behaviour. Following on from the senseless Arzt story it is another miscalculation from the writers and producers. They have put action and drama ahead of common sense and logic.

The Unknown: Hurley’s hotel electric socket fails him, the lift is full, his car breaks down and he is in the wrong terminal. Although these seem like bad luck generated by the numbers intended to hurt him, perhaps they are intended to help him. As we know, the numbers hurt other people while keeping Hurley safe (118). So perhaps the numbers are trying to keep Hurley from harm by trying to make him miss the flight.

Kate’s twenty three thousand dollars chat with Hurley asks an interesting question. Are the numbers involved in the lives of the other survivors? In hindsight fans have found many references to the numbers in previous episodes, though numbers like four and eight are hardly uncommon. However this reference to twenty three is a lot harder to ignore and certainly we have heard plenty about what happened sixteen years ago.

Who are the Others? How do they have a boat? What other kind of technology do they have? What is in the hatch? The long tunnels could imply a whole system of tunnels which might exist. Could that be where the Others live? Could that be where the “monster” was dragging Locke off to? Why does Locke now look afraid of the “monster” (In 104 he seemed happy to see it)? Why does it try to drag Locke away? Where was it taking him? How did the dynamite “hurt” it?

Best Moment: As they head for the hatch Jack confronts Locke about his strange behaviour (asking Jack to let him be taken away by the monster). Locke believes he was being tested. He points out that he is a man of faith, while Jack is a man of science. Locke asks the crucial questions: “Do you really think all of this is an accident? That we, a group of strangers survived, many of us with just superficial injuries. Do you think we crashed on this place by coincidence? Especially this place. We were brought here for a purpose, for a reason, all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason.” Jack asks who brought them here, to which Locke of course replies “The island.” Locke claims that it is destiny that they were brought here. Jack hits back “Did you talk with Boone about destiny John?” Locke looks sad and says a line which beautifully explains his way of looking at the world and why Jack thinks he is crazy, “Boone was a sacrifice that the island demanded.” That line is so good because we can sympathise with how both characters could interpret that statement. You almost can’t blame Jack for not trusting him after that. Locke says that all the events, including Boone’s death have led here to the hatch. Jack disagrees and says “No, no we’re opening the hatch so we can survive.” Locke mysteriously replies “Survival is all relative, Jack.” Locke finishes by claiming that Jack does believe in destiny, “you just don’t know it yet.” It’s a terrific scene which sums up one of the major themes of the show (faith) while showing the two main characters butting heads over all that has happened. If Jack hadn’t just thrown dynamite at a smoke monster it would have been even better.

The Bottom Line: I can forgive Lost for its slip ups in the finale. We all make mistakes and I suspect that the writers were so keen to make the finale action packed that they took their eye off the ball for a bit too long. However those complaints aside the characterisation is strong and the tension and suspense even better. No show does cliff-hangers like Lost and the finale serves up two of the best you will ever see.

After a season of excellence one has to conclude that Lost is the best drama that has come out of the post 24 television landscape. For 24 formalised a new style of television drama, one driven by suspense and continuity rather than the old formula of characters whose circumstances rarely changed. But Lost has risen above its competitors because of both its mastery of suspense and its focus on its characters. The combination of these two elements led to a superb debut season for this excellent show.

('DiggThis)

Feedback

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

Post your comment

Comments

  • Oops I scored this wrong. I thought this was one of the best episodes in season 1 and deserves an 85 not a 72.

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 24/02/2017 5:32pm (3 months ago)

  • This episode was a perfect finale. Each of the 4 stories had great climactic moments, which lead into great cliffhangers and the sense that the first act of the story is over and that everything will pick up in the next season.

    I'll start with the baby story, like you. I thought it was the weakest because it didn't have quite as impactful of a climax as the other ones. However I definitely enjoyed it and I like that Charlie and Sayid had a nice happy ending moment in the final montage.

    The flashbacks were as good as ever and I absolutely loved that final sequence with everyone boarding Flight 815. It was so emotional and really allowed you to reflect on the characters' journeys throughout the season.

    The raft scenes continued to be fantastic as we got more excellent scenes between the 4 characters. The final scene with the Others was an amazing twist that I didn't see coming the first time through. I really loved how well the episode built up to that moment and it definitely delivered. Walt being taken is an excellent cliffhanger for the next season.

    The best story in my opinion has to be the Jack one though. There were so many great tense moments with the smoke monster, that amazing mon of science, man of faith conversation and the opening of the hatch. The lack of conversation didn't bother me too much since there was a lot of other stuff happening in this episode that needed more focus. I think Jack believes that there is still a logical explanation behind everything, based off of his conversation with Locke. Kate and Hurley seemed more in shock about what they saw and Jack definitely wasn't opening up to talk with them about anything of what they saw.

    I really loved that final montage. It told so much without saying a single word and was undoubtedly the best part of the episode for me. Pure emotion and storytelling.

    Regarding the season overall, I've saved most of my rewatch thoughts for this final episode. I thought this season was even better than I remembered which is definitely saying something. Every time I watch it, I appreciate the storytelling and characters more and I wish that this kind of a TV Show could exist now. Unfortunately most modern TV shows rely on shock and complicated plots over characters and emotion which is disappointing. This season worked so well because it stuck to the basics of engaging storytelling.

    Now I'm going to mention more specific things I liked and didn't like about this season. I thought the flashbacks almost always outshone the on-island stories since it was very entertaining and emotional to learn about these characters. That's not a bad thing though, since the island stories were damn good as well. The problem is that I can't say the same for the other seasons. Season 1 is noticeably better because it was excellent on both ends of the story, whereas the flashbacks are less interesting in most later seasons, except season 4.

    I don't think there were many missteps this season. Kate's backstory wasn't executed the best, but I think it was fine and enjoyable enough. The only real problem was Charlie killing Ethan, which is impressive for a 25 episode season.

    On rewatch I enjoyed a lot of episodes a lot more. I remembered "Hearts and Minds", "Outlaws", "The Moth" and "...In Translation" as much worse, but I really enjoyed them this time around. The middle portion of the season was less impressive than the beginning and end, but I remember it being that way before as well.

    In conclusion, this episode was a fantastic finale to a fantastic season. Season 1 of Lost is truly one of the greatest seasons in TV history and I wish that more people remember that when talking about Lost. When I tell others in real life to watch Lost, they just dismiss it because they have only heard about the unanswered questions and instead they watch Game of Thrones or TWD or some other modern show. Season 1 is a perfect example of how much more there is to Lost and just how great it can be.

    Viewer score: 72 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 18/02/2017 9:49pm (3 months ago)

  • In the first half of the finale, I initially didn't really get why we were watching the various characters converge at the airport. But then seeing them all board and take their seats, it all slotted together and I really enjoyed the scenes. The show has drip-fed us all the characters' recent histories through the flashbacks, and it was lovely to see each of them board the plane and think about what had brought them there and where they were at right before the crash.

    I can't believe I waited this long to watch Lost - I reckon it's the best TV show I ever watched, and I totally agree no other show does cliff-hangers like it. I know my friends were completely sucked in to the subsequent seasons, so I can't wait to see what it was all about.

    Posted by Kay, 05/09/2011 9:07pm (6 years ago)

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