Sunday, April 02, 2006

The New Yorker does her LOST recap thing

This week’s episode of LOST, “Lockdown” was, in my esteem, one of the strongest episodes to air all season. There’s something about the character of John Locke, and the back story that they’ve created for him, that is heart wrenchingly tragic, moving and inspiring all at the same time. Locke is imperfect, and he’s makes mistakes. He’s gullible, and at times too protective of others. But he also wants to believe that in the end everything will turn out alright. Time and time again, we’ve seen people try to break Locke’s spirit, by cheating him, or lying to him, abandoning him, or discriminating against him. But despite all of these things, he still seeks the redeeming, and believes that happiness may exist for himself. It is the fountain of hope that springs from within him that makes him akin to a miracle both on the island and the show.

This episode really had it all. The flashback provided a solid lynchpin for the episode and there were actual events of intrigue unfolding on the island. I thought the storyline of Locke’s father faking his own death, and coming back for another con was both unexpected and interesting. It was also a perfect follow up to the previous flashback episode which established Locke’s relationship with Helen. The entire time I kept waiting to find out that his father had lied to him about the money, or that he was setting him up as bait to be killed by the henchmen. It was an interesting twist that in the end, Locke’s father did not technically screw him over, at least not with the scam. It was Locke’s own error in judgment and desire to make things right with his father that backfired everything. The parallel between the flashback and Locke’s present island experience was particularly poignant. As we learned about a moment in the past where Locke had to decide if he should trust his father or not, in the present Locke had to make the decision to trust Henry Gale, a man who was a potentially dangerous. In the past, Locke’s choice to take a leap of faith ended up being the wrong thing for him to do. I was both crushed and mortified when Helen did not accept his marriage proposal and drove away. Though Locke’s father did not cheat him out of the money or purposefully endanger him, he did commit an emotional betrayal by getting in the cab when his son’s life had just fallen into disarray. His father refused to take any personal responsibility for himself. It was heart breaking to watch Locke emotionally shattered in the past, being deserted by two people that he loved. But I liked the way it was mirrored on the island as Locke lay there wounded on the ground of the Hatch bleeding, and calling for Henry Gale. There has always been this paternal link between the island and Locke, and just as his biological father betrayed him time and time again, his “surrogate” father –the island has as well. The first time was when it let Boone die (who was in essence his surrogate son). This was event was set parallel to his father stealing his kidney. This second betrayal was perpetrated by the Hatch, which represents in many ways the heart and mind of the island, and literally came down on Locke when he was most vulnerable. I liked that Henry Gale came back to help Locke, and kept his promise not to leave him. It was also a nice counterpoint to Locke’s memory, because it was an instance where he took a leap of faith, and it ended up working out for him.

The Henry Gale plot took a very interesting turn this episode. I have to confess when I saw Sayid and Ana Lucia discovering the balloon and the grave, I really fell for it. I thought, well, he’s definitely not an “other”, he’s just some crazy guy who’s trying to manipulate the situation down there for his own benefit and enjoyment (which I still think would have been an interesting way to go). When Sayid pulled out the driver’s license belonging to the original Henry Gale I was shocked. Now that’s what I call a cliffhanger! I am absolutely fascinated to see what they end up doing with Henry Gale, now that they have confirmed he is an imposter. Clever move on their part to have Sayid dig up the grave so he could make the discovery. I thought the way they dealt with that whole end of the plot was ingenius.

Two more things. First, the woman whose home John Locke inspects in the flashback. This is the woman that Sayid carried the photograph of, the woman who he held prisoner and fell in love with. Now I know this is one of those “coincidences” that continue to build and build within the construct of the show, but I will honestly be shocked if the writers find a way to wrap all of these connections up in a way that makes sense and has real relevance. As geeks everywhere rack their brains, asking themselves “What does it all mean…?!”, I find myself scratching my head and thinking “I hope it all means something…” Second. The map that revealed itself on the hatch door when the lights go out, and the black lights flickered on. I think it’s nothing more than some scraggly mumbo jumbo meant to illustrate all sorts of connections between the Dharma Collective, Mr. Hanso, and various miscellaneous items, but I don’t think its anything more than a gimmick that they’re throwing our way, which won’t be addressed again for eons.

All in all though, a really great episode. It reminded me of the good old days of LOST. I hope they’re on a roll now till the finale.

6 Comments:

Blogger The Coen Bros. said...

It was a good episode, though it also shows how lowered our expectations are. The Locke flashback was pretty tame and I was kind of bored by it. The island stuff was really cool. I loved that food was air dropped to them, and the lockdown stuff was great.

As for the ending, yes it was suprising, but in a way, it's was the same as Sun's episode. THat one ended with the viewer thinking "Oh my God, he's an Other!"

This one ended with the viewer thinking "Oh my God, he's really an Other!"

Eh, still better than most crap.

6:43 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

It's true, we have lowered our standards, but at this point I'll take what I can get...

10:56 AM  
Blogger DoorFrame said...

I just finished watching a cancelled cartoon series from 1999 called Mission Hill. It was alright.

This is not related to Lost in any way.

4:05 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Huh, never seen it. Was it an MTV show?

4:26 PM  
Blogger DoorFrame said...

Nope, this one was a UPN show, that lowliest of shows. It was written by two Simpsons writers who were talking about it one of the Simpsons DVDs so I thought I'd give it a chance. They basically realized that there were very few charachters on the Simpsons between 16 and 26 and decided to make a show about people in that age range. It's definitely interesting, I wish it had gone longer than 13 episodes before getting cancelled.

7:31 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Huh, interesting. UPN. Wow. Is it avail on DVD?

10:32 AM  

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