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The Great Lost Rewatch Project — More Thoughts on Season 5!

March 16th, 2010
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Here we go — my final post giving you my thoughts on my Great Lost Rewatch Project!  Yesterday I began my analysis of season 5.  Let’s continue, shall we?

“What lies in the shadow of the statue?”

Favorite Episodes

5.2 “Jughead” — We open with Penny giving birth to her son with Desmond, who we learn at the end of the episode is named Charlie.  Nice.  Three years later, we follow Desmond’s efforts to find Daniel Faraday’s mother, Eloise, and we learn more about Daniel’s time-travel experiments that eventually got him thrown out of Oxford and that apparently left his former girlfriend in a vegetative state.  Back on the island, we see that our castaways have time-traveled back to the 1950’s.  There we meet a young Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore, and discover that the U.S. Army had been using the island as a site for the testing of nuclear weapons.  Meanwhile, Locke meets Richard Alpert, and since this Alpert of the ’50s doesn’t know him yet, Locke tells Richard the exact date and place of his birth which will happen in 2 years.  Locke suggests that Richard come see him – thus explaining Richard’s interest in Locke throughout his youth that we learned of last season in “Cabin Fever.”  This is a dazzlingly dense episode, filled to the brim with dramatic revelations and fascinating connections.

5.6 “316” —  This episode declares its awesomeness right from the opening seconds — a phenomenal re-creation of the opening scene in the pilot. Jack again wakes up alone in the jungle – but this time it’s after the crash of Ajira flight 316. He’s back.  In flashback, we see how this all went down. The episode is filled with amazing moments, from Hurley’s attempt to buy up all the empty seats on the plane to Lapidus’ perfectly-delivered comment of resignation (see the title of yesterday’s post) when he sees the Oceanic 6 on board.  You gotta feel for the guy!!

5.8 “LaFleur” — After Locke disappears down the well, Sawyer & co. see the enormous statue (of which we saw a four-toed fragment back in season 2’s finale and hadn’t been seen nor mentioned since). Guess they’re pretty far in the past. Then they flash again, more violently this time – and seem to settle in one time period. It seems Locke has succeeded in his efforts to stop the time-jumping.  For the rest of the episode, we cut back and forth between the next few days in 1974 and 3 years later, in 1977, at which point Sawyer and co. are completely ensconsced in the Dharma Initiative.  It’s a lot of fun to see how Sawyer, Juliet, and Miles have adapted to their new lives amongst the Dharma folk, and it’s great to see more of what life was like for the members of Dharma on the island.  We learn more about the tenuous truce that exists between Dharma and the Others (represented by Richard Alpert). We see Amy give birth (to Ethan!  But we’ll learn that later) — indicating that the issue on the island with women giving birth hasn’t started yet.  We also get to see Radzinsky (who we’d previously seen as a bloodstain on the ceiling of the hatch) and Horace (who we saw in “The Man Behind the Curtain”) — it’s really neat to see these Dharma folk brought to life in this episode, and throughout the rest of the season.  Ultimately, though, it’s just nice to see Sawyer so happy, though we know it’s all about to come crashing down when Jin radios in, at the end of the episode, that he’s found Jack, Hurley, and Kate…

5.12 “Dead is Dead” — This is a fantastic, mind-bending episode that gives us some major pieces of the Lost puzzle while, of course, also raising a lot of other interesting new questions!  We see the development of the Ben Linus/Charles Widmore feud, from Charles’ anger with Richard for saving young Ben, to their disagreement over Ben’s refusal to kill baby Alex, to the moment when Charles is exiled from the island, leaving Ben apparently in charge.  It’s chilling to hear Charles’ warning to Ben that if the island DOES want Alex dead, one day soon Ben will be forced to choose between the island and his adopted daughter.  On the island in 2007, Ben tells Locke that he came back to be judged by the monster (“we don’t even have a name for it”) for breaking the rules and leaving the island, though Locke says he thinks Ben really wants to be judged for allowing his daughter to die, and cheerfully agrees to help Ben find the monster to be judged.  When Ben tries to summon the monster from the Dharma barracks, as we’ve seen him do before, nothing happens.  So Locke leads Ben to the Temple, where we get our best look yet at the smoke monster as it surround Ben and displays for him moments of his life with Alex.  In the end, the monster takes Alex’s form and makes Ben swear to follow Locke’s orders no matter what.  This is a complex, fascinating episode, one that delves deep into the mythology of Lost.  It’s also an episode whose events must be seen in an entirely different light given the revelations about John Locke and the smoke monster in the season 5 finale, “The Incident,” and the season 6 premiere “LA X” (revelations that I’m proud to say I guessed, based on my careful study of this episode during my rewatch!).  Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned that the question of “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” is asked here for the very first time!

“Richard’s always been here.”

Least-Favorite Episodes

5.11 “Whatever Happened, Happened” — There really aren’t that many weak links in season 5!  But if I had to pick a least-favorite episode, it would be this one.  There’s some great stuff happening in the 1977 part of this episode, no question.  I love the drama of Jack and Kate’s arguments over saving young Ben’s life.  (When Kate angrily declares “I don’t like the new Jack,” it’s a little bit heartbreaking to hear Jack’s resigned reply, “You didn’t like the old one.”)  But what sinks this episode for me is all the stuff with Kate and Aaron.  I’m just not that invested in all of her indecision about what to do, and I found her supermarket freak-out to be pretty pathetic.  Then there’s the scene with Claire’s mom, in which Kate tearfully admits that Claire is still alive, the Oceanic Six lied about the crash, and, oh yeah, that Aaron is actually Claire’s son.  That scene is powerful emotionally but also absolutely ridiculous.  Kate tells Mrs. Littleton that her daughter is alive, and that the Oceanic Six left her (and others) on the island and then lied about it.  Wouldn’t any rational person ask: “WHY on Earth would you six have done that??”  That Claire’s mom doesn’t ask, and that Kate doesn’t provide any hint of an explanation is beyond weird.  OK, maybe Mrs. Littleton was just in shock by the revelations and not thinking clearly.  Well, then, next week when things have sunk in and Kate has gone never to return, wouldn’t she call the police and start trying to organize rescue missions for people to find her daughter and all these other survivors??  This is a key story point, and that it is handled so flimsily is very disappointing to me.

“You forgot your guitar!”  “It’s not my guitar.”

Favorite moments from season 5:

5.1 “Because You Left” — The intriguing opening sequence, in which we see Pierre Chang on the island in the 1970’s, waking up and feeding his son (Miles!), recording a Dharma orientatiom video (for The Arrow, the station where the Tailies were living in season 2!), and then visiting the under-construction Orchid station where the workmen’s drills have come perilously close to puncturing a pocket of electromagnetic energy (where the frozen donkey-wheel is!).  Chang discusses the rules inherent to time-travel (rules which we’ll learn more about over the course of the season) and then, most intriguingly, bumps into Daniel Faraday!  At the time, viewers didn’t know whether Daniel had time-traveled from the 1970’s to the future (to come to the island on the freighter in seasons 3 & 4) or whether this scene indicated that at some point Daniel would time-travel from the present (2004) back to the past.  Either way, it was a hell of a way to kick off the season, and I love that we eventually circled back to this scene at the very end of the season.

5.2 “The Lie” — Hurley’s meeting with Ana Lucia.  The icing on the cake?  Ana Lucia’s parting comment: “Libby says hi.”

5.2 “The Lie” — Hurley’s frantic, stream-of consciousness attempt to summarize for his mother all the craziness that befell him during the first four seasons of the show.  Hilarious.

5.4 “The Little Prince” — Jin washes up on the beach (for the second time in the series!) and is rescued by a young French-woman: Danielle Rousseau!

5.9 “Namaste” — Amy reveals to Juliet that she and Horace have named their baby (that Juliet delivered in the last episode) Ethan. Nice.

5.11 “Whatever Happened, Happened”  — Hurley and Miles’ hilarious conversation in which Miles tries to explain to Hurley the rules of time travel.  I also love Hurley’s Back to the Future moment as he stares at his hand to see if it starts to disappear.

5.13 “Some Like it Hoth” — Hurley and Miles realize that they both have the ability to communicate with dead people.

5.15 “Follow the Leader” — The hysterically quick way that Pierre Chang is able to get Hurley to admit that he’s from the future.  (Chang: “What year were you born?”  Hurley: “Um…1931.”  Chang: “You’re 46?”  Hurley: “Yes I am.”  Chang: “That means you must have fought in the Korean War?”  Hurley: “There’s no such thing.”  Chang: “Who is the U.S. President?”  Hurley: “OK, we’re from the future.”)

“You asked what I remembered.  I remember dying.”

So that’s it, my friends!  Five seasons of Lost. It was GREAT fun rewatching the series from start to finish, and great fun sharing my thoughts with you all in these posts.  Needless to say, I’ve been attentively watching season 6.  Sadly, I’m a bit lukewarm on the season so far.  The show still has a LOT of questions that need answering before everything wraps up.  You can rest assured that I’ll be bringing you my thoughts on the conclusion of the series as things wrap up!

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