Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Lost 1.19

This was not the episode where we find out how Locke was paralysed. Instead, the story on the island is the story of Locke having his faith tested, while his flashback shows him losing his faith and (presumably) tipping his anger management problem into high-gear. Here are the commercial breaks - all of them solidly focused on Locke's Island story:

CB1: Locke has a (fantastically delivered) bad dream/vision-from-the-Island. He knows where to find the plane.
CB2: Locke and Boone discover the pilot ... therefore, the dream is real.
CB3: The plane is real.
CB4: Locke can walk again BUT Boone is horribly injured in the plane fall. (Aside: Karmically, what happens to Boone could be seen as payback for what he did to Terese.)

Some scattershot observations:
It'll be interesting, on the next viewing, to see what emotions each scene is creating - how those emotions correspond when switching between the flashbacks and events on the Island. What emotions the Commercial Breaks go out on (and how they are underlie, reinforce or work against the plot).

Let's look at what happens to the show when the writers introduce the plane. I've already talked about tying a secret to every new element that you introduce into the story; with the plane, it looks like a similar rule was adopted - every new element you introduce must create a problem for one of your characters. The plane is full of drugs, which will become a source of temptation for Charlie in later seasons.

People seem to experience the Island as a personal metaphor. For Locke, the Island is a mystical experience. In fact, this is a defining episode for demonstrating Locke's mystical approach to the Island - and for him, the stories the Island presents him with are about healing (both his legs and his anger). For Jack, it seems to be about pain, suffering and responsibility. Note that these stories are different (although related) to relationship subplots. The Jack-Locke subplot is almost always framed as 'faith vs. reason' (or, as I've stated before) Red State vs. Blue.

The first scene, with the game of Mousetrap, illustrates what's going on in the whole episode and what's going on right at that very moment.

Locke's anger management problem is also consistent with his childhood, living in foster homes.

Amusing things:
Well, the Sawyer plot was played for laughs this week.
Jack (ab)using his power as a doctor to spoil Sawyer's chances with Kate. Sawyer in glasses.

This episode (as ever) raises a few questions:
Did the crashed plane resemble Kate's toy one?
Now Locke has a gun - which seems important. When is it used again?
Who answered Boone's transmission? ...
... and did they say "We are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815" or "There were no survivors of Oceanic Flight 815"?
The flashbacks are creating questions we want answered - & interesting backstories that we want to see resolved - in their own right. How was Locke paralysed?

In fact, I'd say Boone was eliminated as a character because his story doesn't raise any of these interesting questions. Certainly not for performance reasons; I think Ian Somerhalder was doing fine work in the show; I guess that Boone hadn't proven compelling enough, so he was the logical choice to eliminate in order for the writers to demonstrate that life on the Island is ugly, brutish and short.
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