Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thoughts on There's No Place Like Home, Part 1...

Perhaps I've been spoiled by the fast pace of this "Wrath of Khan" season of Lost, but I was a little let down by Part 1 of There's No Place Like Home. After watching, my friend and I compared notes and concluded that we'd learned nothing new. It was really only the last few scenes, the ones where we saw all of the pieces on the table, that moved me. I was reminded of the spit screen they use with such great effect to frame the action on 24.

I realize the point of this episode was just to set up the next two hours, but that was kind of the problem. All setup with no payoff for two weeks is too much of a tease. It reminds me of all the hype and hoopla leading up to the Super Bowl. I think it would have been much stronger, albeit unorthodox, to air the first two hours together, followed by the third in two weeks. I can't help wondering if this odd schedule is a function of the strike, as well.

Don't get me wrong -- sometimes good stories require lots of setup. Take Pet Sematary, one of Stephen King's more underappreciated works. Very little happens during the first half, which is mostly devoted to characterization and setting. The key difference is that you don't have to wait two weeks for the payoff like the delay after King ended the Waste Lands with Blaine the Monorail's riddle. Let's hope that something more satisfying than Wizard and Glass awaits us on the other side...

Here are some other thoughts and reactions I had to There's No Place Like Home, Part 1:

* The co-pilot has a rabbit's foot -- how fitting! Notice how Hurley's key has a rabbit's foot, as well. Is there an Island connection?

* Michelle Forbes! Any other fans of Battlestar Galactica think it's weird to see Admiral Cain tottering around on high heels? For those unfamiliar, Forbes played a ruthlessly efficient military officer on BSG -- the kind who executes friends for insubordination without blinking.

* I think I know why the Oceanic 6 all seem to stunned. There will be another purple sky event as they're departing that causes the Island to disappear.

* Cheech is back! Any chance we can get Chong some work, as well? Maybe as Hurley's crazy Uncle Tommy?

* Jack's mom looks different from how I remember her.

* Oh, Rose. If it were Sayid and Desmond in the chopper, THEY would just call.

* Ripping a stitch -- is this a reference to what's about to happen with the Orchid? The ominous Secondary Protocol they keep mentioning?

* "We have to get off this Island right now..." That's because they will be lost in time if they stay...

* Jack bleeding reminded me of Roy Hobbes bleeding from his stitches in his final at-bat of the Natural...

* Love the Flash and Green Lantern pairing of Sawyer and Jack -- right down to the contrasting hair color.

* Loved the reappearance of the Numbers -- e.g., day 108 and the 4815162342 on Hurley's odometer.

* Interesting how their story is that Kate gave birth to the baby. Why lie about that? Why not just have Claire be one of the 8 original survivors who gave birth then died?

* One wonders if the doctors who examined them noticed Jack's fresh appendectomy scar...

* At the press conference, I kept thinking of the Beatles landing at JFK in 1965. I wonder if the nickname "Oceanic 6" is actually a sly nod to the Fab 5. Dr. Shephard, is it true you're the funny one?

* Interesting...we know Jin made it at least to the Freighter. Yet he's not one of the other two who survived the crash then died. Who were the other two that survived?

* I have a feeling that going to Widmore's freighter is a big mistake. I've long believed the freighter will be destroyed, and last night we learned how. I find it curious, though, that there are now basically two bombs onboard the freighter -- it's double booby trapped.

* Who was hiding Dharma rations, binoculars, and a mirror 15 years ago? And how did Ben know precisely where to look? Did he hide these things in preparation for the Purge a few years later?

* Did anyone catch any snippets of what Ben signaled?

* Interesting how Faraday has a doodle of the Orchid logo in his notebook. Did Dan have a flash of the future involving the upcoming purple sky event?

* A poster named SKID, who has been campaigning for Daniel Faraday to remove his necktie, humorously notes that Dan the Man missed a golden opportunity to toss his tie to Charlotte ala Mean Joe Green in the famous Coke commercial...LOL!

* Interesting how Sun accused her father of being one of "two people" responsible for Jin's death. My guess is that the other is Jack. Sun blames Paik for putting them on the Island in the first place, and Jack for insisting that they leave. One wonders if Jin will die when Widmore's Freighter is destroyed...

* What's with the Tron references? Behind Mr. Paik is what looks like a Light Cycle and Hurley calls out to "Mr. Tron" and "Lady Tron"...

* I totally thought we were about to get a ghostly visitation from Charlie or even Dave when Hurley saw the coconut and heard the whispers.

* Hunting boars? How did Cheech know? It's almost like working on that car connected him with the Island...and Hurley.

* Love how Hurley is driving an old beater. We know, however, that he ends up driving the car his daddy gave him, despite being initially convinced it's cursed because of the Numbers. What do you suppose changes Hurley's mind?

* What's creating RF interference on Widmore's Freighter? It would seem to have something to do with Keamy's booby trap, which may be wirelessly connected to that device on his arm.

* Well, Jack didn't learn the truth about Claire being his half sister quite the way I expected. Interesting how Claire's mother made such a miraculous recovery -- last we saw her, she was in a coma. It's like she awakened just to give Jack the news...

* Does Kate know that Jack is Aaron's uncle? Did she hear Claire's mum?

* One interesting discrepancy that hasn't really been explored is Michael's bearing of 325. Now we know it leads to an Island -- which one? Was it in the South Pacific? There are still way too many details we don't know. Unless there's some further payoff, this continues to strike me as another opportunity squandered.

* The C4 in the hold of the Freighter reminded me a lot of the Flame, which was similarly rigged with plastic explosive. Does that imply Charles Widmore was behind both? This would certainly fit with my speculation that Mikhail and Kelvin were originally covert operatives sent by Widmore in 1993 one year after the Purge to secure certain vital facilities on the Island. Then again, if that were their mission, why not secure the Orchid, as well, since Widmore obviously knows of its existence?

* Loved Richard's reappearance in an echo of the ambush of Jack, Locke, and Sawyer by Tom and Co. Interesting how Richard is back to wearing the Others' native duds...

* Omar really isn't ruthless looking enough. In a nod to Predator, they should have gotten Bill Duke to play his role...


SKID said...

I really thought for a moment that maybe, just maybe . . . Farraday was going to look at Charlotte wistfully before getting into the raft . . . take off his tie . . . and say "Here. I want you to have this." and toss it to her (a la Mean Joe Green)

. . . and was anyone expecting someone on the freighter to say (once the raft arrived back): "Oh good! You brought some of the mute castaways with you!"

As for the mirror and who was on the receiving end:

a. Ageless Richard and the Supremes but I am not sure the timing is right (no pun intended)

b.Wouldn't it be COOL if it were Dr. Marvin Candle! with an outside chance of Mikhail?

. . . and I think Ben is in the coffin.

ritzman said...

that episode was so wonderfully expansive in its inclusion of all the major characters.

p.s. how will rose and bernards story develop?

Lolagrrl said...

That was a good episode, although I didn't find myself on the edge of my seat like I normally do...

One thing... So, Jack meets Claire's Mother at his Dad's funeral.... Wasn't she in a coma not too long ago? I swear that Claire visited her before she got on the plane.

... and with the "Oceanic 6" scattered all about, how do they become the only one's rescued???

Ok, so that's two things.

BTW - Excellent acting from Matthew Fox (as usual) I cold read soooo many different emotions and realizations on his face when he learned that Claire was his sis.

Still, the whole thing just does not feel right. When they landed, I got the distinct feeling that they all wanted to be back on the Island... but maybe that's just me. =)

lisa (lost pezhead) said...

when sayid and kate run into richard! that was my favorite part! i guess the others are still going strong. i'm glad jack finally found out about claire...did kate hear it too? is everyone on the freighter going to die now?? sun and aaron are there gonna be some big show down.

oh skid, that makes me laugh about the tie!

oh and i really want to know more about the numbers!! poor hurley.

Christie said...

Lolagrrl - I agree that it was good but not edge of your seat as it often is. Claire's mom said to Jack that she was in the hospital when Christian was in Australia(which we are supposed to think was 10 months ago). So that timeline works I think.

What I still don't get is how everyone believes that Kate was 5-6 months pregnant at the time of the crash. I would think simple security cameras at the airport could disprove that. I wonder if besides the ghost visits, the Oceanic 6 group gets overwhelmed by reporters trying to disprove the media story.

I do love any episode that Richard Alpert appears. I hope we get to see his backstory.

Only 2 more hours before we go into Lost withdrawals Boo hool

MikeNY said...

Just one thing:

lisa (lost pezhead) said...

i was a little surprised by kate being 5 months pregnant as well...but really a first pregnancy at 5 months...other people might not be able to tell yet. so i don't think it's too shocking.

zombie_soiree said...

Looks like your old theory on light cones got a big shot in the arm with this episode! If you haven't already, take a look at Lostpedia's screen shots of Faraday's diary. I'd say that a micro black hole is involved, but explaining the how is the real challenge!


Capcom said...

LOL Skid!

I agree Lolagrrl, I thought Fox conveyed very well that feeling that you get when you find out some untoward news, and in one instant your entire body does a meltdown with dizziness, the sweats, buzzing ears, etc. Adn now that you mention it, that did look like what was on their minds when they were sitting in the C130.

Some women in their first pregnancy, if they are small or thin to begin with, don't show much up to 5 months, or can hide it at any rate. But still, it's a stretch for me to believe that everyone took it without question about Kate.

I found a great webpage on the things in Dan's notebook and posted it on my blog:


Christie said...

lisa and capcom - yes you are right real thin girls can show less and can hide it longer - my first one started showing a lot earlier so my experience was different - but still Kate never seems to wear baggy clothes so she would really be hiding the bump :)
I also agree that Matthew Fox did a great job
BM - looking forward to your insight too

dj said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who, while definitely enjoying the episode, somehow didn't get the same punch from it as usual. Thought I was weird for a bit there.

I really don't know what to expect from the finale. The most nagging questions here, however, are ... who was Ben communicating with / what did they say, what's up with Richard, and how are the 6 going to end up being the 6?

Oh and uh... so, the C4 on the freighter... I'm guessing the device Keamy's got on his arm is a remote ka-boom device that'll blow that cache whenever he decides it's a good idea to do so? Wouldn't that make it just a little difficult for him to get home with his catch-o-the-day at this point?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

The episode was great, but as a few of you have mentioned, it lacked something. I think it's because it's a pivotal episode before the finale, kind of like being ushered out of a theater halfway through the film. Who was signalling with the mirror? Well, there were Others manning the Looking Glass. What makes me curious is what happens to everyone who isn't part of the O6, if that freighter will blow up and kill a few. My favorite part was Sun ticking it to daddy. That and Sawyer with the baby. Sorry, I'm on those special meds that mke men cry during Jerry Macguire and The Titanic...great post on Capcom's blog.

Capcom said...

Tx Wayne! Yes, the moment when you felt Sun turning the tables on Daddy-O was awesome. When she first walked in I thought, "Ugh, same-old-same-old for her now, how sad." But then as she revealed the level of power that she had gained without even his knowledge, wow, that was just a great moment.

Does anyone know anything about that pile of C4 and the detonator? Can you just pull out those pencil-like inserts from the C4 bricks to disable it? Hopefully the guys can do something in time before Keamy has a chance to die/detonate with the remote kill switch.

I agree Christie, when that reporter asked Kate that question about her pregancy, I wanted to hear her say that she was really sucking it in as long as possible. :-)

SKID said...

Sooooooo . . . wild theory . . . BUT try this . . . IF there were TWO Rabbit 15's . . . COULD there be two Ben's???? MIGHT he have been comunicating with himself with the mirror??? I know this sounds WAY twited but maybe Ben knows to be waiting to hear from himself at a certain time and place and was there to wait for him.

Maybe Ben is the one in the coffin (at least one of him) and Jack knows that was his chance to get back to the island, but he knows there is another one on the island???? I really have NO idea where this leads but it would be the biggest twist I could imagine.

Again, the TWO rabbits who are identical are what open this door.

There is more to flesh out, but might there be something to this???

Just wanted to post something besides my usual Farraday Tie Update. :)

lisa (lost pezhead) said...

my husband thinks there are 2 bens also...that would be a HUGE twist!

Joe Cool said...

speaking of bearings: is it wrong that they are following a bearing of 305 both TO and FROM the boat? If Lapidus followed 305 to the boat, wouldn't 125 be the reciprocal course?

Capcom said...

I was wondering that to Joe.

lil-beeyotch said...

Hmmm I think they might have found out or been told that Aaron must stay with one of the losties? Or something...if they said that Claire was Aaron's real mother he might have been taken away and raised by someone not meant to raise him???

Christian told Jack in an earlier episode that he was not meant to raise him? Who is then?? Why did Jack look like he knew something? When Hurley gave him the note and stuff? He was always reluctant to be near Aaron, was it because he left Claire behind or something he was told?

Maybe Claire was not one of the original 8 survivors because the two that were chosen had special reason to be chosen? I dunno :S

As for Kate, maybe she didn't hear them out before but she defo knows that Jack is related to Aaron when he shouts 'your not even related to him!" ... maybe he told her? I felt bad for her and Sayid though when they come out they don't have family to go to :(

BM, I notice you haven't bothered to comment on the Korean journalist's accent :P

I'm just excited and kinda sad about what will happen now and in the next season...I mean they get they aren't really lost?

I don't think Ben's in the coffin because well hes can't kill him lol

I really really hope Jin doesn't die! Oh Wayne, I just saw your lil comment, glad you liked the word vomit :D I will time LOL I have sudden outbursts where I go blog crazy ... I've deleted and redone it about 4 times now lol

annebeth said...

I have a few comments from which I am curious what you guys think about:

" * Interesting how their story is that Kate gave birth to the baby. Why lie about that? Why not just have Claire be one of the 8 original survivors who gave birth then died?"

I think this is because they want to keep Aaron to themselves, in the care if an 815-er. It must be a key part of the deal. Either that, or they somehow know that Aaron isn't supposed to raised by another. Or there is no explanation other than that Aaron will play a key role in the future, which would be difficult if Aaron is raised by his grandma or foster parents or something.

-A math problem... 8 survivors, two died. 6 are left. But wait, that was before Aaron was born in the story. The right math was 7 survivors, two die, 5 remain (Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid and Sun), and then Aaron is born.

-About Hurley and the Car: maibe his dad dies? And that's why he returns to the car, the last present from his dad.

-The bearing of 325 of Michael: that's weird. Last thursday it was extra clear that the correct course to travel to and from the island is 305. What's up with that? because 325 doesn't lead to another time period, because Michael travels to New York at the correct timeline.

Lolagrrl said...

Annabeth, I think I can answer your last question. Michael took off from a different area of the Island so maybe his directions had to compensate for that??

annebeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annebeth said...

Hi lolagrrl, thanks! I think you may be right, but isn't it so that wherever you are, the arrow on a compass allways points to the right bearing? So depending on where you are on the island, bearing 305 is (for example) on your left or right, but the point where you can pass, 305, is 1 point and is allways at 305 degrees?

I hope I explain it right, it's difficult because english isn't my native language.

Lolagrrl said...


Of course, we could always just chalk it off to "Island Weirdness" too. ;D

Bigmouth said...

SKID: Good call re Mean Joe Green LOL! I'm going to stick with Ben signaling an Other like Alpert or even Harper. But two Bens would be a wild twist! Does anyone know what he actually signaled?

ritzman: It was certainly expansive, and I might like it more as the first hour of two. Still, having to wait two weeks feels like a tease to me. I, too, am curious what happens to Rose and Bernard. My guess is they'll stay on the Island since Rose's cancer might return if they leave.

Lolagrrl: Good catch re Claire's mother -- that struck me as odd, too. I didn't get the sense that the O6 wanted to go back, more that they were shocked and dismayed at the cost of leaving.

lisa: I agree -- the ambush scene was awesome! I'm so happy Nestor Carbonell is back on the show -- he really is the perfect guy to play Alpert.

Christie: I too am totally confused about Kate's pregnancy lie, especially since the Marshal was probably in contact with his superiors and didn't mention any pregnancy.

Mike: Cool stuff! Of course, after their sly chalkboard reference to Fermi's error in the fine structure constant, I'm tempted to think the equations are mostly nonsense. That is, they're real equations but there mostly for flavor with only general relevance to the show.

Z: Thanks for the kind words! Take a gander at my latest post, Purple Sky, which elaborates on how they might move the Island in spacetime.

dj: Yes, I share your complaint. And good point re Keamy blowing his ride home. Perhaps he's assuming Widmore will just send another ship?

Wayne: I, too, enjoyed that scene where Sun finally turned the tables on Daddy Paik. I just realized, as well, that his advisors must be talking about Sun's takeover (i.e., using five banks) when she enters. Love that beat of Daddy blowing off daughter only to realize she's the one who's outmaneuvered him.

Capcom: I'm a little confused myself why the C4 is such an issue Then again, it's all well and good to make this judgment in the abstract. If I were actually faced with a ton of C4, I'm not sure I'd go around pulling our wires with no knowledge or training LOL

Joe: Hmmm...that's a great point re 125 being the reciprocal course for 305. I confess this is beyond my knowledge, but it seems like something they would consider carefully before underscoring the point.

lil-beeyotch: I think Jack's comment about Kate not being related to Aaron works whether or not she knows the truth. Kate would simply assume Jack was referring to her lie about giving birth. But what about her comment that Jack needs to get over his weirdness around Aaron? Could that signal some knowledge of their connection? Then again, if Kate does know the truth, why doesn't she ever reference it specifically? So many questions!

Annebeth: Aha! Good call re Kate (or someone else) not wanting the baby to go to Claire's family! What if Kate is told by Claire either in person or in a vision that she must take the baby off the Island and raise it? Actually, what if it was supposed to be Claire, not Kate, who left the Island per Desmond's vision? BTW, you explain yourself more articulately than many native English speakers I know!

annebeth said...

Thanks for the compliment :) You're so kind :)

I was wondering, what is you opinion about the different bearing Michael used (with succes) ?

Bigmouth said...

annebeth: Perhaps 325 leads to somewhere else in the South Pacific? I don't get the sense Widmore's freighter is parked near any other Island besides Craphole. Yet Michael and Walt made it safely to another island in that little boat.

Capcom said...

Big said: "I'm tempted to think the equations are mostly nonsense. That is, they're real equations but there mostly for flavor..." Heheh, me too.

I totally agree about the C4, I wouldn't go pulling anthing out either! :-D I was just wondering, because you know in TV and movies, some bombs are set to go off if you try to disarm them, e.g., if you cut a wire and the circuit is broken, the open circuit signals the bomb to go off. If the probes were just stuck into the C4 without creating a closed circuit, they might be able to pull them out since C4 itself is not explosive. Unless, such a closed circuit has been created there somehow, then they shouldn't. In which case, if Keamy dies, the signal from his heart, to the monitor, to the antenna on the bomb, ceases and creates the "open", and goes boom.

It's funny the weird things that can stick in one's craw, about this show, heheh. FWIW:

Ken said...

I can't believe no one has said anything about this yet.

You said: At the press conference, I kept thinking of the Beatles landing at JFK in 1965. I wonder if the nickname "Oceanic 6" is actually a sly nod to the Fab 5.

Dude, there were only four, count 'em 4, Beatles. They were the Fab Four, not the Fab 5.

John, Paul, George, Ringo

Bigmouth said...

*Ken* What about Stu Sutcliffe? Seriously, though, I must have had CWebb and the Michigan Wolverines on my mind...LOL!

Juanita's Journal said...

"Interesting how their story is that Kate gave birth to the baby. Why lie about that? Why not just have Claire be one of the 8 original survivors who gave birth then died?

It is a setup for a great deception. A deception created to keep Kate out of jail. The whole purpose of the lie was a hope that the courts would look at the tale about how "heroic" Kate was, while being the mother of an infant child, so she could be spared prison time.

Jack, Kate and the rest of the Oceanic Six used Aaron to keep Kate out of prison. And the sad thing is that many fans saw nothing wrong with this.

How this will affect their future . . . I don't know. I suspect that Carole Littleton will never know that she had a grandson, thanks to the Oceanic Six's lie.

Juanita's Journal said...

Hmmm I think they might have found out or been told that Aaron must stay with one of the losties? Or something...if they said that Claire was Aaron's real mother he might have been taken away and raised by someone not meant to raise him???

Why on earth would anyone assume that Kate was meant to raise Aaron? I certainly don't. If Claire wasn't there to raise Aaron like she should, then Aaron should have ended up with his grandmother, not some fugitive whose future was up in the air at the time of their rescue.

Bigmouth said...

Juanita: Good call re lying about Aaron to keep Kate out of jail. What do you make of Claire's admonishment to Kate not to bring "him" back to the Island?