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...