The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, Whatever the Case May Be, Hearts and Minds
Thursday, July 16, 2009; 3:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney this summer to discuss "Lost's" first and second seasons. Each week, we'll assign a few episodes to watch. Then join Liz and Jen each Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to talk about what happened and how those early shows tie in (or not) to "Lost's" looming final season.
Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com. For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.
Jen Chaney: Good afternoon, everyone. Today's "Lost" chat -- in addition to covering three more episodes as part of our season one recap -- is going to be a bit of a celebration.
For starters, "Lost" scored a few Emmy nominations today, including one for Best Drama, a bid for Michael Emerson (a.k.a the best evil baker of hams in TV history) and LindeCuse for their writing of the season finale. (Of course, Damon and Carlton are up against four episodes of "Mad Men." I mean, how is that even a fair fight?)
In other exciting news, Comic-Con is less than a week away. I'm already queasy -- I really am, just ask Liz -- with excitement, as I'll be heading to San Diego and Twittering my itty bitty fingers off, particularly during Saturday's "Lost" panel. (That's at 11 a.m. PST, 2 p.m. ET, y'all. And we'll be posting the Twitter feed in Celebritology, along with other goodies.
I really am sad Liz isn't coming. But I'll text her at all hours, so it will sort of feel like she's there.
Liz Kelly: Oh goody.
I don't have much to add except that I fully expect to have an in-depth discussion about one John Locke today and I will be hell on wheels if I'm disappointed.
Nicki & Paulo: I know I'm way ahead of you guys on my re-watch but I had to share...
I just watched the dreaded Nicki & Paulo episode from season 3 last night, and I must say the best line that pretty much summed up the feeling of the whole episode's non-importance was in the beginning when Nicki stumbles out of the jungle and collapses. Hurley says to Sawyer, "Dude, Nicki's dead!" and Sawyer replies, "Who's Nicki?" My sentiment exactly!
And congrats to the show and Michael Emerson for the Emmy noms!
Liz Kelly: Hear hear.
And I remember wanting to jump on Sawyer and kiss him stupid for uttering that line.
Jen Chaney: Yes, that line was definitely a shout-out to the fans.
And of course, Liz always wants to jump on Sawyer and kiss him stupid. So in that sense, the Nikki/Paulo episode was much like any other episode.
Liz Kelly: Okay, that's true. Who could possibly find fault with that, tho?
Formerly Frederick, now just LOST: I'm going to be at Comic-Con next week (omg can't wait!), primarily for the LOST panel. Based on your experience last year, how many hours prior to start time do you think I need to get in line? Also, if I'm lucky enough to run into you, would you draw a little something in the sketch pad I'm bringing?
Liz Kelly: Last year we thought arriving three hours early would be enough to score us fairly good seats. Imagine our surprise to learn that the first people in line had been there overnight and the line started getting out of hand by 7 a.m.
We were sick with fear that we weren't going to get in at all when we made our way to the back of the line which wrapped all the way around the back of the convention center, past a harbor and ended about three large hotel properties away. Still, we got in with probably 1,000 seats to spare. The room they normally host that panel in is huge. Deceptively huge.
Still, it wouldn't hurt to get yourself out there a few hours a head of time and to bring hydration, sun screen and a book.
Jen Chaney: Unless I have misread the schedule, the "Lost" panel is the first one on Saturday in Hall H this year. Last year, it was preceded by a "Heroes" panel -- you know, back when people still gave a crap about that show -- so a bunch of Milo Ventimiglia fans queued up way early.
Mind you, I still think the line will be long. And my goal this year is not to wind up in line right next to a Dumpster. (I know, I dream big.) So I plan to get there early in the a.m.
And yes, even though I can't draw, I will happily add something to your sketch pad, if you can find me. I'll be standing by myself, Twittering. Which, um, pretty much describes everyone else in line, so locating me should be no problem!
Liz Kelly: That sounds vaguely obscene, Jen.
Calm before the storm....: Jen,
Have you mentally prepared yourself for Comicon yet?
Here's hoping the rumours are true and Michael Emerson is on the LOST panel.
hope to see you in the madness...
Jen Chaney: I am trying to mentally prepare, but I learned last year that it isn't possible. You just have to show up, embrace the costumed geek-orama and go with the flow. (And by go with the flow, I mean stand in line for panels a lot.)
Re: who will be on the panel: I have heard the Emerson rumor, as well as rumors about Jorge Garcia and Josh Holloway participating. Also worth noting that Elizabeth Mitchell will be there for "V" and Ian Somerhalder (Boone!) will be there for "Vampire Diaries," so maybe they'll pop in. I also haven't heard or read this anywhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion Dominic Monaghan may show up, too, since the "Lost" "gimmick" this year is a theme song contest.
I mean, Charlie was a serious musician, people.
Liz Kelly: What better way to start the panel than with a live performance of "You All Everybody?"
Rewatching these early episodes really reminds me of the good characters we've lost over the years. Charlie was great and very funny. Now Hurley's the only one who seems to be allowed to have a sense of humor anymore. Even Shannon and Boone, though they didn't really contribute to the overall show mythology, were good watching. Not everything had to mean something in those early days. Which was sometimes nice.
Jen Chaney: Yes. Although I would add that Myles has tried to fill in the humor gaps in recent seasons. You know, in his bitingly sarcastic way.
Lexington, Va.: Hey guys -- I tried to go back and find the last couple Season 1dueling analysis and I can't seem to see them on your site once a few days have passed. Are those going to be posted at some point? Just wanted to give a heads-up!
In other news, these episodes made me miss Boone! Shannon... Not so much.
washingtonpost.com: The "Lost" Hour -- Analyzing the Mysteries of Each Episode
Liz Kelly: And they should be on the "Lost" Central page (washingtonpost.com/lost). If not, we'll add them.
Lostville USA: Do you read Lisa de Moraes' chats? What is SHE smoking?
Liz Kelly: Something that makes her incredibly incisive and witty, apparently. I wonder where I can get some of that.
Arlington, Va.: So, my husband and I are almost finished watching season 2.
I appreciate the character development the most about Lost--it's what keeps me coming back even more than the plot (or lack thereof, as it seems right now).
That said, does anyone else get so ticked off at some characters that they wish them to be the next to die? Like Anna Lucia, for example. She would be at the top of our Death Wish List. Her glare and scowl drive me crazy. My husband detests Charlie. And I personally hope Michael is dead and gone. "WAAAALLLT!" I can't stand his constant yelling for his kid, the bitter chip on his shoulder.
I've noticed the little love triangle the Kate is playing with Sawyer and Jack. I just wish one of the guys would have the balls to call her out on it and make her decide who she wants to kiss more and stick with him.
However, I do need some reassurance that there is more plot development. Please? Plot? I'm no longer left in suspense at the black smoke monster in the forest and the "Others" threat really isn't doing it for me in terms of making me think the show is building toward something...is it? Someone please give me the encouragement to hang in there with the story-line. Without spoiling it all, of course!
Jen Chaney: Without totally spoiling, I can say that at least one -- and perhaps more -- of the people you detest will not live to see season five.
As far as plot development, I believe the storyline gets richer, but brace yourself for the first half of season three. Things start to dip a bit in terms of quality, but then the narrative picks up steam again for the second half of that season and, is great in seasons four and five. You just have to stick with it during those wacky Bai Ling episodes.
Trust us, we and millions of "Lost" fans can't be wrong.
Liz Kelly: I have nothing to add except to underscore Jen's warning about the first half of season 3. It turned off a lot of fans who then missed out on the show's return to form.
Writing Emmy: Maybe the pro-"Mad Men" vote splits among several episodes and provides an opening for LindeCuse sneak through with the consolidated "Lost" vote!
Jen Chaney: Maybe. That would be great for them. I agree with Lisa D., though, that the Academy has a hard time recognizing shows with any kind of sci-fi element. So I am not sure if all the votes will line up there, but we'll see.
Bethesda, MD: Ladies,
I think the other poster who was asking about Lisa DeM's drug habits was referring to the fact that she said that Lost didn't deserve its Emmy Noms because it "Jumped the shark long ago."
Jen Chaney: Right. Well, to each her own. Obviously Liz and I don't agree. If we did, we'd feel pretty stupid (and hypocritical) about blogging and hosting these discussions.
Liz Kelly: I missed that since I was chatting about celebs in the same hour as Lisa's chat.
As Jen said, to each her own. Lisa's a big "Idol" fan and that's a show that makes me want to poke my eyes out with a hot poker when I happen upon it on TV. I wonder... how many Emmy noms did "Idol" get this year?
Ann Arbor, Mich.: No comments about the Season 1 episodes right now, just wanted to say how excited I am that Lost got an Emmy nomination and that Michael Emerson did also. He's so deserving!
Liz Kelly: Yes, I think there may have been some kind of fan revolt if Emerson had been slighted.
But I can't help but notice that we're not talking about John Locke yet.
Specifically in "Hearts and Minds." There are only two possible reasons Locke would have done what he did to Boone. Either he's completely nuts or he is somehow being influenced by (possessed by) no. 2. In fact, rewatching that episode knowing what we know now about subsequent events, it's hard not to assume that Locke (or perhaps unLocke) was already in play and had some kind of control over the smoke monster, which he seemed able to conjure to terrorize Boone into doing his bidding.
Am I reading too much into this?
Jen Chaney: I don't know about actually conjuring the monster Liz, although maybe he did. But I agree that I find myself seeing a lot more about Locke's motivations, and sensing that he knows exactly what he's doing to get things to go the way he wants them to (manipulating Boone, keeping Jack off-balance, etc.)
Also, in the scene where he predicts the downpour in the jungle, down to the precise second the rain begins? I had to wonder if he was able to do that because he had time traveled there, or was the Omniscient No. 2.
Liz Kelly: Right. And of course there was the detail of Locke giving Sayid a compass saying he (Locke) didn't need it anymore. Which could take on a much deeper meaning if you look at it after considering the significance of a compass for Locke in season 5. It's not the same one, but still...
Toy airplane: I don't get Kate's attachment to the toy airplane. Yes, I know the back story with her childhood friends, but seriously - it's a toy. She slept with some guy and risked people's lives just to get it. Am I missing some greater symbolism here? Kate seems so cold - I think that airplane is the greatest thing she's attached to (except Aaron)
Liz Kelly: I don't want to be mistaken for someone defending Kate and her actions, but sometimes we can attach an inordinate amount of value to objects -- especially objects that involve situations for which we never had any closure. I think that may be the case with Kate, but why in the world she needs to lie about it to Jack, I don't know.
Wouldn't it have been simpler to just say, "There's an item in that case that has a lot of sentimental value to me and I really want it back?" I can't imagine he wouldn't have helped her. She's going out of her way to be mysterious which is annoying, but she wouldn't be the first person to take that kind of wrongheaded approach.
Jen Chaney: Also, from a narrative point of view, it was more interesting for the audience to assume she was trying to keep guns or money for herself, instead of something as benign as a Cracker Joke toy.
I think she didn't tell Jack because it's a little embarrassing. (Like this reader, Jack might say: "It's a toy, Kate. What's the big deal?") Also, she'd have to say, yeah, I killed the love of my life. Which, I have to assume, is not a pleasant thing to admit.
Liz Kelly: I see your point -- though I don't think she would've had to fess up to killing him. She could've said it belonged to someone she loved who died and left it at that.
So troublesome, that Kate.
Boston, MA: Any rumors about who's going to be at Comic Con, or any secret stuff we'll find out about season 6?
Jen Chaney: Well, rumor has it that LindeCuse plan to reveal the ending of the series, but only to people in San Diego.
They usually keep plot developments pretty close to the vest, but maybe they'll drop some hints. As far as who will be there, I know they will. Everything else is a vague rumor at the moment, but I think Emerson is almost a (no pun intended) lock, especially since his wife's show, "True Blood," is part of the Con as well.
Again, keep in touch via Twitter (I'm chaneyj) and Celebritology to find out what's happening as it happens. Also (forgot to mention this before), Michael Cavna of "Comic Riffs" fame will be covering Comic-Con for the Post as well. So LOTS of stuff coming your way next week.
Bethesda, Md.: This doesn't have to do specifically with these episodes, but I wanted to bring something up about Locke since he has been such a focus on these discussions. Has anybody brought up the fact that they showed Locke's dead body at the end of Season 5, so the Locke that killed Jacob is actually a different entity than the one we see throughout the show. Locke had to die in order for Man in Black to fully inhabit another form of his body, right? Not even sure how this plays into the discussion, but it seems important.
Liz Kelly: Right, it does -- and I think we did discuss that in the analysis and chat during season 5. Obviously Locke's death off island was key for no. 2's plan -- the "loophole" -- that allowed him to pass himself off as Locke.
Jen Chaney: Right, Liz, but I think the point is that if the Man in Black couldn't inhabit Locke until he died, then all this speculation about him possibly inhabiting Locke's body as early as season one is moot.
Unless, of course, chronological time is meaningless on this show. Which, obviously, it often is. Or No. 2 was trying to inhabit him but was only partially successful, which would explain Locke's bipolar behavior.
Liz Kelly: Ah, I see.
Here's how I reconcile that -- No. 2 may not have been able to totally inhabit Locke in the earlier seasons, but was able to influence him. I think last week we talked about John's seeming dual nature -- sometimes he seems genuine, helpful and others sinister. That could be chalked up to the fact that the man in black was fighting for control of John's soul, but not able to totally push out the real John Locke. Maybe that was when he realized the real John had to die for him to completely take over.
I'm, of course, making this up as I go along.
Jen Chaney: No, that's what I was suggesting, too, when I said No. 2 was only partially successful.
So it's settled: we agree on a theory that probably is totally off-base. Excellent.
" I wonder... how many Emmy noms did "Idol" get this year? ": Two. But the Emmy cheapened themselves when they added the "Reality" categories, IMHO.
Jen Chaney: While we're ranting about Emmys stuff, I'm a little annoyed about "Family Guy" making history as the first animated series to get a nod for best comedy. (Lisa complained about this in her chat as well.)
Come on, "The Simpsons" completely deserved to carry that banner more than a decade ago. It's like never nominating Oprah in the daytime talk show category, then suddenly deciding that "The Wendy Williams Show" is really, really deserving. What the...??!!
Liz Kelly: Agreed. You go, Jen.
Lostville USA: Oops, I didn't mean to attack Lisa, that came out a bit snarky. Just that she was saying Lost jumped the shark.
More on topic, these early episodes make me wonder if there are any major characters who will not have backstories involving bad fathers by the end of the series...
Liz Kelly: Hmm, let's see. I'm trying to come up with one character who doesn't have daddy issues.
Okay -- Richard Alpert.
As far as we know.
Jen Chaney: We know nothing about Desmond's parental issues, do we?
Oh, and what about Rose? She never complains about her daddy.
NotDoc: I apologize if this coment is out of sequence, but I was only recently able to start the great "Lost Re-Watch."
Anyway, re-watching the 2-part pilot for the first time in years, one bit of dialogue really jumped out:
Sayid (about fixing the radio): It will take some time.
Charlie (shrugging): We're made of time.
I had also forgotten about Charlie's great lines in Season 1, like when he hands Kate her shirt after the bee swarm attack --
Kate (taking the shirt): It was full of bees.
Charlie: I thought they were C's (pause) Sorry.
Jen Chaney: You know, that last bit of dialogue is horribly punny in print, but amusing when Dominic Monaghan says it. I know some people don't like Charlie, but I always liked him, mainly because I find Monaghan really, really likable.
And good call on "we're made out of time." A lot of dialogue from the first season can be interpreted differently in retrospect. (I have a couple of other examples, and of course, I can't remember either of them right now...)
Liz Kelly: The Charlie comment is even funnier when you consider that Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan were dating at the time.
They later broke up, but are now apparently back together.
Celebritology Carryover Bo, OK: Just finished "The Angel's Game" (in English translation) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ("The Shadow of the Wind). Very nice. Awaiting the release of "The Beckham Experiment."
Liz Kelly: Thanks for sharing. Let me know if there's any good Posh dirt in the Beckham book.
Washington, D.C.: Here's my belated entry in the Lost theme song derby:
"The Ballad of Jack Sheppard" (Apologies to Flatt & Scruggs)
Come and Listen to my story 'bout a doc named Jack Lonely, troubled surgeon, may end up hooked on crack Then one day, he was flyin' home dad's stiff When the plane broke into pieces and plummeted in a jiff. (Plane crash: Man-eating turbines - Gaping Flesh Wounds.)
Well, the next thing you know Ol' Jack's been put in charge Locke's a little psycho and Hugo's livin' large Sawyer's droppin' nick-names, Kate's annoying, of course Sayid's gettin' medieval and Charley's scoring horse. (China White, Mexican Mud)
Ben would like to thank his guests for kindly droppin' in He brings them ham, ranch dressing, and box wine by the bin You're all invited back next week to this enchanted isle To witness strange phenomena that will leave you puzzled for a while (Smoke Monsters, Polar Bears, Ruptures in the Space-Time Continuum)
You all come back now, hear!
Jen Chaney: I do hope you actually submitted that to the contest.
Chelmsford, Mass.: Hello ladies, Thank you so much for hosting these chats. I have a few questions about the recent shows:
1. Rosseau claims she has never seen the Others in 16 years? How could that be? 2. Rosseau's team all became sick and she had to kill them. Why have none of the survivors or the Others become sick. 3. What were the sounds that Sayid heard in the jungle? 4. How could Ethan carry off and control two people by himself without weapons? 5. Why does Jack, obviously an intelligent man, go charging off after Claire and Charlie when he has no idea how to track them and no chance of finding them?
Jen Chaney: Okay, let me try to answer the first couple of these.
1. I thought that was weird, too, especially since we now know she does see Ben and a young Ethan when they kidnap baby Alex. The only explanation I have is that maybe so many years have gone by that her brain isn't quite functioning properly, so she's blocked the memory. Although, I have to say, she seems much more lucid in subsequent episodes. So I find that strange, too.
2. I don't know if you've watched the whole series yet, but more light gets shed on Rousseau's team in season five. The "sickness" she mentions is not traditional in nature, if that makes any sense.
Liz, you want to tackle the other three?
Liz Kelly: OKAY, but for anyone who hasn't watched the early seasons already, my answers contain at least one SPOILER.
3. Well, we don't know for sure what those sounds were, but Sayid wasn't the only one to hear the "whispers" that seemed to surround one while in the forest, usually just before something bad happens -- like a killing (Shannon's death) or a Smokey attack. Early on, the Others were painted as much more mysterious -- wearing rags and seeming almost supernatural. We were later given to believe that this was all smoke and mirrors on their part, but I think it's more likely that the writers just hadn't decided where they were going with them yet.
4. You're assuming Ethan was alone. And didn't have weapons. We don't know either of those things to be true.
5. Because Jack's most serious flaw is acting before he thinks. So although he's well-intentioned, it often gets him in trouble. Though in this case, it was a good thing he did go after Claire and Charlie because he found Charlie and saved his life.
daddy issues: Charlie doesn't have daddy issues, does he? Or do big brother issues count?
Jen Chaney: In the episode that comes later in season three, when he's remembering when he learned to swim, doesn't he have some issues with trying to impress his dad or something? I don't know, mind's a little foggy...
I am so lame: Since Jen mentioned twittering from ComicCon, can you savvy gals answer a Twitter question for me? Do I have to sign up to follow tweets? And if I sign up, does that mean I need a twitter "address" and people can find me, and will it just remain dormant if I have no intention of actually twittering myself?
And, to get some Lost in here -- Locke hitting Boone amd messing with him totally swayed me to the "he's been possessed all along" side. Also, Hurley with intestinal issues and interaction with Jin was classic.
Liz Kelly: Sure. You do need to sign up for a Twitter account in order to follow other people, but there's no obligation for you to actually twitter yourself and I think you can even set your account to "private" so people can't just decide to follow you. You would have to grant them access.
Jen Chaney: Yeah, what she said. Also, as I mentioned before, the live Twitter feed of the Lost panel will feed into Celebritology, so if you're desperately Twitter-phobic, you can always read the blog instead. But Twitter is nothing to fear, I promise.
Re: Locke hitting Boone. Originally, I just thought he was imposing his will for Boone's benefit because, on the island, Locke feels ridiculously empowered and spiritually enlightened. But I agree, it does seem more sinister now, like he isn't trying to help Boone self-actualize so much as sacrifice him to get what he wants.
NotDoc (And NotLocke): You were right on about your comments on Shannon. As I re-watch, I am surprised by how enjoyable her character was (responding to Hurley's census with "Name - Shannon Rutherford, Age - 20, Address - Craphole Island"). Of course, much of this comes from the back and forth between her and Boone, so when Boone died, she pretty much had to go, too.
Liz Kelly: Right. In the early days the show was largely character driven (hence the earlier questioner's lament about lack of a strong plot). As the writers honed in on the mythology some of the non-essential characters, and their quirks, were sacrificed.
Jen Chaney: I also liked how her sarcasm and apathy mask how fragile she is, something she finally is able to express once she gets close to Sayid.
Bender: Has it ever been established when the Island started having mommy issues? or why?
Presumably it happened sometime after the Purge, and possibly related to it, with Ethan perhaps being the last baby born on the Island.
Jen Chaney: No, it hasn't been established specifically. We've speculated that Jughead had something to do with it, but it hasn't been fully explained.
Of course, if I am wrong, please correct me.
re: con suggestions: Con organizers have already been flip-flopping panels to try and ease congestion (esp regartding twilighters). Keep aware for any changes. And make sure to check out some comics to while you are there (for those going).
/grizzled con vet
Jen Chaney: Thanks for the head's up. And yes, it's a good idea to make time to explore the Exhibit Hall floor in its entirety. There is a lot of cool stuff there, if you're willing and able to fight congestion and occasional break-outs of swag-grab mania.
Liz Kelly: I am so sorry to be missing all of the idiotic "Twilight" teens that will surely be showing up as punky vampires this year.
Jen Chaney: I'll text you and describe all of their outfits, don't worry!
For the record, plenty of Twilighters were there last year, screaming their heads off. I expect the squeals to be louder this year, assuming I can even get into that panel. Am hoping to get some time with some of the "New Moon" stars, too, having met some of them -- including Robert Pattinson (SHRIEK!!!!!!!) -- last year.
Oh, and what about Rose? She never complains about her daddy: The only complaint I can remember Rose ever having was 'you people are still trying to kill each other.' Even terminal cancer & a missing husband can't break our Rose.
Liz Kelly: And that wasn't even a complaint so much as an observation.
Rose is indeed unsinkable.
Jen Chaney: Another thing about season one: it reminds us why we loved Rose so much. She has unwavering faith. Also, she had far more lines back then.
Bender: An update from that prior question --
I forgot about Alex being born on the Island. Are the mommy issues somehow related to Alex's kidnapping (as opposed to killing her)? Perhaps the failure to kill Alex as a baby caused the Island (or more likely the anti-Jacob) to curse pregnant women?
Liz Kelly: I think that's one of many possibilities. Alex was obviously fated to die by Jacob or whoever and Ben defied that order. Perhaps the punishment to the island's residents was an inability to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Jen Chaney: Right, which would make Ben responsible for killing more mothers, in addition to his own. Not that he was responsible for his own mom's death, but you know, Dad/Uncle Rico made him think he was.
Other thing about Alex, though. She was not conceived on the island, which is crucial. Aaron was born on the island, too, with (seemingly) no problems. But Claire got pregnant off-island, like Rousseau.
Jen Chaney: Thanks so, so much for all of your questions and comments. Hope to see some of you at Comic-Con, either virtually on our site or actually in person in San Diego. If by some freak chance you recognize me, seriously, say hi. (Not sure why you would recognize me, but hey. You never know.)
Liz Kelly: And for next week, we'll be watching these eps: "Special," "Homecoming" and "Outlaws."
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