The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review - "Special"; "Homecoming"; "Outlaws"

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Thursday, July 23, 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.

For the the Thursday, July 23 discussion watch these Season 1 episodes: 14. "Special", 15. "Homecoming", 16. "Outlaws."

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.

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Liz Kelly: Welcome. We had some juicy episodes this week. I was really moved by the Walt-centric "Special" (which kind of makes me pine for the earlier more character-centric days of the show) and had totally forgotten about the amnesiac Claire storyline.

Jen is not here today and unfortunately wasn't able to attend Comic-Con as planned because of a family matter. Let's all send good vibes her way and she should be back chatting with us the first week of August.

To keep everyone from getting absolutely bored with my answers, I've asked Discussions producer Paul Williams (a big-time armchair "Lost" analyst) to join the discussion if he's able around 2:30. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, let's get to your observations...

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Kansas City: You know what drove me crazy (if that term isn't too strong for a TV show quirk) about the Charlie-centric episodes of the early seasons? How God-awful Drive Shaft was. I know, small, insignificant point, but they were supposed to be huge.

Is Drive Shaft the worst successful TV-show (or movie) fake band ever?

Liz Kelly: Have you listened to popular music? Ever?

I ask for two reasons:

1. Because not every Grammy-winning, chart-topping band is necessarily there because the music is tops -- sometimes its marketing and image.

2. Different bands and solo artists appeal to different audiences. So while Drive Shaft may be shite to you, I don't have any problem seeing that band succeed. What have the Jonas Brothers got that Drive Shaft doesn't?

But I'm totally blanking on fake TV-show bands. Aside from Jason Segal's Rush drum-playing in "Freaks and Geeks," what else is out there?

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Norman, OK: Ok, so I didn't write in last week because I thought surely more people would talk about John Locke. Here are some belated thoughts from last week: 1. When Boone was telling Locke about Star Trek, and Locke said "he sounds like a poor captain," it almost sounded like John had never heard of Captain Kirk before. (This may be a stretch.) 2. When John says "I made boxes," the look on his face was like he was talking about someone else, or that he couldn't believe it himself. 3. I did notice that Locke could predict the rain within a minute. This incident was also one that they chose to highlight in the next episode's "previously on Lost" segment at the beginning of the show. I do like your idea that there is both good and evil in Locke. This would explain why even though he knows things like when it will rain and how to catch the boar, he has no idea what the hatch is (and later, whether or not to punch the button).

Liz Kelly: Right... one of my pet theories is that there's a struggle taking place inside John Locke for control of his thoughts and actions and with no clear winner, he keeps ping-ponging back and forth between nice-ish guy and diabolical man with big knife.

I'm reading the second book of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series right now and, in it, the main character steps through a door and basically inhabits another man's body and mind. Most of the time, he hangs in the background, just along for the ride. But if he wants to, he can come forward and basically take over the guy's actions and thoughts.

That would be one way to explain the duality of John Locke.

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Time Traveler's Wife: You've mentioned this book in your chats/analysis before - what do you think about this becoming a movie? Will this aid Lost fans in understanding the time jumps or only confuse us more?

Thanks for providing such enjoyable lunchtime reading every Friday. Wish I could be here live on Thursdays!

Liz Kelly: We wish you could, too, but reading the transcript works, too.

I haven't read "Time Traveler's Wife," -- that's Jen's domain. So we'll save this one for her to answer when she returns.

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Woodbridge, Va.: I've gotten behind on re-watching episodes and the discussions, but I'm going to have a marathon this weekend to get up to date. Problem is I can't find links to the earlier discussions. Could you post them, please?

Liz Kelly: Absolutely. Here's a link to the "Lost" Hour chat archive.

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LOST rewind: I've been rewatching LOST this summer since there is crap on tv, and I'm about 2/3 thru season 4. I've recently gone back and read your analysis and chats from season 3 and 4 and it's quite entertaining to read the theories you had esp. now knowing if some of them are true and others are way off base. I highly recommend it to anyone else doing a rewatch.

Also, something interesting I hadn't remembered from season 3. In the ep that shows the flashback of Juliet and how they got her to the island, there's a part where she runs away, upset that she had just lost another patient. Ben comes to her and she tells him it's been 6 months and she wants to go home to be with her sister before she has her baby. Ben then tells her that her sister's cancer is back and she won't survive. He then makes a deal with her, saying that if she's stays on the island, Jacob will heal her sister personally. So the Jacob touching started in season 3!

Liz Kelly: That's a great idea. Jen and I should go back and read those seasons three and four analyses, too, so we can beat ourselves up about how seriously misled we were.

That's interesting re: Jacob. Sounds like another case of Ben making promises he can't actually deliver on.

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Fake Bands: Saved by the Bell! The Zack Attack!

Liz Kelly: Right. Thank you!

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Northeast DC: Not related to seasons 1 or 2, but has anyone else considered the possible ramifications of the final screen fade of season 5 fading to WHITE instead of BLACK, as with every other episode of the show up until that point? Given all of the light v. dark references throughout the course of the series, perhaps this symbolizes some major shift in control of the island from the Man in Black to Jacob...?

Liz Kelly: There has been a lot of chatter about the fade to white and how it could symbolize that everything has changed -- that Juliet's detonation of the warhead somehow reset time or flip-flopped the show's dynamic. Whatever comes, we can be sure of the usual surprising season opener.

I'm hoping we get a few clues from Saturday's "Lost" panel at Comic-Con. The Post's Michael Cavna is at the Con, btw, covering for the paper and his Comic Riffs blog.

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ComicCon Bound: I'm heading to the Con with friends who are planning on waiting as long as needed to see the Lost panel. The problem- I'm only halfway through Season 2. If I have the opportunity to get a seat, should I take it, knowing that I plan to watch the final season in real time? Is seeing the cast and crew worth ruining 2.5 season for me?

Liz Kelly: I think so. I'm not sure that at this point sitting in on a panel that will likely be cryptic anyway will do much to ruin your enjoyment of season 2... or next year's final season. Instead, it'll probably just make you even more perplexed, yet addicted.

I miss Jen. It's so quiet here without her and this would have been the perfect week for me to razz her about her Boone crush.

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WAAAALT: I had forgotten how much of an itchbay Walt's mother was. She seems nice but she it was all about what she wanted. She did a good job of making Michael think it was all about Walt though...

Liz Kelly: She was pretty bad, eh? And it really makes you realize how good of a dad Michael was, though his early threats to Locke were a good indication that he would kill if he felt that was the only way to keep his boy safe.

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Reading list: Liz, add The Time Travelers Wife. Seriously. I was riveted for however many hundreds of pages it was.

Liz Kelly: I may just do that. I just need to get through these six-and-a-half Steven King "Dark Tower" books first.

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Lexington: Watching "Special" made me wonder just where the producers were going with Walt originally...I feel like that whole storyline could have been really interesting to develop and watch, but didn't LindeCuse say this was effectively over? In Season 5, when Walt said to "Bentham" that he had visions of people on a beach trying to hurt him clearly eluded to the What Lies Beneath the Statue crew and was foreshadowing that...do you think he'll play any kind of role in wrapping up the series with a little bit of an explanation as to his "specialness"? It seemed like the writers were throwing us a bone with that remark by him instead of just simply having him wave goodbye and wrap up his storyline.

Paul Williams: Intentionally or not, I feel like the producers created the expectation that there was supposed to be more to Walt's story. Now, if they actually had plans for him and they scrapped them because Malcolm Kelley got too old too fast, or if it was something they created with no intention of ever coming back to (kind of like the Russian in the "Pines Barrens" episode of "The Sopranos") I don't know.

Given the time-travel nature of the show though, I would think the fact that Walt now looks like Greg Oden shouldn't be an obstacle if they want to close that plot.

Liz Kelly: Right -- and all signs point to the producers making moves to round up many characters from seasons past for the final year. As has been mentioned here before, Maggie Grace and Dom Monaghan are already somewhat on the hook.

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Walt, where are you?: In season 1 I REALLY thought it was the "Walt Show." I thought Walt had the key to understanding the island, and his "special" powers would unlock all mysteries. How wrong was I, but still, rewatching the Walt episode still gave me chills with the knife and the bird. I have come to terms with the fact that not every storyline will be tied in a bow, but I wish they could revisit Walt and his "specialness."

Paul Williams: One of the great, understated, super-creepy scenes in "Lost" history is that bird slamming against the window.

On the other hand, I think "spooky kid with powers" is a plot device that's gotten cliche.

Liz Kelly: That was a super-creepy scene. But if Walt could somehow will that bird to slam into the window, why couldn't he somehow use his freakish powers to get that polar bear to lay off?

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Alexandria, Va.: Best fake band of all time - Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution!

Liz Kelly: Ahhh, of course. Thank you.

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Oklahoma: Yes your right, the Jacob touching did start pretty early! He also wouldn't let Michael kill himself. One of Ben's agents asks Michael, "did the gun just jam or did the bullet bounce off your scull?"

Liz Kelly: Or his skull, even.

Right -- I had to wonder if Jacob also somehow kept Michael from being killed when he was struck by the car in the "Special" episode.

Paul Williams: They ratio of "Lost" characters who have been in serious car accidents must be through the roof.

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Colesville, MD: I'm behind the rewatch but am getting my husband to watch the episodes with me so we will be ready for season 6. So far we have only watched both parts of the pilot together (I've seen all the episodes). Every time someone new comes on he asks me the character's name. Last night he said, "who's that." I answered, "that's John Locke." My husband pauses and says, "he must be the evil master mind behind the plane crash. He wants to test his theories by forcing the others to live in a state of nature." Hm, not bad I thought.

Paul Williams: Yeah, but wait until you get to Season 2 and he's all "why are they being so mean to that nice Mr. Gale."

Liz Kelly: For reals, or season four and "Why is that mean Ben Linus being so horrible to poor, defenseless John Locke?"

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Anonymous: Is this the same Paul Williams who wrote so many hit songs in the '70's or the one who pretends to be related to Robin Williams ?

Paul Williams: 1) No

2) I'm not hairy enough to pull that off.

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Dark Towers: I was fascinated by the Dark Towers books. They came out over MANY years. I was unfortunate to have read the first one right away, then had to wait another 18 years (or something like that) for the rest. The Time Traveler's Wife is on my list of books to read.

Liz Kelly: Right -- I think King started the series in the early '80s and only completed the story arc in the last decade or so. I'm interested to see if there's a difference in feeling in the later books as his writing skills evolved.

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Norman, Oklahoma: "Special" ¬¬-- When I first saw this episode, I thought Walt created the polar bears because he saw them in the comic book. "Outlaws" - this is where Sawyer's character becomes funny and likable (except for holding up the baby piglet). "Homecoming" - I find it interesting that Clair's memory "reset" to the crash. Perhaps foreshadowing? Also, Charlie's background story with Lucy is a nice parallel to Desmond and Penny's story. It certainly seems like everything is a game to John. He says, "I'm not a cold man," but he seems to be thoroughly enjoying the hunt. I just don't think that John is completely possessed by #2 at this point. If you remember, the show did reference Valis, in which the Narrator talked about himself as is he were two people. Also, the main character has an experience where he communes with God, and goes searching for that experience again throughout the book.

Liz Kelly: Remember, though, that the polar bears had already been spotted before we saw Walt reading that comic book. Sawyer shot on in the pilot, right?

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Fake TV bands: I can't believe I'm about to mention this, because I _swear_ I was not a fan (I might have watched a few times out of desperation when nothing was on), but I believe that John Stamos's character on "Full House" was supposed to be a successful drummer. No idea whether his band ever played, though didn't they have a guest shot by what was left of The Beach Boys (around the time Stamos actually played on "Kokomo")?

Also, though just as one-shot deals, various "Law & Orders" have featured cases involving fake rock stars and bands over the years, usually played by actors (rather than real rock stars) and usually to decent effect.

While we're on over-the-hill NBC dramas I should have given up long ago, I think Shane West's character on ER might have had a band too, which might have played at some point.

(I think I need to get out more.)

Paul Williams: Has reference been made yet to Scrantonicity?

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McLean, VA: "Paul Williams: Has reference been made yet to Scrantonicity?"

I only applaud for Scrantonicity II. NOT Scrantonicity.

What do you mean this is a Lost chat, not an Office chat?

Paul Williams: The mysteries of Dwight Schrute will have to be tackled another time.

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Fake TV Art: Seems like it's always the case that when a TV plot calls for a great song, painting, poem, whatever, the result is craptastic. My favorite example was from my years of watching "My Three Sons" as a kid: Whenever the crazy teens would turn on their radio to hear the latest "groovy" rock 'n roll tune, some sort of snappy, sax-driven, pseudo-jazz instrumental would play.

Paul Williams: This was one of the great failings of "Studio 60" -- that all the sketches were painfully unfunny.

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Liz Kelly: I have to run to a meeting, but Paul will be here with you until 4 p.m. For next week, we'll be watching: "...In Translation," "Numbers" and "Deus Ex Machina."

Paul Williams: Thanks for letting me drop by Liz, by everyone.

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