The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- 'Exodus: Part One' and 'Exodus: Part Two'

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Forget Richard Hatch. These are the real survivors: the cast of ABC's "Lost." (Ho - Reuters/ABC)

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, August 13, 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 Thursday, Aug. 13 discussion, watch these season one episodes: "Exodus: Part One" and "Exodus: Part Two," the two-hour season one finale.

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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Jen Chaney: Welcome, welcome, fellow "Lost"-ophiles. Let's start with a question: have you watched the latest Dharma episode of "Mysteries of the Universe"? It's got some info about our Dharma buddies Phil and Olivia, and attempts to connect the Initiative to ... wait for it ... Area 51. Worth a look.

And now, three quick points on the two-part, three-hour season one finale:

--When the gang visits the Black Rock, Locke notes that the crew of the ship most likely came from Mozambique, a country located very close to Tanzania and where the primary language is Portugese. Relevant? You tell us.

--When the smoke monster tries to drag Locke down into its lair, Locke not only doesn't seem alarmed, he tells Jack: "Let me go. I'll be all right." Is this more of Locke's hubris, and evidence of his belief that he's connected in a "special" way to the island? Or more proof he's already possessed by the Man in Black? (Call me prescient, but I suspect the MiB will come up at some point during this chat.)

--When Jack notes that the opening of the Hatch will bring on a Locke problem, he asks if Kate's got his back. She says she does. Which is a situation that -- SPOILER -- repeats itself post-departure of the Oceanic Six, when Jack asks Kate if she's got his back about the Big Lie.

--My favorite quote from this episode block:

"Who the hell is Hugo and how's he got $160 million to leave to his mom?" -- Sawyer

And now over to Miss Celebritology herself, Liz Kelly.

Liz Kelly: As usual I'm running late. The Celebritology auditorium is in a totally different auditorium. Getting here was like Hurley's sprint to the Oceanic International Terminal at Sydney airport.

The one ponderable I'll add is re: John Locke and Smokey. How would things have been different if Locke

had

been sucked into Smokey's hole?

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Arlington, Va.: ABC.com has all the episodes back! yay!

Jen Chaney: Phew! All is right with the world again.

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Spoiler, I Know What's In The Hatch!!!: Last week you kept putting "spoiler" on all the posts, supposedly trying to protect viewers who haven't seen this yet, but that's not what this discussion is supposed to be. It's not like we're going to be discussing what we think is in the hatch or what happened to Walt, we're reviewing these episodes with the knowledge of what has happened in the first five seasons and are trying to find clues for what the final season holds.

Also, my favorite moment of the entire series came up, when Sawyer tells Jack (without actually saying it) that he met Jack's dad and that the dad was proud of Jack: brings a tear to my eye every time.

Jen Chaney: Here's the thing: I was trying to be respectful of anyone who comes to this chat having just started to watch "Lost" from the beginning. I know it's hard to believe that there are people who don't know that [REDACTED] died, or that the [BLEEP] exploded, but there are such individuals and I commend them for trying to catch up before that all-important season six begins.

That said, spoilers will slip out from time to time. And obviously most chatters come here to continue making connections between the early seasons and where we are now in the narrative. We want to make both groups happy.

With that said, in closing, I just want everyone to know that -- SPOILER ALERT -- the chick in "The Crying Game" is totally a dude.

Liz Kelly: Wait. The [BLEEP] exploded?!?! Thanks. Thanks a lot, Jen Chaney.

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Shipwrecked Pirate: Do you think the story of the Black Rock will be addressed in season 6?

Liz Kelly: I have a feeling it will, mainly because that would be a big thread to leave hanging and because the ship figured in last season's finale. Remember, it was on the horizon approaching the island as Jacob and No. 2 sat on the beach playing verbal ping-pong.

I'm wondering if the ship was intentionally heading to the island, though. I had forgotten that Kate found mining equipment in the hold. Maybe the Black Rock was on its way to the island to dig for the same electromagnetic anomaly Pierre Chang later drills into.

Jen Chaney: Ooh, nice point on the mining equipment.

I agree, I think we'll learn more about the Black Rock, but only what we need to have a basic understanding of how it got to the island and why it's important to the overall storyline.

In other words, I don't think we should expect very special Black Rock episodes of "Lost."

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Washington, DC: What are your favorite sites/blogs/twitters for Lost news and info? Aside from your lovely selves, that is ;)

Liz Kelly: I find both Lostpedia and Doc Jensen's coverage over at EW to be indispensable.

Oh, and Lost easter egg aggregator

Dark UFO

.

Jen Chaney: I second all the ones Liz mentioned, and also add Doc Arzt's blog, the Fuselage and Paul Scheer's "Damoncarltonandapolarbear.com, which sounded like a joke when he mentioned it at Comic-Con, but actually is a fun site and aggregates some interesting stuff.

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Great quote: Jack to Kate upon blowing open the hatch: If this works... "We're going to have Locke problem."

Jen Chaney: It is a great quote. And a smart one, too. Because Jack was absolutely right.

Opening the Hatch does create a most definite Locke problem. But honestly, I think the person most impacted by the Locke problem winds up being Locke. (Um, spoiler alert, sort of?)

Liz Kelly: One of my favorite quotes from the finale was when Shannon told Walt she was "anal." Who talks like that to a kid? Shannon, that's who.

As for the Locke problem, Jen is right -- the hatch eventually seems to be the undoing of Locke's self-assuredness and that was an element sorely missed in later seasons. Sure, Locke's still cocky in season five, but he's no longer just a little bit menacing and that smidgen of menace made all the difference.

Though now that Locke is -- SPOILER -- possessed by No. 2/Man in Black that menace may be back.

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Locke and Smokey: "--When the smoke monster tries to drag Locke down into its lair, Locke not only doesn't seem alarmed, he tells Jack: "Let me go. I'll be all right." Is this more of Locke's hubris, and evidence of his belief that he's connected in a "special" way to the island? Or more proof he's already possessed by the Man in Black? (Call me prescient, but I suspect the MiB will come up at some point during this chat.) "

Don't forget, Locke already came face-to-face (face-to-plume?) with Smokey earlier in season 1 and lived to tell about it. It might be actually reasonable for him to think that if Smokey wanted to rip him to shreds, he'd have done so by now.

Jen Chaney: Okay, valid point. But that first time, Smokey checked him out and left him alone.

This time he got all up in Locke's grill and tried to drag him down a hole. Which would suggest, at least to most people, that perhaps that thing has some nasty plans up its vaporous sleeve. But to your point, if Locke previously looked into what he refers to as "the eye of the island" and saw something enlightening there, maybe he thinks he can control the thing, or at least understand it.

Liz Kelly: And as I hinted in the intro, maybe Locke was meant to be dragged into that hole by Smokey. Perhaps Jacob or some other island force knew that the MiB was already working to corrupt John Locke and use him for his own malevolent plans. What better way to crush that than by neutralizing Locke early on?

So, in a way, Locke, man of faith, was right. He was willing to surrender to Smokey, no matter the outcome. But Jack, man of science (and man of action), thwarted destiny.

And destiny is a whole other barrel of worms. With all the mentions of destiny, fate and punishment I can't help but wondering if those elements will loom large in season 6 -- a season LindeCuse said would in some ways mirror season 1.

Liz Kelly: Wait -- I mean can of worms. Only monkeys come in barrels.

Jen Chaney: Good point about Jack thwarting what may have been Locke's intended fate. Hadn't thought of it that way, but that's an interesting and plausible way to look at it.

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Quotes: Love the quote from Sawyer.

There are some great one liners in these episodes and I started waxing nostalgic for our old quote polls from the Season 5 reveiw. Any chance of starting that up again for the re-watch?

I've already started into Season 2 where the great quotes continue. Once again, well done writers of Lost!

Jen Chaney: Perhaps we could fire that up again. What do you think, Liz?

Liz Kelly: Heck yeah. We can start next week.

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Washington, D.C.: Did you guys see that Keile "Nikki" Sanchez is starring in the new thriller "A Perfect Getaway" with Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich and Tim Olyphant? I guess there is life after "Lost" infamy.

Jen Chaney: I haven't see the movie, but I did notice that Sanchez was on it. And of course, I thought: "No wonder this is a horror movie. Poor Steve Zahn is stuck with Nikki!"

Liz Kelly: Steve Zahn should be happy to have work.

Is it bad that I can't wait to watch this movie at home when it hits DVD? I have a weak spot for bad horror flicks and this just reeks of "Turistas."

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The others: I started watching Lost with season 4 and went back to watch seasons 1-3 during/after season 4. The scene where the others arrive and take Walt must have been pretty stunning to see and then to realize that the "child" Rousseau was talking about but did not realize at the time was Walt - not Aaron.

Jen Chaney: Well, I always thought the Others were interested in both Aaron and Walt. So I didn't think Rousseau was wrong about interest in the baby.

Liz, you agree?

Liz Kelly: Agreed. And we know that Ethan had already attempted to steal Aaron. Aaron just happened to still be in vitro at that point.

But I'm thinking that, yeah, the conversation Rousseau overheard was probably in reference to Walt, the little weirdo.

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Vienna, Va.: My theory on the Black Rock is that Richard Alpert will be on board, but not as an unwitting sailor, rather as some one working for Jacob and directing the ship there.

I wondering if the same event that causes the ship to end up inland is the one that damages the statue.

Liz Kelly: You mean something like the Kraken rising out of the sea?

Jen Chaney: Well, we know Alpert's going to play a bit in the series this season. So that further supports the idea that we'll learn more about the Black Rock.

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Silver Spring, MD: It seems like Aaron was such a focal point of the show during the earlier seasons and he has been slowly fading to the background. Do you think we will ever discover the signficance of Aaron or was he never that important to begin with?

Liz Kelly: I'm not sure we'll be rewarded with a payoff on the Aaron storyline so much as we'll finally be let in on why the island -- or some island force -- is so obsessed with children. As we all know, it isn't just Aaron, but Walt, the Tailie kids and a series of women unable to carry to term on the island.

Jen Chaney: I do think we'll get a resolution to that storyline, though. Hopefully one that ends with the boy reconnecting with his mother, Claire.

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Cleveland, Ohio: I'm looking for an episode with a trifecta: hot, wet Jack and Sayid and Sawyer. Bonus if one or all of their shirts are off. Can you direct me to any episodes that meet this criteria?

Liz Kelly: Well, we had hot wet Jack and Sayid at the end of last season when both swam into an underground cave when Ellie led them to Jughead. And it seems like Sawyer is pretty much hot and wet in every episode. Though I will admit that I didn't mind seeing him dive off that raft again when he went to retrieve the rudder.

I didn't have a chance to catch up on last week's chat -- did we talk about what a little weirdo Walt is?

Jen Chaney: We talked briefly about Walt's weirdness, Liz, but please feel free to wax freaky if the spirit moves you.

Liz Kelly: Nah, don't want to re-tread.

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Liz Kelly: Before I forget, my reading of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series continues and, of course, I'm seeing many parallels -- Man in Black, parallel worlds, time travel.

One new parallel that struck me in the finale was Rousseu's description of Smokey as a "security system." Add that and the fact that the Smokey sound effects are metallic and mechanical and I couldn't help but think of the cyborg creatures that were once man-made but seem to have gone rogue -- for instance a gigantic bear that bleeds but is at its heart a microprocessor -- that guard portals in "The Dark Tower" books.

Jen Chaney: Nerd!

(Kidding.)

I thought the security system comment was interesting, too. But that's just Rousseau's take on it, and it may not be the whole truth. I still think Smokey is a bit more complicated. For example, what about Eko? Did Smokey mess with him to protect the island?

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damoncarltonandapolarbear: So -- what do you think about this stuff with damoncarltonandapolarbear.com and Ronie Midfewarts?

Jen Chaney: I don't think it's real. I think it's all part of a little promotional joke for the Web site and, perhaps, even another way for the Lost folks to leak information virally.

Even if it is, it's still kind of amusing. And Scheer is doing some fun, legit stuff -- like the "best beard" poll and posting news about the show, etc. At first I thought the Web site would be nothing but a picture of that velvet polar bear painting.

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Perfect Getaway: Sorry to be off-topic, but please, no hating on Steve Zahn -- he was incredible in "Rescue Dawn," and I've always liked him anyway. (He does seem to follow the Michael Caine principle of never saying no to anything, though.) And though "Nikki" is in it, she's not with him -- Mila Jovovich is. ("Nikki" gets Seth Bullock -- I mean, Timothy Olyphant.) And the reviews of "A Perfect Getaway" are actually pretty good.

Liz Kelly: Okay, okay -- sorry. I like Steve Zahn, I do -- but he does tend to play the same character in every single movie. And who says cheesy horror can't be well done cheesy horror?

Jen Chaney: Oh, I was not hating on Steve Zahn at all. We did a chat with him once, and he was a really sweet, funny guy.

And yes, the reviews of the movie have been strong, including the one here in the Post.

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Portuguese Connection: Spoken by Naomi "Little" Dorrit (victim of Locke's Ed Ames Routine).

Presumably spoken by Paulo, although the less said about him, the better.

Jen Chaney: And spoken by -- SPOILER -- those guys tracking the island on Penny's behalf, as we'll see in a subsequent finale.

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Arlington, Va.: Walt got some of that freaky from dear old dad, I betcha. I really dislike Michael. I don't find him sympathetic at all. All the stomping around and screaming for Waaallllttt (and being so pissy with Walt when they are together) just grates on my ears. I started watching in Season 4, so I'm just now catching up backstory on this guy. What I saw him do in Season 2 just solidifies my dislike of him.

Liz Kelly: I can see how you might not like Michael if your first exposure to him was season 4 Michael -- where he is thrust into the story as an untrusted and even hated entity.

But I do like Michael. He had a rough time of it and he's doing the best he can given the circumstances. No matter what his other failings, he's willing to do just about anything to save his son and really -- aside from those unecessary season 2 (SPOILER) murders -- can we fault him for that?

Jen Chaney: I empathize with Michael, too, even if the "Waaalllt!" stuff does get old.

As the season one backstory shows us, he had terrible luck. And he got pretty screwed over by his ex.

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The Black Rock: Any thoughts on the significance of the ship? I mean, Sawyer confronted his dad there, dynamite used to blow the hatch - and all the stuff with Penny's father. All I know is I'm going to be pretty steamed if they wrap up Lost with a ton of plot holes and unanswered questions.

Jen Chaney: Well, I think the "Lost" writers know people will be ticked if that happens.

Personally, I'll be satisfied if the major questions are answered. I expect a few dangling chads, if you will, just hopefully ones that are minor.

I need to ponder the Black Rock's significance more, to be honest. As you say, it clearly is important to the overall story. Maybe we can revisit that subject next week. Or Liz can explain it all for us ... right now!

Liz Kelly: If you ask me, the Black Rock is the sole remnant of what was once an elaborate mini golf course, complete with waterfalls, windmills and -- that's right -- a pirate ship. Unfortunately, things went awry when someone putter accidentally detonated a stray dynamite stick.

Jen Chaney: Wait -- it's actually the Old Pro course, located on Coastal Highway in Fenwick, Del.??

Oh, man. That explains so much.

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Spoiler Locke: Locke is possessed? Isn't Locke dead? I thought MIB has simply morphed into his form. Locke was in the casket. Come to think of it, why are Illana and her gang hauling around the casket?

Jen Chaney: Well, this is one reason why this whole possession thing is still hard for me to totally get. Because MiB seems to have inhabited Locke's spirit -- if not his physical body -- during the finale of season five, during this season one rewatch, people have speculated that maybe Locke's spirit was inhabited from the beginnning.

But the fact that he actually does die later -- at least in the timeline as we know it -- sort of throws a monkey wrench into that concept for me.

Liz Kelly: Right -- but MiB's possession could have been only for the sole purpose of fate playing out as it has -- that Locke would return to the island in a casket at which point the MiB was able to make use of the loophole mentioned in last season's finale. So he wasn't perhaps fully possessing so much as guiding.

I dunno. I may be just defending this theory just to defend it at this point.

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Vienna, Va.: The Smoke Monster seems to check a person out once, and then either kill them, or drag them down a hole.

Based on Danielle's story, getting dragged down under seems to cause one to become changed in some way (which she called a sickness, I guess meaning like a mental sickness).

I'm thinking Danielle was brought to the island by Jacob in order to be dragged down the hole (and thus Alex, too), but this plot was foiled by Jin's appearance. So Alex ends up being just a plain child, instead of a "special" child who, perhaps, wouldn't have been killed later. Since her death leads Ben towards "What Ben Did" in the S5 finale, this served the purposes of MIB.

That's getting rather convoluted, but I think that's where the plot is heading: revealing layers of moves and counter-moves towards some sort of final showdown.

Jen Chaney: In other words, Jin did for Rousseau -- preventing her from going down the hole -- what Jack did for Locke in season one? And perhaps in both cases, destinies were thwarted.

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Vienna, Va.: This is my second time watching season one and I love watching these characters now knowing their backstories...well most of them. Locke's still got me confused, of course.

Jin and Sun, in particular, so powerful in these episodes! I remember watching Lost for the first time thinking Jin was a total jerk and I was happy when they finally made up; but rewatching knowing everything I know now, I nearly lost it when it came time for him to leave Sun on the raft. That scene had so much more meaning the second time around.

...And then when the raft explodes. Poor Jin cannot catch a break when it comes to boats and getting off the island(see season 4).

Jen Chaney: Yeah, poor Jin gets stuck floating on wreckage at sea -- twice! And that's not even counting the crash of 815.

Not cool.

Interesting thing about Jin and Sun, and that the scenes in the season one finale -- the ones where that American couple make derisive remarks about them in the airport -- touch on. Initially, as viewers, I think we also looked at them through the lens of stereotypes. They didn't speak English so we didn't always knew what they were saying. Therefore, Jin appeared to be an overprotective, possibly chauvinistic and even abusive husband. And Sun seemed like a passive, meek wife. But once you know more about them, you come to see how untrue that is.

In other we were just as bad as those people in the airport until we knew them better.

Liz Kelly: That's really true, Jen. Good point. Though I do think that early on Jin was presented as overprotective and not all that loving. I think that's probably because of the dynamic he was forced into by Mr. Paik -- he was slowly coming to hate the woman he loved because to be with her he had to do such horrible things for Paik. But a little time on the island -- and away from their nightmarish life in Korea -- allowed them to get back to the good parts of their relationship, and that slowly unfolded over the first season.

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Alexandria, VA: Damon and Carlton are in the video of Paul Scheer getting onto the ABC lot. Do you think this is an ARG?

Jen Chaney: Yeah, that's what I cannot figure out. Is this just Scheer being silly? Is it a game? Are there clues to be mined from this?

Or is this just another way to keep us all on the Internet at all hours of the day and night?

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Wet (and HAWT) Jack, Sawyer & Sayid: If memory serves, the season 2 finale features the 3 of them swimming out to Desmond's boat, with Sayid and Sawyer removing their shirts before jumping into the water.

You're welcome.

Jen Chaney: Our analysis of that during the re-watch? Oh, it's going to be something to behold.

Thanks.

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Liz Kelly: Okay, thanks for joining us. We are now officially done with season one. But, fear not, season 2 awaits. For next week we'll be watching the first three episodes: "Man of Science, Man of Faith," "Adrift," and "Orientation."

Jen Chaney: Seasone one is over ... again!

How sad.

But the beauty of DVD is that season two can start immediately. So get to it.

See you here same time next week.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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