The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- "Man of Science, Man of Faith," "Adrift," "Orientation"

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, August 20, 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. 20 discussion, watch these season two episodes: "Man of Science, Man of Faith," "Adrift" and "Orientation."

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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Bethesda, MD: As of now (9 a.m.) the discussion schedule on the homepage says "Kelly & Cheney Review 'Lost' Seasons 1-2." That gave me more of a jolt than my morning coffee. Still, I do sometimes wonder if Dick is the one who disappeared Nikki & Paolo.

Liz Kelly: I bet you didn't know Dick was a big "Lost" fan. Where do you think he got the idea for an "undisclosed location?"

Jen Chaney: Apparently this is finally being fixed now. I think my tombstone will read "Chaney -- that's with an A." And they will still probably spell it incorrectly.

Anyway, welcome to season two!

A couple of items today, a resolution and we'll start the chat:

In "Man of Science, Man of Faith," Desmond says, "I was almost a doctor once." I thought that was an interesting comment.

Quote of the week, based on this batch of episodes: Locke's comment after viewing the first Orientation film: "We're going to need to watch that again."

And a follow-up to last week's discussion about damoncarltonandapolarbear.com. Paul Scheer is indeed using that site to "help" promote "Lost." And it's now turned into a place where a series of artists will unveil works that are tributes to "Lost." Which is actually kind of cool.

We've invited Mr. Scheer to join us as a special guest in one of these chats, but he hasn't responded yet. We hope he does. We'd love to have him. (Translation: answer our e-mail, dang it!)

All right, let's chat.

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Quote contenders: Sawyer: "Whatcha gonna do, splash me?" and "You gotta bandaid?"

Liz Kelly: I wrote down the "splash me" line, too. I also liked Hurley's "Usually you're Mr. Ha Ha," to Jack.

Keep the candidates coming.

Jen Chaney: I also liked Hurley's little speech about how it's not so bad being on the island because even though someone explodes occasionally, they still get to sleep in.

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Silver Spring, MD: Love John Hawkes. I'm so excited to see him case in the final season of Lost.

I predict he'll be Widmore's counterpart. Widmore is to Jacob as 'Lennon' is to Man in Black.

Liz Kelly: I think the story I posted in Celebritology this morning gave some indication as to what his character would be. Let's see:

The "Deadwood" alum will play Lennon. "Lost" producers wouldn't release information on the character. According to the casting breakdown, Lennon is the scruffy, edgy and charismatic spokesperson and translator for the president of a foreign corporation who is far more powerful than it seems from his position.

Hmm, could this herald the return of Alvar Hanso to the story?

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I immediately thought of Hanso Foundation, too, Liz.

And I also like John Hawkes, more from "You and Me and Everyone We Know" than "Deadwood." (Sorry, I was never a "Deadwood" fan.)

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Great line!: We're going to need to watch that again.

John can be such a dweeb sometimes.

Jen Chaney: And so can us fans. I saw that line as a shout-out to what the writers must have known we'd all do: comb that video endlessly for clues.

Season two was the beginning of the real insanity in terms of Easter eggs and deciphering mythology on "Lost." They opened the Hatch and a can of worms, pretty much.

Liz Kelly: Yep -- and it was also the first time we started seeing the same scenes shot from another character's point of view -- a la Kate seeing the Jack vs. Desmond stand-off (a replay for us) from the vent.

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Play your own kind of music, Sing your own special song: Ah, creepy non-ghost Walt sighting! Good stuff. I can only hope season 6 holds at least one more cameo...

Speaking of that whisper thing that Walt did. I seem to remember that someone out there (one of the bloggers, I'm sure) deciphered what exactly he was saying by playing it backwards, or something. Am I crazy, or does anyone else remember this too? I don't think it was anything necessarily significant though...just a little easter egg (first of many) I think.

Jen Chaney: No, you are not the only one who remembers. (There is no such thing as being the only one to remember when it comes to the "Lost" fan community.)

According to Lostpedia, Walt is saying -- backwards, mind you -- "Don't push the button. Button bad." Now, we know that the button isn't bad. So is it possible that someone (or thing) wanted Shannon and her fellow survivors to think the button was bad?

Liz Kelly: I had been calling the Walt who appears to Shannon "Wet Ghost Walt."

And why would Walt deliver this message to Shannon, who at that point knew nothing about the button or even the hatch? And could it have been Jacob or the Man in Black speaking through Walt -- or in his guise? -- trying to checkmate his opponent's game?

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Cleveland, OH: When did Sawyer start calling Michael, "Mike?"

Liz Kelly: Yeah, that was a bit jarring. Also made me want to go back and rewatch season five's freighter storyline to see what the dynamic is between Sawyer and Michael. I know at that point Michael was likely a cold-blooded murderer to Sawyer, but you think they'd have some kind of connection after going through the kidnapping of Walt, being raft-wrecked and taken by the Tailies.

Jen Chaney: I just think Michael's return was handled poorly in that season. It didn't ring true and it didn't pay off or go anywhere.

One of the few missteps by the writers.

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Kevin Johnson, N.Y.: These episodes remind me how much I can't stand Michael. He is my all-time least favorite main character (yes, I like him less than Nikki or Paulo) and I think Harold Perrineau would win a landslide victory as worst actor to appear on "Lost."

Jen Chaney: Aw, that's way too harsh.

You know Bai Ling was on this show once, right?

You raise an interesting question, though. Who is our least favorite main character? (I'm not including Nikki or Paolo as an option since neither were ever "main" in my opinion.)

Liz Kelly: I think we all know what my freckly answer is.

Jen Chaney: I'm having a hard time picking a least favorite, honestly. I find something intriguing in all of the central characters.

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Vienna, Va.: In the commentary for "Man of Science, Man of Faith," Lindelof says that the title refers entirely to Jack, and his path from science to faith. And we definitely saw that playing out in Season 5. Given that Locke sort of started Jack on that path by making him press the button, I wonder Locke was, at that time, representing what Jacob wants to see in people, or does the Man-In-Black actually represent faith?

Liz Kelly: Unfortunately I don't think we know enough about where the story is going to speculate whether the Man in Black or Jacob figured into Jack's internal struggle at all.

Wait a minute. What am I talking about? When did not knowing LindeCuse's mind ever stop us before? I obviously forgot myself. I apologize.

I thought a bit about their influence, too, when Locke -- in "Orientation" -- was upset that he'd been left alone with the broken computer. He screamed "what do you want me to do?!?!?" To himself? To God? To the island? To the Man in Black?

Jen Chaney: To answer that last question, I would go with God or the island. Or both, really, since they seem to be interchangeable to Locke.

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Ohio: This is more of a comment... I am loving season 2 and recalling just how awesome it was to watch the first time around. I mean, it was so freakin' crazy to see Desmond, the grafitti on the Swan station walls, the numbers everywhere, the Dharma-labeled goods, The Others/Tailies... I mean, whoa. Kinda miss those days - it's sort of a more cerebral 'whoa' in recent episodes. Like the more you know, the less you can just enjoy the pure shock.

(Still love it, don't get me wrong...)

Liz Kelly: I get your vibe. It's also neat watching with the knowledge of what comes later. For instance, seeing the little cracks in Michael that reveal him as a guy who would do anything -- even kill -- to save his son.

But I had one reaction that hit me the same as it did the first time around. Would either Desmond or Jack say, "Hey, didn't we meet at the UCLA stadium one night while jogging up the stairs?" Their encounter was surely unusual enough to have made a lasting impression on both. They do recognize one another, but never seem to have that conversation. Or do they go into it later and I'm not recalling?

Jen Chaney: At the end of the third episode (I think), they do talk about the fact that they have met before. Remember? Because Desmond asks Jack what happened to the patient he was upset about.

I struggle with that too. I can barely remember people who lived across the hall from me in college or met for the first time just yesterday, let alone someone I talked to one time several years prior. It seems to me Jack knows Desmond's face is familiar initially, but can't recall why. Which I can buy. But it's a liiiitle bit of a stretch.

Liz Kelly: My bad. I must've missed that moment.

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Portland, Oregon: So when was Desmond almost a doctor? Almost a priest, almost a soldier, but a doctor? Did I forget an episode?

Jen Chaney: No, you didn't, which is why the comment was interesting. When the heck was Desmond almost a doctor?

Obviously we don't know his whole back story. But the fact that he has something sort of in common with Jack is intriguing. And if certain actions have caused everyone's paths to change just a little, is it possible Desmond might actually become a doctor in season six?

Liz Kelly: Yeah, that was a puzzler. Maybe he was training to be a Medic?

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Least favorite character: I know this might be controversial, but my least favorite main character has always been Boone. I just felt like he was a hanger-on with Locke, and he got on my nerves a little bit. I know-you all hate me.

Liz Kelly: Ut oh. I'm going to get out of the way here and let Jen respond.

Jen Chaney: You all think you know how I'm going to respond to this, don't you? But oh, you might be wrong.

I totally understand why Boone would be your least favorite character. The fact that Ian Somerhalder is so good-looking that he seems to be some sort of sex robot sent here from the planet Hotness has nothing to do with Boone, the character.

And you're right, aside from his issues with Shannon, there wasn't much to Boone. I suspect the writers realized that pretty quickly, which may be one of the reasons they decided he should be the first character to bite it.

In the (paraphrased) words of John Locke: "Don't tell me what I can't say in a 'Lost' chat question about Boone!"

Liz Kelly: Well, but Shannon didn't add much more -- maybe hate on them as a matched set?

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Least favorite main character: My answer would have to be Jack. The fact that he blames his father for EVERYTHING really bugs me.

Liz Kelly: I get the feeling that you aren't alone. I go back and forth on Jack. He's kind of a hot head, but his heart's in the right place and that's what keeps me on his side.

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John Hawkes: With the addition of Hawkes, Lindecuse appears to be recruiting the entire cast of "Deadwood" into "Lost." We've already seen Kim Dickens (Cassidy), Titus Welliver (MIB), Robin Weigert (Julliette's sister Rachel), Paula Malcomson (The Other shot by Jin) and William Sanderson (Dharma's resident torturer). If Ian McShane shows up and calls Ben a -rhymes with sock-tucker], the transformation will be complete.

Liz Kelly: Ian McShane is fine. But let's stop short of Powers Boothe.

Jen Chaney: They also have done some sharing with the folks from "Friday Night Lights." See Cassidy (Matt Saracen's mom, played by Kim Dickens) and Dharma security official (Herc, played by Kevin Rankin).

At least they share with quality shows.

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Milwaukee, Wis.: This has nothing to do with this week's episodes, but you guys have to check this out in Slate.

See point 4. If I'm reading this right, this physicist is saying that "course correction" is required by the laws of physics. You can't change the past; if you try, you'll only make it happen a different way, like the billiard ball that instead of blocking itself only slightly deflects, and still goes through, off-course... so that it slightly deflects its past self. (Read the article for that to make sense.) I doubt the writers of "Lost" consider themselves bound by the laws of physics, but if they go this route it's got scientific support.

Liz Kelly: There must be something to "course correction" because we keep coming back to it over and over. As if some future Jen Chaney is trying to erase our time travel hypotheses, forcing it to reenter the discussion in different ways every week or so.

I do like this bit of the article, tho:

Quantum mechanics was one of the great breakthroughs of the 20th century, and it predicted, among much else, that the motions of electrons and other small particles are fundamentally random. Everett, then at the Pentagon, wondered whether the universe wasn't branching off into two nearly identical copies each time one of these random events occurred. Since there are lots of particles in the universe and they move around and interact very quickly, these parallel universes would multiply almost without limit.

Jen Chaney: Wait, are you saying I'm like Marty McFly? Because that would be FANTASTIC.

I think course correction is exactly where the Lost writers have been focused all along. What you wrote here is essentially what Ms. Hawking told Desmond in season three.

Part of the reason I like course correction as a concept for "Lost" is that it allows destiny and free will to co-exist in some fashion, even if destiny ultimately wins out.

In other words, individuals have the power to do things that will change the future. But those changes only affect little details on the path to the same end result. Or so it seems based on what we know now.

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What am I supposed to do!!!!: What do you think about the temper tantrums John occasionally throws? I find them odd -- they seem to be a complete break from his standard personality.

It seems like a fit my 8 year old would throw.

Liz Kelly: Well, we know John at this point believes that he's serving a higher purpose, so when he hits a brick wall he appeals to that higher power.

And good observation re: the immature nature of his tantrums. John is childlike in many ways. He's stubborn and melts down when he doesn't get his way. Or was that just

my

childhood?

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Silver Spring, Md.: "I can barely remember people who lived across the hall from me in college or met for the first time just yesterday, let alone someone I talked to one time several years prior."

And those people from high school who friend you on Facebook, and you kinda recognize the names but not the faces, and don't temember if you liked them or not?

Jen Chaney: This is going to sound strange given what I just wrote, but I remember most people from high school pretty vividly. There are a few that I come up blank on, but I'm much worse at remembering people from college. Or people I meet now.

(Wait, who's the chick I host this chat with again?)

Liz Kelly: I'll tattoo my name on the back of your mouse hand. That should help.

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Silver Spring, Md.: "is it possible Desmond might actually become a doctor in season six?"

Are we sure we will see Desmond in season 6, what with Henry Ian's little legal problem?

Jen Chaney: The writers have said Desmond will be part of the storyline. In fact, I think Damon and Carlton told us that more or less flat-out when we interviewed them in May, didn't they, Liz?

Liz Kelly: They did. As I recall they were very firm about Henry Ian Cusick being an integral part of the final season.

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Beltsville, Md.: Didn't Jack only place where he had met Desmond after Desmond said "See you in another life, brother"?

Jen Chaney: Yes, that sparked it for sure. But would he really remember Desmond saying that? Again, this is years earlier, before Jack was married (and divorced). And they met once, at a time when Jack was emotionally distraught and distracted.

It's not impossible that he would remember him, but it's something that at least makes the viewer pause.

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Book deal?: Do you think they will turn LOST into a novel or is there already a book it is based on? This would really help me put everything together. I have forgotten so much!

Jen Chaney: There is a book. It's called: "Lord of the Flies"/"Watership Down"/"Watchmen"/"The Stand"...

There are a lot of books about "Lost," but there is not a novelization, to my knowledge. Unless you count "Bad Twin." And I don't.

Liz Kelly: Maybe once the series is over, Josh Holloway or someeone can start penning fan fiction ala William Shatner.

Jen Chaney: And Liz and I can be Josh's (taller) ghost writers.

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all for naught: "In other words, individuals have the power to do things that will change the future. But those changes only affect little details on the path to the same end result"

sigh...now I am depressed.

Jen Chaney: Um, details are important, right? I mean, right?

Actually, I thought the way I put that was a really gentle way of saying that humanity is ultimately doomed.

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Least favorite: My least favorite was and still is Jack. I am constantly screaming at my TVset "make a decision, already!" or "man get over it and quit pouting!" I hate pouters and he's the worst!

Jen Chaney: I hear ya. But I empathize with Jack because it's so clear he wants to do the right thing. He is definitely stubborn and a bit infuriating at times, but his heart is in the right place.

And therefore, he cannot be my least favorite. Although I respect your choice.

I think my least favorite is Scott. No, wait ... Steve.

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Beltsville, MD: I was trying to remember. Did Sawyer ever even get to the freighter to see Michael? I know that he jumped out of the helicopter in the last trip to the freighter, because of the fuel leak.

Liz Kelly: I'm sorry. I was having a total brain fart. I was conflating Sayid with Sawyer. My bad.

Jen Chaney: See what I mean about not being able to remember things? This is what happens to people's brains. Unless you're Jack Shepard.

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Jack and Desmond: I think Jack would definitely remember Desmond; Desmond insisting on the possibility of what-if Jack really did fix the girl, then Jack goes back to the hospital only to discover that, impossibly, he fixed the girl. That's the kind of thing people attach meaning to and therefore remember.

To Desmond, though, it was just some random conversation with some random guy... seems less likely he would bother remembering...

Jen Chaney: Okay, that's a really good point. The fact that Des asked what if he did fix her, and then it turned out he did would be more likely to stick in one's mind. I'll give you that.

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Random: OK, so not related to the rewatch, but I clicked on a link about crazy hotels and there's this one hotel in Costa Rica that totally reminded me of Lost. It's called the 727 Fuselage Home. Take a look at the pic.

Any one else look at the pic and wonder if it's full of Virgin Mary heroin statues or that they'll get sucked out by Smokey or perhaps fall to their death like Boone... OK, I exaggerate on that last part; it actually looks nice inside. Still, there's still something very Lost-esque and unsettling when you see a plane sticking straight out of the Jungle like that.

Liz: That is soooo cool. I want to go there.

Jen Chaney: That is so colossally nuts that I can't believe it's real.

There should be some sort of contest: spend a night with Ian Somerhalder in this airplane that's stuck in a tree.

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Heartbreaking: One of the saddest scenes I have see in Lost is when Anthony Cooper gets into John's car and tells him that "he is not wanted."

It really breaks my heart to watch John in that scene.

Jen Chaney: Oh, I know. And the way John is clearly still so torn up about it in the flashbacks in "Orientation" is equally heartbreaking.

That Terry O'Quinn is so, so good.

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Liz Kelly: Thanks for joining us today. Next week we'll be discussing these season 2 eps: "Everybody Hates Hugo," "...And Found" and "Abandoned."

Jen Chaney: Yes, thanks, everyone. We'll see you at this time and place next week.

And we promise we'll remember each and every one of you, even if you never talked to us while we were both running up and down the steps in a stadium.

Peace out.

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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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