The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- "The Other 48 Days," "Collision" and "What Kate Did."

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, September 3, 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, Sept. 3 discussion, watch these season two episodes: "The Other 48 Days," "Collision" and "What Kate Did."

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: So it's time to tackle three more season two episodes, as mentioned in the intro. Personally, I found "What Kate Did" to be the meatiest of this group, in terms of what it revealed about a central character as well as the island's mythology. I was particularly intrigued when, while viewing the choppy orientation film, Michael asked Locke: "What about all the missing pieces?"

And Locke responded: "Just a frame here and there, nothing important."

Anyone who has been following the "Lost" viral art ARG may recall that each new piece has been referred to as a "frame." Could be it that, aside from being cool pieces of artwork, these frames are also revealing some important hints about season six? And if so, can you please tell us what those hints are so we don't have to pull any mental muscles by figuring it out ourselves?

My favorite quote of the week, from the "What Kate Did" episode:

Charlie, to Jack: "Everything okay?"
Jack, in response: "Yeah, Hurley, everything's fine."

Now over to Liz...

Liz Kelly: Hey there -- I was actually pretty pleased with all three episodes. Though not everything was germane to the over-arching plot, some good story-telling took place and a lot of emotional moments -- Shannon's death, Sun and Jin's reunion, Bernard and Rose's reunion, Michael and Vincent's reunion. Sigh. And, as Jen said, some good island mythology stuff. Oh, not to mention the infiltration of Goodwin into the Tailies group. Here's the thing I'm wondering: Goodwin seemed so evil in the "Other 48 Days" episode, very cold and calculating. But I didn't get that impression from him at all when he appeared in Juliet's flashbacks in a later season (I think it was season 4?) as her lover. He didn't seem at all intent on doing Ben's bidding and joining the Tailies group, so I find it hard to believe he'd seem so gung-ho about the Others mission.

Anyhow, let's get started.

Oh, and my favorite line:

Sawyer's: "That's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me," when he awakes from a near-coma to find Kate telling him he reminds her of her hated scuzzwad of a dad.

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Just a comment: I miss Mr. Eko.

Liz Kelly: I was just thinking the same thing. Mr. Eko was the best thing about season two and his absence was greatly felt once he left the show. His character added a much-needed stillness to what is a pretty chaotic show over all.

As for the actor that played him, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, he was most recently seen guest-starring on the Aug. 14th episode of "Monk."

Jen Chaney: He was also in the fine film "G.I. Joe." You know, in case you're keeping score.

I think Eko would have turned out to be a pretty important character. Watching these episodes again, it's pretty clear that he's supposed to be play a parallel figure to Locke. (Bizarro Island Locke?) I would love to know what sort of arc they originally had planned for that character and if it would have majorly shifted some of the stories they would up telling.

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Chelmsford, Ma: Ladies

In rewatching season two I notice what strong characters Ana Lucia and Mr Eko are. It is a shame they were on for such a short time. Was this always the intent or did they want off the show?

Also, I noticed Jack in the background when Shannon was in the hospital after her father's death. I assume Jack's future (and former) wife killed Shannon's father. As far as I know this connection was never discussed in the show. What do you think?

Thanks for hosting this discussion. I look forward to it every week.

Jen Chaney: Thanks, Chelmsford. We look forward to having you join us every week.

Re: your question about Ana Lucia and Eko. In Mr. Eko's case, the character definitely was not supposed to exit as soon as he did. The actor who plays him, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, didn't take to living in Hawaii, apparently. So LindeCuse had to figure out a way to write him out of the show.

With Michelle Rodriguez, there were a lot of rumors about her not being easy to work with, but I don't know if they were actually true. Liz, can you remember more of the deets surrounding her departure?

And re: the connection between Sarah and Shannon's dad. It was never explicitly discussed, but I think most alert viewers picked up on it.

Liz Kelly: Re: Ana Lucia, yep, I think Michelle Rodriguez was labeled hard to work with and also fell prey to the "Lost" curse -- she was busted for a DUI in 2005 and left the show soon after, as did Cynthia Watros -- Libby. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was also arrested for driving without a license in 2006, shortly before leaving the show.

The only Lostie who seems to have survived that particular curse is the still-employed Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) who was arrested for driving under the influence in 2007... and I can tell you it sent many fans into a tizzy wondering if he would die at the end of season 4.

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Arlington, Va.: I just wanted to say that I saw probably my favorite Lost episode last night. I confess, it's in Season 3 (I'd never seen this season before) and it's "Tricia Tanaka's Dead." This is the first episode where I actually was laughing aloud. The interplay between Hurley, Jin, Charlie, and Sawyer is just priceless. Sure, OK, it didn't advance the plot very much, but I loved the characters so much. I may have to watch it again!

Jen Chaney: Interesting. I remember that episode mainly because it marked my return to "Lost" blogging after having a child.

Honestly can't say it was one of my favorites, though, but maybe I need to give it a second look.

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Ole' Blue Eyes: So many characters in the first two seasons have blue eyes... coincidence? Systemic Hollywood favoritism? Rare tropical infection? Contact lenses? The real meaning of The List? A Jacob "jones"?

Liz Kelly: I can't say I noticed the overwhelming majority of blue eyes and I'm not sure there's anything to read into all of those azure peepers.

But I'm glad you brought up the List because we first heard of it in "The Other 48 Days" when Ana Lucia finds it in the pocket of a dead Other woman. Goodwin later tells Ana Lucia that the people on the List -- those targeted for nabbing -- are "good people." But what does that mean? Morally good? Fit for experimentation? And I have to wonder, why -- aside from the nabbing of Walt -- were the original Losties not targeted in the same way. Again, I'll chalk that up to the show's early flailing around for a story line that would make everything fit.

Jen Chaney: Well, they sort of were. They dispatched Ethan to the Losties camp so he could take Claire. But why not take more of them, especially when we later discover that Jack, Kate, Sawyer were also on a list? That I don't know.

But Claire DOES have blue eyes. Hmmm...

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I am the black horse: Can you tell me what my purpose is?

Jen Chaney: To make Kate start acting all cuckoo?

Actually -- as suggested here -- I think a black horse is generally considered a symbol of death. And that would make sense since Kate first saw the horse and was reminded of the circumstanced around killing her dad. And the second time she saw the horse, she sent its on its way, just after Sawyer started to show signs of life again.

How's that? English major-ey enough for you?

Liz Kelly: Yep.

I think a case could also be made for the black horse representing a dark horse. As in Kate is a dark horse, a "a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence." Meaning Kate thought she was just a farm girl from Iowa, but the fates have a bigger destiny in mind for her.

It was the black horse that actually had me thinking -- earlier today -- that perhaps Kate wasn't just put on the island to annoy me. That she may actually serve a bigger purpose in all of this than we yet realize.

Also, we need to point out the obvious: Black horse. White polar bears. So again with the black/white duality.

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Jen Chaney: I didn't get to mention this in the intro, so I'll just share it here because, if no one else does, Liz might appreciate it.

So I'm watching the end of "What Kate Did," when we see that key old-school e-mail exchange between Michael and a person who appears to be Walt. (The flashing "Dad?" on the monitor? Pretty awesome ending to a show.)

And yet, during this viewing, all I could think was, wouldn't it be awesome if, during this exchange, a photo suddenly appeared on Michael's screen? And it was a picture of Andrew McCarthy looking super-cute. Than Michael could stand up and there, standing right across from him in the Hatch, would be Blaine! And then Michael and Blaine could go on a date, and Blaine could pick him up at Traxx so Blaine wouldn't have to see where Michael lives ...

Yeah, I've seen "Pretty in Pink" a few too many times.

Liz Kelly: Hahahaha.

Okay Jen, that almost made me spew water on my keyboard. I can picture that milque toast picture of Blaine filling in pixel by pixel.

Personally, both times I watched that scene I kept expecting the computer to suddenly voice this: "Shall we play a game?"

Jen Chaney: Another '80s movie reference that works just as well.

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The horse: Can someone explain the horse to me? I've seen this episode three times and I still don't really get it.

I thought is was some manifestation of her father, and then when she sees the horse on the island it's some kind of reconciliation between the two, but I dunno...it seems so abstract even for LOST.

Jen Chaney: Well, we tried in a previous response. Did that help or are we full of horse ... um ... stuff?

It was a little abstract. A bit "Twin Peaks"-y, even.

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Book club redux: I know you're reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, as am I (about to start #3). I know this isn't a Lost Book Club chat, but I'm wondering if you'd briefly throw out a couple of paralells to Lost.

Also, aren't LindeCuse, like, obsessed with TDT and don't they want to make some type of project out of it?

Liz Kelly: Let's see...

Man in Black
Parallel Worlds
Ordinary people called on to do extraordinary things

One thing "Lost" hasn't borrowed from the Dark Tower? The lobstrosities, thank god.

Jen Chaney: I'll have to take Liz's word for it since I haven't read this series yet. And yes, there were rumors about Lindelof working on it.

Liz, you asked him about that when we talked to them in the spring, didn't you? And didn't he say it wasn't true?

Liz Kelly: As I recall, Damon gave a non-answer. Something about having talked about it once or twice but that he couldn't think beyond the end of "Lost" right now.

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Vienna, VA: So, Liz, I recall that you are not a fan of Kate. But was that the case when these episodes first aired?

I think that the writers became inconsistent with Kate's character later on, especially in S4, and so people have become disenchanted with her. My guess is that they knew she had to stick around for a while, so they couldn't drive the character forward and her actions became a bit random (sometimes the wiley outlaw, sometimes a bit daft and clueless).

But at the time of these episodes she was still a really interesting character. For a long time there was a question in the back of my mind of whether she had made some private deal with the Others (like providing info on the survivors in exchange for staying on the island in case of rescue).

Liz Kelly: Nope, that wasn't the case at all. Rewatching these early seasons reminded me that I did like Kate. She was nuanced and actually did a really good job with her acting.

I'm not sure exactly when things went sour for me re: Kate. If we keep up this rewatch throughout the fall with seasons 3 and 4, I'll track it.

Jen Chaney: Liz, maybe we can hook you up to some sort of device that monitors your heart rate and vitals so we know the precise second when you let Kate hatred (Kate-red?) into your heart.

It's all in the name of science. And I think America deserves to know.

Liz Kelly: I'm game. Bring it on.

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Midwest: My hairdresser looks like Kate. It's kind of now all I can think about when I go every 6 weeks. Do you think if I told her, she'd take it as compliment?

Jen Chaney: She should take it as a compliment. Kate's hot.

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Spoiler for season three: but Jack was never on the list. Even Mr. Smiley mentions that when Jack, Kate and Sawyer are locked up in the cages on the other island.

Maybe an important clue as to season 6

Jen Chaney: Wait, doesn't Ben tell him that he was, though? Because he has all those files on Jack?

I may be forgetting the details here because I haven't watched season three in ages.

Liz, help me out. If he wasn't, then that's a good point. Could be a significant clue about season six.

Liz Kelly: Hmm, my memory is fuzzy, but as I recall Jack was of major interest to Ben because Ben needed a spinal surgeon to deal with that pesky spinal tumor he had threatening his life. So if he wasn't on "THE" list, he was certainly on Ben's.

Wait -- I just checked Lostpedia -- and according to a handy entry on all of the lists, this reader is right. Jack wasn't on Jacob's list:

In "I Do", Danny Pickett mentioned that "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list".

Jen Chaney: Aha! Lostpedia saves us again.

Ben definitely shared a ton of info about Jack's past with him, though. Which gave Jack the impression that he was being tracked in some way, which is why I thought maybe he was on the list. (It was part of the scene where Ben shows Jack that the Sox did indeed win the Series.)

Anyway, this is an important detail, so thanks to the reader for correcting me!

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Thanks: I'm going to have lobstrosity nightmares tonight. Thank goodness Lost doesn't have any scary, sci-fi creatures. (Except for the Smoke Monster, which doesn't count because it's not animal-like.)

Liz Kelly: You're welcome!

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horse: The horse was part of Kate's past off-island. If memory serves it was on the road while she was running from the feds in Australia causing Kate to slam the brakes and swerve off the road crashing and getting caught.

Jen Chaney: It was on the road when the marshall picked her up, but yes, that's more or less right.

So it appeared again on the island because she was obviously struggling with her issues with Sawyer, who reminds her of her dad.

But the island horse was not a mere hallucination. Sawyer saw it, too. So that made it a little stranger than your usual symbolic mirage.

Liz Kelly: Right, and echoed Sayid's vision of Walt.

Speaking of Walt, I'm still thinking there's something not right about that kid. Did anyone else get the impression that he basically led Shannon to her death? As if that was his -- or his apparition's -- intent?

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Lou Gehrig?: Wasn't Lou Gehrig the dark horse? Oh, wait that's iron horse. Maybe the writers hate the Yankees?

Anywho, I'm thinking about The List too. We learned about it when we thought the others were omnipotent and supernatural. It's hard to purge that perception and interpret the real purpose of the List knowing what we know now. Please help! Ben's people learned about the survivors by infiltrating right? So all they had to "go on" in creating the List was a few days exposure (not background, history, etc.).

Liz Kelly: Well, but Ben purported to get the list from Jacob, yes -- which would make it still somewhat supernatural. And viewed in retrospect, it would seem as if Jacob may have been trying to draw the "good" people to him in preparation for the coming war with the Man in Black. Or not.

Jen Chaney: And re: the Yankees: Carlton Cuse is a big Red Sox fan and, I believe, Lindelof is a Yankees guy.

That said, I don't think the horse has anything to do with all that. But isn't it inspiring that those two can work together without killing each other? I mean, if Liz were a massive Duke basketball fan, this entire partnership would crumble instantaneously.

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Similar to the Black Horse: There is an episode (so sorry I don't remember which season) that features Sayid. The one where the woman he tortured's husband kidnaps him and tortures Sayid. The woman has a cat. That same cat is on the island at Mikhail's house. Is it just symbols from their former lives follow them to the island, or is it some sort of melding of time lines.

Jen Chaney: Good point.

That was Mikhail's cat, though. Who the heck does that horse belong to? Did he accidentally wander off the set of "The Black Stallion"?

If Kelly Reno shows up on "Lost," I would be super-excited!

Liz Kelly: Maybe he (the horse) is a descendant of horses being carried on the Black Rock. You know, like Misty of Chincoteague.

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Vienna, Va.: "And I have to wonder, why ... were the original Losties not targeted in the same way."

The Others seemed to avoid the area around the Swan station. After all, they could have gotten rid of the guys pressing the button back when the rest of Dharma was purged, but they didn't. Tom mentioned the survivors going where they "had no business" (which I took to be the hatch). And there were times when Ben/Henry seemed truly spooked by the place, even when he was alone and didn't need to pretend.

I guess the events at the end of S5 are meant to explain that, though I still sort of hope for a final "in the aftermath of the Incident" episode that fills in the gap between then and Desmond's arrival at the Swan.

P.S. We saw people riding horses in S5, so they did exist at one point on the island. How about we name it "Wildfire."

Liz Kelly: You just had to go and invoke "Wildfire," eh? You leave me no choice, then:

Jen Chaney: Now THAT'S music, ladies and gentlemen.

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Locke and Eko: Locke said, about backgammon, two sides, one light, one dark. So I was thinking that the intent was to have two prophets, one light, one dark. But which one was intended to represent Jacob, and which to represent No. 2?

Jen Chaney: That's the thing. I think Eko, at least based on what we see of him, is on a more clear path to leaving behind the darker side of his nature. Especially once he gets all that Other-killing out of his system.

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Capitol Hill: What Hawaiian island do they film LOST on? I just booked a trip to Maui in November with my boyfriend and I keep fantasizing that I'll casually run into Josh Holloway at our resort. And yes, my boyfriend knows this and understands my obsession with him! I think he's hoping he runs into Evangeline Lilly the same way...

Liz Kelly: Keep in mind that these people have actual homes -- they don't just hole up at the Ritz when filming. But, if you want to maximize your chances of brushing up against "Lost" or Losties, you'll need to head over to Oahu -- where most of the show is filmed.

Liz Kelly: Ooh, actually, I just found this really cool site that lists tons of specific filming locations -- complete with pix, but only for the first four seasons.

Jen Chaney: There are spoiler sites that also tell you where they are filming. Only problem? They could potentially reveal some details about season six. So only look for those if you don't mind stumbling onto things in advance.

Give Josh Holloway our best!

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Michelle Rodriguez: I seem to recall that she was never supposed to be a "regular" cast member on Lost, anyway, and that the whole plan was to make her kick-ass and important, and give her a great death. They threw Libby into the mix because they didn't think the audience would have enough of an emotional response to just seeing Ana Lucia get shot. Cynthia Watros, on the other hand, was absolutely devastated after moving her family to Hawaii just in time to lost her job.

I do have a question about season six, though - is it true that they're doing an extra hour? I thought I read that, but I can't find it now.

Jen Chaney: Yes, I believe they are doing an extra hour. I, of course, can't find it right now either. But I believe that's correct.

Thanks for the Rodriguez download. In a related question: what the heck is the deal with Libby's post-crash outfit? Never gave it much thought until viewing these episodes this time around. And I was like, who wears that weird wrap-around thing on a plane?

Liz Kelly: I've been puzzling over that thing, too. Do we know why Libby was in Australia? Maybe she was vacationing and that's some kind of early take on a maxi dress. In any case, I don't understand why the Tailies couldn't at least wash their get-ups once in a while. They had 48 days.

Loved it when Charlie said something like, "Looks like things got a bit 'Lord of the Flies' over there."

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When it's all said and done: How satisfied do you think you'll be with the answers to everything? I doubt it will be 100%, but will it be 75%, 50% 10%?

Jen Chaney: For obvious reasons, it's kind of hard to predict.

But I am going to say 80 percent, with the hope that it turns out to be 90.

Liz Kelly: I'm with Jen here.

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Walt: So, my menory is fuzzy on this: Who was actually typing to Michael on the computer? Isn't wasn't actually Walt, was it? Or it was Walt under the control of Others/Ben? When I rewatched it last night, the first thing I thought was "that's Ben typing, not Walt." Am I off base?

Liz Kelly: Oh man, my memory is fuzzy, too, but I think I remember later finding out it was the Others.

Jen Chaney: It definitely was not Walt. They sent those messages to lure Michael to the Others' camp.

But exactly who did the typing? Can't remember. Maybe Mrs. Klugh?

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You're right, Liz...: Backwards-talking-ghosty-Walt definitely led Shannon to her death.

And that's why backwards-talking-ghosty-Walt is my hero.

Liz Kelly: Oh dang, that's harsh. Poor Shannon. So misunderstood.

Liz Kelly: And I've been referring to him as "Wet Ghost Walt."

Jen Chaney: And next time we see him, he'll be Wetter Ghost Walt.

You shouldn't speak ill of the dead, unless you're referring to Nikki and Paolo. That's just common courtesy.

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Arlington, VA: Kate Annoyance Point: I found it in Season 3. After she hooks up with Sawyer and then starts to pine for Jack. A lot of the dialogue and the character's actions just don't ring true. I think the writers were pushing the character to act out of character and be all "torn between two lovers" and that's what is annoying me so much about her now.....

Liz Kelly: Yeah, the whole love triangle definitely had something to do with it. It stopped being believable at some point. That kind of dynamic can only hold for so long.

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Jen Chaney: As always, it's been a pleasure. Join us to discuss three more episodes -- "The 23rd Psalm," "The Hunting Party" and "Fire + Water" -- during next week's chat at 3.

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