The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- "The 23rd Psalm," "The Hunting Party" and "Fire + Water"

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, September 10, 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. 10 discussion, watch these season two episodes: "The 23rd Psalm," "The Hunting Party" and "Fire + Water."

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 For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit's Lost Central.


Liz Kelly: Welcome -- sorry, running a few minutes late here as I transition over from Celebritology portion of my brain to the "Lost" portion. Jen, sadly, won't be joining us today. She's off gallivanting around Toronto, interviewing people like Diablo Cody at the Toronto Film Festival. Mayhaps we'll get lucky and she'll pop in to let us know how it's going.

In the meantime, some really good episodes this week: Michael goes commando, we have our first on-island contact with the Others (not counting the spies) and, of course, the Charlie "Save the baby" storyline. All of the above should keep us plenty busy today.

Quote of the week? There were several contenders:

Charlie's "What if I don't? You gonna beat me with your Jesus stick?" to Eko.

Jack's "Why don't you go back and see if I hurt her feelings," to Sawyer.


Sawyer's "Got a little love connection brewing over there, Jabba," to Hurley.

Okay, let's get started...


quote: Charlie to Eko: "What are you gonna do, beat me with your Jesus stick?"

Liz Kelly: Thank you, validation.


Cleveland, Ohio: Fire + Water: This episode has always bugged me. Why was Locke so mean to Charlie? I mean, punching him? Several times? To me, it seemed a little out of character for Locke, especially after he had helped Charlie kick the habit previously -- which made viewers think he had some sympathy and understanding for durg addiciton, like knowing it's a lifetime struggle.

I think he had a ulterior motive in being close to Claire and Aaron because he's such a loner otherwise.

I defintely also caught a whiff of Locke-as-possessed, especially at the end when the camera swings to him. creeptastic.

Liz Kelly: This is a good place to start. I was watching Locke very closely during "Fire + Water" for signs of an ulterior motive and I have to agree that, knowing what we know now, it does seem as if he was somehow trying to thwart Charlie in his mission to somehow protect Aaron. So that could be attributed to influence from the Man in Black, sure. Or is it more likely that it was just ambiguity being sown into the fabric of the storyline for purposes of keeping us on our toes?

Locke was kind of interested in Aaron from the beginning. He did craft the cradle for him, after all. Maybe he was just being protective and was truly disgusted by what he saw as Charlie's inability to get straight.

It is interesting to note, though, that Claire does ultimately have Eko baptize Aaron -- on the spot and without giving Locke (or anyone else) the chance to stop it from happening.


More on possible possession of Locke: So, I found a comment in one of these episodes, seemingly very minor, to be potentially very telling. Locke is talking about remembering silent movies, and someone (Michael?) tells him he's too young to remember stuff like that. In response, Locke gives that great smile of his and says that he's old enough. If Locke is possessed or has been reborn in some way, he might very well recall silent movies.

Liz Kelly: Sure, silent movies and watching "The Taming of the Shrew" performed in London for the first time.


Lexington: In "Fire + Water" there is a scene when Charlie is telling Claire that she has to baptize the baby when the music swells and the camera circles ominously toward Locke, who is standing there observing. I have no idea what it means (beyond just the usual Light v Dark, is Jacob supposed to symbolize Jesus, etc stuff) but it is definitely worth noting and I think by the drama around it, meant to be noted.

Liz Kelly: Right -- thank you. I meant to point that out in my earlier answer, but got off on another tangent. That shot of John looking on was certainly meant to be noted by us and question John's interest in Aaron, but again, knowing what we know now -- that thread is somewhat dropped in subsequent seasons, right?

Aaron gets off the island, but as recently as last season, he was seen only as a peripheral character in the telling of what happened to Kate and Jack off island. I'm hoping that will change in season 6.

At one point Eko mentions a white dove appearing when Jesus was baptized. Charlie's dream also featured a white dove and Claire dressed suspiciously like the Virgin Mary. So the assumption, of course, is that Aaron is somehow of Jesus-like importance to this storyline.


Beltsville, Md.: I posted this last week, too late for the chat. Libby was on flighjt 815 because she was stalking Hurley.

Liz Kelly: Right -- we had that way uncomfortable moment by the washing machine when Hurley asks Libby if he knew her from somewhere before and she deflects with a story about him stepping on her foot.

Another storyline that was dropped like a hot potato in subsequent seasons. Though we do get to see, maybe later this season (?), that Libby was also an inmate of the mental hospital where Hurley was treated.


Spoiler Alert: Courtesty of Doc Jensen: Armchair Casting Director: 'Lost' by Michael Ausiello

Team Darlton is on the prowl for a Caucasian actor between the age of 12 and 14 to play...

Teenage Boy: Sporting dirty blond hair and intense searching eyes, he's wise beyond his years. He finds himself having to deal with a horrible family accident. Recurring.

Discuss :)...

Liz Kelly: Eenteresting. Doc Jensen thinks it has to be a Sawyer flashback gig, but what other blond young men do we know from the island... blond young men born to women with "intense searching eyes?"


Cleveland: In your first response, you wrote "ambiguity being sewn into the fabric of the storyline for purposes of keeping us on our toes." We need a shorthand for this, as it's so often a disclaimer or possible answer to a question... Cna we open it up to the chatters?

Liz Kelly: Sure. Red herrings? Misdirection?


Tweets: Do any Lost stars (or others directly involved with the show) have Twitter accounts?

Liz Kelly: Not that I know of, but it's entirely possible. Though I know Jorge Garcia does blog occasionally: Dispatches from the Island.

His most recent posting is about his acquisition of a "Touch-n-brush" -- apparently some kind of toothpaste dispenser.


Hating on Kateville: My irritation with Kate definitely really kicked in watching The Hunting Party. To me, that's where she started to go all self-absorbed and lame, when she's so desperate for Jack to still talk to her and like her after she got caught by the Others. She wants to have Sawyer and do what she wants and still have Jack's approval and, what, desire? It bugs me.

Liz Kelly: See, that's funny -- I'm still digging Kate at this point. And it kind of seems as if (despite her delirious Jack kiss) that she's pretty much chosen Sawyer at this point. His near-death experience kind of helped her along, it seems. I think the Jack desperation comes from not wanting to hurt him. We'll see.

When Kate really started bugging me was when we started getting a look at her post-island life as a clothes rack.


Washington DC: Seems to me that if you go looking for something, such as a possessed Locke, you can find it almost anywhere. I'm not so sure that a lot of what people throw out there goes further then the complexity of his character. I could also site numerous times when Locke appears to be a broken, teary eyed man trying to find meaning to his life and trying to understand the island.

Liz Kelly: Right -- again, I'm thinking that if Locke is being at all influenced by the Man in Black or some other island agent, it isn't a constant. There are times when Locke's own persona has a chance to resurface. Think of it as similar to someone with a split personality.

Or, you could be right -- he's just a complex guy.


Jesus Stick: Is it just me, or after all this talk about Eko's Jesus stick, does everyone have that Lady Gaga song in their head now? And what exactly is a "disco stick"?

Liz Kelly: I'm sorry, did you say "Lady Gaga?"


Alexandria, Va.: Ok, what is the deal with Jack going to Ana Lucia to "train an army", rather than, oh i don't know, Sayid? Nothing against Ana or police in general, and she certainly wants to kill herself some Others just as much as Sayid does, but professional soldier seems like the way to go, no?

Liz Kelly: I'm thinking that maybe Jack wanted to go to someone who he knew would be on board with the idea of going on the offense. And, as we know, Ana Lucia has a big score to settle with the Others -- who killed or captured a big part of her band of survivors. She's also tough and seems to be more akin to Jack in the sense of acting first and acting questions later. Sayid tends to be a bit more cautious, though just as bad ass.


Lexington: "So the assumption, of course, is that Aaron is somehow of Jesus-like importance to this storyline."

Maybe I'm reading too much into it (probably) but that made me think of John the baptist, the one who actually baptized Jesus.

I wonder if he was so interested because perhaps he knew that the baptism would (and seemingly did) "save" Aaron from future bad things --it certainly seems to have spared him from a helicopter crash, the loss of his mother, from creepy ghostly Christian during that loss of his mother, and from having to return to the island to potentially face the Man in Black? Lots of things could be attributed here.

Liz Kelly: True, though we don't know yet that Aaron won't return to the island in the coming season.

And, absolutely, I think the baptism did need to happen. But was that how Charlie actually saves Aaron? Or was it Charlie's (supposed) death at the Pearl that saved Aaron?

Don't we have another Charlie vision yet to come? Involving a helicopter?


Locke and Aaron: Also recall the S1 episode (Raised by Another, I think), where Claire has the dream in which Locke (with the one black eye and one white eye) accuses her of letting someone else raise her child, and how that led to bad consequences. And later Kate has a vision of Claire telling her not to bring "him" back (but ambiguously, she might have meant Locke).

So if they intend Aaron to be an important character this season (possibly seen as a teenager?) then they can't be accused of not laying the groundwork.

Liz Kelly: Good points, all.

Thanks for reminding us of the S1 dream. That is definitely something to consider as part of the question of Aaron's importance.

Spinning it out in another direction, we later find out that John could have come to the island as a child -- remember Alpert's visit in which John chose the wrong object? Maybe John has some innate sense that Aaron is possessed of the qualities he himself lacked. That's really projecting, tho.


Locke and Aaron: I always thought that Locke felt protective of the relationship between Aaron and Claire because of his own past as a foster child. I remember when Charlie told Locke that Claire was going to give the baby up for adoption, Locke had a notable reaction. Doesn't explain his reaction to the baptism idea, but his anger at Charlie trying to intervene with Claire and Aaron could stem from that as much as No. 2's influence.

Liz Kelly: Another possibility, for sure.

I can't believe we're not talking about Eko's encounter with Smokey. Do we not care because we know that Eko's future -- and impact on the plot -- is limited?


Farragut North DC: Totally off-topic (I've never seen Lost)--has Lisa de Moraes left the Post? I thought she would chime in on the Ellen deGeneres for Paula Abdul news; also, as chat/blog producers, I note that the archive of Kim O'Donnel's Mighty Appetite blogs is no longer listed. Is there anywhere we can find it (and her great recipes)?

Liz Kelly: As far as I know, Lisa D is still with us and, I believe, skedded to chat tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.

Kim's blog is easy to find if you Google Mighty Appetite. Also, she's still writing up a storm for True/Slant and helming a can-volution.


Vienna, Va.: I liked the other posting about Locke's possible age; I hadn't remembered that one. From re-watching episodes through the first three seasons, I've noticed several places where Locke, or others referring to him, use the wrong tense. I'm thinking that maybe the "possession" of Locke is really that he is somehow a combination of Locke's from two different timelines; so he's always out of place. As Brian Wilson sang, Locke " Just Wasn't Made For These Times".

Liz Kelly: I like that observation. Very much. That could explain why Locke sometimes seems truly at sea (sorry) or lost (sorry again) and at others seems to be completely assured and somewhat diabolical.


Alexandria, Va.: I'm inclined to agree with Cleveland that there's something off about Locke's strong response to Charlie taking Aaron, and not just because he seemed sensitive to the addiction struggle. Locke is the one always going around saying the "the Island" wants this or that, faith over logic, etc-- he is the one out of them all who ought to believe Charlie's dream, that it was real, and that it meant something truthful.

My theory; he does believe Charlie, and he's jealous the island is talking to Charlie and not just himself.

Liz Kelly: Thanks.

Also, another detail dropped in "The Hunting Party" that is explained in later seasons: Locke asking Sawyer why he chose the name "Sawyer."


Lexington: I think that's Desmond's vision--where he tells Charlie he saw Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter to go home and that Charlie was supposed to push the button at the Looking Glass station to make that a reality.

Liz Kelly: Thank you. My mind is like a sieve.


Land of the Undead: SPOILER ALERT

So I was thinking after rewatching some of season 5, is Claire dead, undead, alive, in limbo, kidnapped, take your pick? Since we know Jacob was not in the Cabin for a long time and it was being occupied by MIB, who has been manipulating dead Christian Sheppard (right?), can we assume he has also taken over Claire? I presume he wants her for some kind of purpose but since her disappearance, we only saw her in the Cabin with ghost Christian and then people claimed to have seen her when Christian appeared to Sun at the barracks in the last season. I wonder what the purpose is of having her disappear and not exploring that further, since the last season will most likely be something drastically different and will not be about continuing the Island life as we currently know it. Any ideas? I have been disappoined that more of Aaron/Claire storyline was not explored at the end of the season this year. I thought Aaron was important?

Liz Kelly: I have a feeling LindeCuse is aware of the disappointment surrounding the unresolved Claire/Aaron storyline and I have high hopes that it will be picked up and completed to our satisfaction in season 6. Since the end of the unfortunate season 3, this show hasn't disappointed me much so why should it start now?

As for Claire -- my assumption was that she was dead, ala Christian Shepherd, since Jacob (or whoever) seems only able to possess dead people: Christian, Yemi. But who knows -- we never actually saw Claire die and it seems that Kate, for one, believes she's still with the living since she claimed her reason for returning to the island was to find Claire.


Beltsville, MD: Locke beats up Charlie after Charlie was sleepwalking with Aaron out into the ocean. Definitely the appearance of endangering Aaron's life.

Liz Kelly: Sure, Aaron was in danger -- but you don't see three power punches as a bit of an over-reaction?


Locke and Eko: I think Eko's early exit really threw a wrench into the writer's plans. Both Locke and Echo had visions that directed what they were doing on the island. Neither of them particularly feared the smoke monster. Both had at least incidental connections to Aaron. Eko had a traditional religious background, while Locke is more animistic. I think they were meant to be foils for each other throughout the series, possibly stand-ins for Jacob and Man-in-black. But rather than create a replacement for Eko I think the writers ended up going in a different direction.

Liz Kelly: Right. Wish makes me wish all the more that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had stuck around.


Liz Kelly: Alrighty folks, thanks for the good discussion. Jen and the banter will be back next week, when we'll be discussing: "The Long Con," "One of Them" and "Maternity Leave."

Talk to you then!


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