Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.01, "Because You Left"

"You're going to have to die, John."

Woooooooooooooooo! Lost is back!

Did everyone enjoy yesterday's double dip? I certainly did. And I don't know about anyone else, but with no real flashbacks or forwards (unless you count switching from the Island to the mainland a flash forward), the episodes felt... fuller somehow. I think it also helped that Lost has so many different groups of people doing things that we have to follow, it made for much denser episodes than we've gotten the past couple seasons.

Of course, the trade off is having a less self-contained story in any given episode. Even "The Lie," which focused mostly on Hurley, really didn't feel like a Hurley episode to me because we were sprinkled with happenings from everyone else throughout. And while I'm happy things are moving right along, I kind of miss the flashbacks/forwards and hope at least a few episodes this season return to that format (Daniel & Charlotte, hello????)

Lots of stuff to pick through this episode.

Five Questions:

1) Exactly how much does Daniel know about DHARMA and the Island?

Going into this episode, I was under the impression Daniel was on the Island to try and cure himself of his temporal sickness & memory loss, caused by decades worth of frying his brain with violet radiation. But now that we know Daniel has visited the Island in the past - physically visited it too - judging from his age there seemed to be no consciousness traveling there, just how much does he know? How many times has he been there? Did he actually help construct various DHARMA stations?

And it also seems from that scene, that Dr. Pierre Chang was much more important in DHARMA than I originally thought. Every orientation film except for "The Orchid" made him seem like he was more of a prop guy actor rather than a real scientist (and even the Orchid film has him going over a script and getting his nose powdered). But this episode made him seem like the guy in charge. I'm hoping we're at least going to get more "mini-flashbacks" like this season.

2) So people can physically time travel now? And how does this work?

I wasn't surprised that the Island became "unstuck in time," but I was surprised that everyone on the Island seemed to be. So - if I'm understanding this correctly - turning the Orchid Wheel sent the Island somewhere else in time. But it also sent everyone on the Island (all the survivors and people who landed on the Island) somewhere else in time (i.e. somewhere else in time on the Island) as well. O.K. That I can sorta deal with. And it means that the Island can send people physically back in time (which strengthens my thought that Adam and Eve are really Desmond and Penny).

But what happened to the Others that Locke was with? They didn't start "skipping like a record" because they were on the Island in the past? And what about Cindy, Zach and Emma? Did joining the Cult of the Others cause them not to skip as well? Richard certainly didn't seem to be skipping. This puzzled me more than anything in the episode and I hope the writers clarify some of the time skipping "rules" in later episodes.

3) So when Daniel spoke with Desmond (his constant) did that stop him from skipping? Does everyone else (i.e. Charlotte) need to find a Constant of their own?

It seems Daniel's real priority in going out to The Swan station was to give a message to Desmond for the future. Fine. But why is Charlotte suffering from the time jumping sickness? Is she the only one? Will she need to find a Constant of her own?

And if she is the only one, why her? Was she exposed (like Daniel) to high amounts of radiation in her past? Of course, a Charlotte flashback episode might clear a few of these things up. *ahem*

4) So is Desmond's super power that he can course correct? Did Ms. Hawking lie to him?

Why is Desmond "uniquely special," aside from the fact he's already time traveled? Ms. Hawking told Desmond he couldn't change his fate. But did she say that just to scare him into pushing the button. Now that we know she's in league with Ben (and may be Daniel's Mom?!) is she just a someone out to manipulate Desmond? Is this what everything's been about - manipulating Desmond into doing what's best for them? And if it turns out that Desmond can course correct on his own, can change history, can he reverse everything that's happened (including Locke's death)?

Daniel seemed pretty adamant talking with Sawyer and Juliet that you couldn't change things in the past. But then he turns around and tells Desmond he's special - that to me suggests Desmond can change things - and I hope, if Ms. Hawking does turn out to be Desmond's mom, that she puts Desmond straight in the very near future.

5) So what's Locke gotta do?

We know he eventually gets off the Island and kicks the bucket, which sets in motion the events that start motivating everyone to return. Certainly seems to involve more time jumping goodness, but the real question is how will he get off the Island? Will he have to use the Orchid Wheel like Ben? If so, he certainly doesn't have the connections to get him from the Tunisian desert to L.A. like Ben did.

Unless Ben or Ms. Hawking is waiting for him there.


* Loved, loved loved the way Frogurt got "Artzed." Kudos to Darlton for that inspired bit of hilarity. If you haven't seen Frogurt before, then you haven't seen all the Missing Pieces mobisodes. Best work Frogurt's done since, well, this.

* Liked how Dr. Chang played out the record metaphor in the beginning.

* The compass that Richard gave to Locke looks to be the same one he tested Locke with when he visited him as child (in Cabin Fever).

* I like the way Sawyer gets answers. More please. Called Charlotte "Ginger" too. Heh.

* Lots of good lines this episode. My favorites (I'm paraphrasing here):

"Maybe if you ate more comfort food you wouldn't go around shooting people." - Hurley to Sayid

"Ethan shot me!" - Locke
" What goes around, comes around, John." - Richard

"Benjamin Linus appointed me your leader!" - Locke
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" - Ethan

* Loved that Penny had a wedding ring. You go Des! :)

* Sayid's fight in the kitchen was awesome. Em, last night: "That's way you don't load knives in the dishwasher pointy side up!"

* Em also thought that Elizabeth Mitchell looked very... curvy this episode. Is she pregnant again? Not complaining, mind you...

* I have a lot of thoughts about Sun too, but they'll go in my review of "The Lie"


Overall a very good episode. The opening scene was terrific and meaty (not quite as good as the opening five of "A Tale of Two Cities," but pretty cool. And while I missed the flashbacks here, the episode was so chock full of stuff, it really didn't suffer (in contrast, I think "The Lie" did a bit). Bonus points for killing Frogurt with flaming arrows. 4.0 out of 5


Lucila said...

Yayyy LOST is back!!! You are a great reviewer with an amazing memory. I just read your Adam-Eve/Des-Penny blog....whaaaaaaaaat!! I love it. I love it. Im all for it. Just like I believe that baby in the beginning of the episode is our 'that chick likes me' Miles.

Missie said...

OK- I said the exact same thing about knives in the dishwasher. :)

Miles as the baby- I likey!

Capcom said...

Great post!

I think that Richard said that backwards, "What comes around, goes around," for some odd reason. And for Richard's info, the Losties wouldn't have had to kill Ethan if he didn't take Claire and threaten to kill them one by one. Those Others are always twisting things around.