”Lost”: The fetus of doom
Good morning. My name is Whitney, and I’ll be your Lost stewardess. I’d offer you a moist towelette to freshen up, but sadly, we’re about to land with week 1 of our TV Watch, week 10 of the show. Please buckle your seatbelts and return all seats and tray tables to their full upright and locked position as I try and address a lot of what’s going on here. I’m sure I’ll miss a bunch of stuff. I mean, have you seen the show? Do you know what’s going on? That’s what I thought. That’s what the message board down below here is for. If I miss something, speak up! But don’t blame me for missing the something. Remember: We all need to contribute if we’re gonna survive.
So, if you’ve just tuned in, a quick series recap. (The rest of you can skip way down past all those boldfaced names.)
1. A plane en route from Australia to L.A. crashed on an island.
1a. No one knows what island it is.
2. Some people survived.
3. Among them: a hobbit, Agent Kendall from Alias (series creator J.J. Abrams’ other show), and that one dude from Party of Five. Plus: hot chicks, Koreans, and a bunch of nameless extras who are undoubtedly thrilled to be earning scale until the monster eats them.
4. There’s a monster.
5. There was at least one polar bear (dead now).
6. There is a looped radio transmission in French that’s been going on for 16 years. It says, ”They are dead, they are all dead. . . . Come to help us. . . . I am trying to reach the black rock. . . . If someone can hear this . . . It killed them, it killed them all. . . . It’s outside, and Brendon took the keys.”
6a. I do not speak French and do not know if the above is correct. I got it off the Internets, and well, you know how those can lie.
6b. The lines about Brendon and the black rock, if real, were not translated on the show.
7. The person transmitting the above is named Danielle Rousseau. She is a crazy French lady who lives in a bunker somewhere to the left of the beach where the plane crashed and who is looking for her son, Alex, and who had a lover named Robert and who has a thing for music boxes and guns.
7a. Rousseau is also the name of a French philosopher who came up with the ”noble savage” theory, positing that all people are essentially good until corrupted by society.
7b. This choice for a name is the narrative equivalent of a brickbat to the side of the skull. Thanks, J.J.! Next thing you’ll be telling us is that last name of the recognized group leader is, like, Shepherd or something. Sheesh.
Most of the post-pilot episodes have been dedicated to telling one character’s back story. Some quick breakdowns of those people:
Jack Shepherd Recognized group leader. Angsty doctor, on plane because his dad died in Australia.
Kate Angsty convict, on plane because she’d been caught by a U.S. marshal.
U.S. Marshal See above (dead now).
Sawyer Angsty con man, on plane because . . . ?
Sayid Angsty former intelligence officer in the Iraqi Republican Guard, on plane because . . . ?
Charlie Angsty formerly drug-addicted rock star, on plane because he was visiting his brother in Australia.
The Koreans, Sun and Jin Angsty Koreans, on plane because she wasn’t strong enough to leave him, although it’s blurry to me why they were flying to L.A. in the first place, and as we learned tonight, blurry is bad. She secretly speaks English.
Locke Angsty former paraplegic, on plane returning from failed attempt to go on walkabout but miraculously cured in crash. Only one to see monster face to face. Revealed in last week’s EW that it looks like ”a camera on a stick.” Since that encounter, has taken on weird/scary spiritual/evil leader/manipulator role. Has a fetish for knives.
Even quicker descriptions of the people who haven’t yet had a turn:
Hurley Smart fat guy. Invented golf.
Michael Smart black guy. Invented showers.
Walt Michael’s kid. Has a fetish for knives.
Shannon Rich snotty girl with asthma.
Boone Her do-gooder lifeguard brother.
Ethan Tom Cruise’s cousin, showed up last week as a former nameless extra who helped Locke hunt and gather some suitcases that contained golf clubs (see above).
Scott and Steve Former nameless extras plucked out of obscurity to work for slightly more than scale!
Okay. If that’s not enough background info, too bad, my friend. The rest of us must press on. Please take a moment to find your nearest emergency exit. Your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device.
Tonight’s episode was All About Claire, the angsty pregnant lady. Turns out she was on the plane because a psychic told her to be. But we’ll get to that in a minute. Overall, a decent episode made much, much better by its absolutely bloodcurdling final moments. On my shiny new Desert Island Satisfaction Scale, it rated a strong six coconuts, with a one-coconut deduction because of all the Nick and Jessica’s Christmas in Whitney’s Personal Hell commercials I was forced to suffer through. But that’s just me. Moving on!
First let’s talk about Claire’s initial nightmare and the continuing function of Locke as this freaky shaman know-it-all who’s putting things in motion and curing people of drug habits and apparently now spending time showing up in dreams. In Claire’s terrorfest, he’s sitting at a table playing with cards — one of the cards having a cool and wildly symbolic knife-unsheathing sound effect to it — and telling her that the baby was her responsibility and ”everyone pays the price now,” which doesn’t really make any sense at that point in the show, but what’s awesome are his eyes, one black and one white, a nice parallel to the backgammon game and the pouch of stones Jack found on the two corpses they called Adam and Eve and . . . oh man, there’s so much. The black and white thing has a significance. The beach vs. the caves thing has a significance. There is a significance, frankly, to a lot of this stuff but I have no idea what it is yet. The most obvious thing is a fight between good and evil, but then I feel like I’d have to start talking about a certain Stephen King novel whose initials are The Stand, ya know? And also if it comes down to a simple fight between good and evil, this show will turn out to be Not a Good Show, in my opinion.
But anyway, Claire wakes up screeeeeeaming and has blood on her hands. Jack says it’s because she was clenching her fists so tightly that she cut her palms open, but all I can think is stigmata. That, combined with her freaky Antichrist baby . . . But we’ll get to that in a minute. Her second nightmare, which also wakes her up screeeeeeeaming, features someone putting their hand over her mouth and then trying to stab her pregnant belly with something. . . . Oh, actually, let’s just cut to the meat of it here:
So Claire, the angsty pregnant lady, is angsty because she was lied to by a total assface boyfriend named Thomas who practically begged her to have the kid and then abandoned her, which is what men do all the time, especially on TV, and I don’t know why we keep falling for it. Sigh. I liked that her first reaction after reading the positive test stick was to make the bed. I liked seeing her thin and happy for a bit. I did not like the bad Australian accent on the friend who took her to the psychic. I did like the psychic, who touched her hands and closed his eyes and then practically had a coronary right then and there he was so terrified. He wouldn’t give her a reading, but then after Thomas Assface abandoned her, Claire went back, and Coronary Psychic said (a) that blurry is bad and (b) that Claire, herself, had to raise her baby, dammit, that ”danger surrounds this baby” and that her ”nature, spirit, goodness must be an influence” (and all the Rousseau scholars go, ”Ooh! I get it!”). But Claire wants to put the baby up for adoption. So after one aborted (sorry) plan involving a cheesy moment with all these pens running out of ink as she’s trying to sign adoption documents, she goes back to the psychic who puts her on Flight 815, which crashes onto this island where there is a hobbit and also a monster.
In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. . . .
Meanwhile, back in real time, Hurley comes up with the idea to take a census. This is spurred by his realization that he knows nothing about Scott and Steve or the vast majority of the 46 people who survived the crash, and so he starts walking around getting everyone’s name and where they’re from and why they were on the plane. Locke was looking for something that found him. Ethan’s last name is Rom, and he’s from Ontario. Hurley’s real name, it turns out, is Hugo Reyes. Eventually Boone reminds Hurley that there’s a passenger manifest and he should just check that, and so he does, and some other stuff happens but what matters is that Claire is sitting in the woods when she goes into labor and Charlie is with her and he goes and finds Ethan and tells Ethan to get Jack and then comes back but the contractions stop and Claire says she feels better and then Charlie says the Words of Doom: ”I told you I’d take care of you.”
Charlie. You never, ever say that. Not unless you want the person with you to die. And sure enough, just as he’s saying that, Sayid returns to the caves to say, ”We’re not alone!” and Hurley returns to the caves to say, ”There’s one person who wasn’t on the plane with us!” and then cut back to the forest where Tom Cruise’s cousin Ethan is staring at Claire from under heavy-lidded eyes like she’s a hamster caught in a glue trap and he’s planning on enjoying her as an afternoon snack. And then: Boom! Lost.
Okay, so totally freaky ending. Totally a billion discussion questions for you all to handle below.
1. Who is Ethan? Well, here’s a phun phact: Ethan Rom is an anagram for other man. Ahem.
2. Is Ethan related somehow to Danielle Rousseau? Is he Alex?
3. Is Claire’s baby really the Antichrist? Did the psychic really know the plane was going to crash? I mean, if she has to raise the kid herself, then the desert island is a good place to be since ain’t no one gonna adopt the kid, but what if evil French people and Tom Cruise’s cousin kidnap her and steal the baby? Was the whole plane crash an elaborate scheme to get the baby? And could Thomas Assface have picked a better baby to walk out on, lucky bastard?
4. Where did the polar bear come from?
5. Do you think Naveen Andrews will marry me?
6. Where’s Vincent been lately?
7. What was Locke making down on the beach, with the sand and the palm frond and the rubbing? I’m hoping for: loincloth.
8. Is Locke getting tired of being the island’s bitch?
9. If Kate sank all the way into the sand, how long would it take Jack to notice? Sawyer? Anyone else?
10. How are these people maintaining their body hair? (Please note: This question also applies to Survivor.)
10a. Where’s Probst?
11. Is ”One sugarplumfairy, two sugarplumfairy” not the cutest damn thing you’ve ever heard a hobbit say?