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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Multiple Monsters ("Lost" Recap)




Episode: "Further Instructions"
Flashback: Locke
Original Air Date: 10.18.06

Since I’m feeling a bit under the weather (and just choked down some foul-tasting cough suppressant – yummy) I’m going to make this “Lost” recap short and sweet (or, at the very least, shorter and sweeter). Going to try and condense it down to five awesome things to talk about.

1.) The Freak-Out
Locke, blasted away from the Hatch in Season 2’s blinding season finale blow-up, started the episode mute. What’s good about this is that we know now that the ‘medical miracle’ element of the hatch’s electromagnetic craziness didn’t dissipate like the heavenly white light. So, that means: Locke’s legs won’t give out, Rose won’t suddenly drop dead of cancer, and Sun won’t lose her lovechild. After coaxing Charlie, who started off the episode at his most annoying but ended up being pretty charming and funny, to help him with his sweat tent, things got totally freaky. This is the weirdest the show has been, visuals-wise, since Charlie’s Godly visions last year (which led to baby Aaron’s baptism). It was also totally fucking brilliant: The characters being reassigned as people in the airport, Boone as blood-spattered spirit guide (“I was the sacrifice the island demanded”), and the assessment of who needed to be saved, when. It was really weird in and of itself but also creepy for it’s implications, like Boone looking towards Charlie & Claire & Aaron and going “they’re good… for now.” It was totally bizarre in the best possible way and a good way to amp up the weird quotient.

2.) Multiple Monsters
One of my favorite things about this episode was the acknowledgement that Smokey the Cloud Monster isn’t the only thing menacing the islanders. The exchange between Charlie and Locke when Locke says “Sawyer shot a polar bear” leads to all kinds of speculation. Was the beast that Locke faced down in Season 1 this giant polar bear and not Smokey? (I do believe this polar bear was way more huge and monstrous than the one Sawyer took out in the pilot – and that it will be back.) Some of the best moments of the episode came from the polar bear, from Charlie’s assessment that “Polar bears are like the Einsteins of the bear community” to the skeletons littering the bear’s cave. It was great and scary and enriching, but it makes me hungry for EVEN MORE MONSTERS. I just can’t get enough.

3.) Locke the Hunter…
… or Locke the Sucker? He talked about the sweat lodge (this in his rustic flashbacks) being the place where you go to decide if you’re a hunter or a farmer. For most of the episode, as he befriended a new Padawan (to mirror Boone or Charlie), it appeared he had decided he was a farmer. He was in a place with a “real family,” seemed relatively happy with things, and was optimistic about himself and his place in a greater whole. Then his hitchhiking friend turns on him (a pattern emerging here, John?) and he reveals what the sweat lodge really said: he’s a hunter. This illuminates some things in the show – up until now we thought that his ‘tracking’ and ‘knifing’ and all that from season 1 came up since he had prepared so long and hard for his ‘walkabout.’ Turns out it happened much earlier (way before his crippling accident that left him wheelchair bound).

4.) Mythos (or What’s in a T-Shirt?)
Quickly: most of the Easter eggs in this episode came in the form of what was printed on people’s T-shirts. First off, there was the Geronimo Jackson T-shirt the narc was wearing (which was questioned by that creppy guy from “Twin Peaks” in Locke’s hippie commune). This isn’t the first time that Geronimo Jackson has been inserted into the show (it was in an episode called – what else? – “The Hunting Party” from last season) but its meaning has yet to be revealed (or even really hinted at). Only time will tell on this one. Also, one of the skeletons was wearing a Dharma T-shirt. Could this have been one of the Hatch-dwellers pre-Kelvin? Or was it just a Dharma person who was patrolling the area? Lastly, it should be noted that the tie-dyed shirt that Hurley gives Desmond seemed to relate to the hippie, earth-changing mentality of the Dharma Initiative. Make your own kind of music, indeed. [ALSO, the numbers appeared twice: once in the narc’s badge number and on Hurley’s computer during the freak-out hallucination.]

AND…

5.) The Former Hatch-Dwellers
Locke went mute and then went on a new vision quest, Desmond was naked (Hurley’s question: “So the hatch blew off your underwear?”), Eko was taken by a giant mutant polar bear (and left for dead – he’ll presumably gain consciousness in a future episode) and none of them have any real clue as to what happened when Desmond turned the magic key. Desmond suggested that something “imploded” but we really don’t know. All that we know is that Desmond has been left with certain abilities… Abilities that make him an even more exciting and interesting character in the canon. It doesn’t feel forced or silly, but new and unnerving. And the final moments between Hurley and Desmond were shockingly good.


The last thing I want to talk about is how slyly they introduced new characters. Locke shouted orders to two of the previous ‘red shirts’ (that’s a “Star Trek” reference, I’m going to fess up), addressing them as “Nikki” and “Paulo.” Two new cast members! Hurrah! Very slick, guys. Overall I thought this was a great episode, heavy on the action and scariness, with some very nice character moments and humor (you have to love naked Desmond). Not too big on enriching the mythology, but when it’s this much fun, who cares?

That’s it for me (for now).

Tah

D

1 Comments:

Blogger The Frustrated Dinosaur said...

Very nice, my friend. You are not the only one who refers to the random survivors as "red shirts-" the ultimate red shirt moment is the science teacher who blows up in season one, right after explaining how dangerous dynamite is. And I'm not even a Star Trek fan.

11:46 PM  

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