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The Oceanic Six Find There's No Place Like Home on "Lost"

If last night's opening minutes of Lost--in which the fabled Oceanic Six arrive back in the United States (accompanied by Battlestar Galactica's Michelle Forbes as Oceanic staffer Karen Decker)--didn't have you teary, you have a harder heart than mine.

Last night's episode of Lost ("There's No Place Like Home) fulfilled the promise made in last year's season finale: that Jack and Kate (and, yes, a few others) would make it off the island and return home. But just as Dorothy discovered in The Wizard of Oz, there might not be anyplace quite like home but, once you're there, you may just find that both you and the world around you have changed in some rather unexpected ways.

Michael Giacchino deserves every single Emmy award known to man for the elegance and grace of the musical score in that opening sequence as the plane's cargo door opened up and the crowd of family members rushed the plane. How touching was it to see Jack's mother tearfully wrap her son up in her arms? Or how vulnerable Sun looked in the arms of her overbearing parents? And how heartbreaking when both Kate and Sayid noticed that no one had come for them? There was no dialogue necessary in this scene: the music, actors' movements and facial expressions said it all: There is no place like home.

Oceanic Six. Besides for the beautifully wrought sequence of reunion, this opening sequence had some distinct messages for us. I absolutely loved that the co-pilot rubbed a rabbit's foot for good luck, a rabbit's foot that echoed both the one that Hurley's dad (Cheech Marin) would give him (along with the keys to the Camaro he had fixed up) as well as the rabbits so clearly associated with The Orchid Station, much of the focus for this week's episode. And the press conference was perhaps the most literal minefield to date, with the reporters pressing the survivors about details about the crash in the ocean, their time on the small island Membata (which is Indonesian for "doubt"), the age of Kate's "baby," whether Jin survived the plane's impact in the water. While we still don't know who the other two "survivors" were of the initial plane crash, we know that Jin isn't part of their cover story. So just who are the other two passengers who allegedly died on the island? Curious.

Jack. Oh, irony, you heartless bitch. Just when Jack is finally able to "bury" his father and gives the simple eulogy he had carried in his heart for the past year or so, he comes face to face with his father's mistress Carole Littleton, who tells Jack how sorry she is for his loss, especially since it was her fault that Christian was even in Australia. Just as Jack is forced to come to terms with his father's infidelity, he is even more shocked to learn that Christian had a daughter aboard Oceanic Flight 815: Claire. Which means that Jack, when he proposes to Kate and walks out on her, knows full well that Aaron is his blood nephew. Their lies have begun to affect people's lives and the fact that Claire's mom Carole tells Kate how beautiful her baby is, unaware that it's in fact her own grandson, was yet another cruel twist of fate.

Sayid. I loved that Sayid and Nadia were finally reunited after all of these years and the simplicity with which they embraced one another; there are moments in television series where it's more affective to downplay things, to not have the characters spew unnecessary dialogue and this was once again one of the moments: simple, touching, and effective. Sayid and Nadia later show up at Hurley's surprise party (with all of the Oceanic Six in attendance save Sun) and Sayid is clearly shown wearing a wedding band, which means that they have wed at this point. That we know Nadia's ultimate fate only made this entire episode all the more haunting and fragile for it.

Hurley. I liked that Hurley is trying to distance himself from his lottery winnings to little success. I literally jumped out of my seat upon hearing the whispers in Hurley's house but was glad that they didn't hearken back to the island but to a surprise party (complete with a Geronimo Jackson album!). Still, I didn't anticipate the sudden reappearance of the numbers, appearing on the Camaro's dashboard and startling the hell out of Hurley. Methinks that this is the beginning of his descent into madness... or at least into a fragility that requires him to hide away at the mental hospital. Poor Hurley. Maybe he shouldn't have eaten those fifteen-year-old crackers after all.

Sun. The biggest surprise that has got to be the stunning revelation that Sun has used her sizable settlement from Oceanic Airlines to purchase a controlling interest in her father's company. I've always hated Mr. Paik and, after telling Sun that his business matters do not concern her, was thrilled to see the look of shock and horror upon his face when his daughter tells him it's now her company. (Go Sun!) I'm glad that she told him that she blames him for Jin's death (or he's one of the two people anyway... I assume the other is Charles Widmore?) and that he will pay for what he did to both her and Jin. Awesome to see a confident, vengeful Sun for a change and I cannot wait to see where this is going but Sun clearly now has the capabilities to perhaps finance a return expedition to the island. Hmmm...

Locke and Ben. This dynamic duo is unstoppable. I love that Ben "always has a plan," especially one that involves secret elevators, moving the island, and hand mirror signals. Interesting that moving the island is fraught with complication and danger and that it's not an easy task (I didn't think it would be). The Orchid is also obviously Ben's magic ticket off the island, given his appearance in Tunisia with Halliwax's jacket. So not only can the station move the island in space-time but can you use it (and the Casimir effect) to transport yourself as well? Very exciting possibilities here.

Keamy. As I predicted last week, Keamy did wire the freighter with explosives and is connected to a remote detonation device. Which means that either Keamy never meant for anyone to survive this encounter (neither the survivors of the Oceanic flight or the crew of the freighter), or it's part of the second protocol as Keamy ensures that no one can get off of the island once it's been moved. I do believe that Keamy was instructed to head to the Orchid in order to do just what Ben and Locke attempt to do: move the island. With the island shifted, he has no need for the freighter or anyone else on that cursed rock. Which leads me to wonder if Jin and Michael and the others aboard the freighter will make it out of this season alive. As for what is causing interference on the reef monitor, I think Keamy rigged it so that the freighter can't get close to the island... and can't make contact with the castaways.

Daniel Faraday. Daniel clearly knew about The Orchid and even had a sketch of the station's Dharma logo in his journal; it's the very same logo that Ben had on the parka he "borrowed" from Halliwax. As for how Daniel knew about it, the answer is easy: we already know that he's been time-traveling, using Desmond as his constant. Daniel's future self has left him clues and answers in the journal, knowing that he would need these facts in order to survive the coming storm. Hence the mention of both The Orchid and a picture of the station's logo. I had believes that Daniel was traveling to this point in time from the past but it's possible that he's been traveling to various points in his life from his vantage point in the future. Which leads me to believe that Daniel will make it out alive to play a vital role in what's coming next. And did anyone else get a little choked up at the way that Charlotte and Daniel looked at one another as he left the beach with six survivors, bound for the freighter? Aw.

Frank Lapidus. Frank is clearly a good guy and a pawn in all of this. He's trying to help the castaways and, well, help himself too. We now know that Frank threw down the satellite phone so that the castaways could come and rescue him. A good thing too as Keamy handcuffed him to the helicopter so that he couldn't fly off and leave them there.

Kate. I thought Evangeline Lilly was absolutely pitch-perfect this week, showing both grit and determination as well as wounded vulnerability and a real sense of loss as she stepped off of that plane and found herself absolutely alone in the world. For her, it's the reverse course of everyone else, even Dorothy Gale. She's returned home to find it is just the same place she left behind and there's nothing and no one waiting for her. I'm not sure whether Kate was able to hear the exchange between Jack and Carole Littleton, so I don't know for certain whether Kate ever realized just what the relationship between Aaron and Jack really is. If she hasn't heard, what is reaction when Jack finally does tell her? And does it inform their breakup scene when he tells her that she's not even related to Aaron? Curious.

I'm also very intrigued to see where the plotline goes with her and Sayid surrounded by Richard Alpert and his men. While I knew that Richard was slated to appear in this week's episode (darn on-screen credits), I was still surprised that he made a point to surround the two of them and take them... prisoner? I'm not sure what his plan is or whether he's still working with or against Ben at this point. And how do Kate and Sayid manage to be aboard that plane (not to mention Jack) when they're walking around the jungle with the Others at this point?

Sawyer. Poor Sawyer. His haunted expression when he's forced to tell Jack that they "lost" Claire was heartbreaking. POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: Even more so is the preview for the season finale in which Sawyer kisses Kate good-bye as the helicopter begins to run out of fuel. Sadly, I have a sinking suspicion that, in order to decrease the weight load, Sawyer sacrifices himself and jumps out of the helicopter. Will the island let him die? Will he make Kate promise to do something back home? We'll have to wait two weeks to find out.

In two weeks on the two-hour season finale of Lost ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"), the Oceanic Six find themselves closer than ever to rescue, Ben launches his masterplan to save the island, Keamy's men face off with the survivors, and Sawyer and Kate share possibly their last kiss.


Anonymous said…
THE OTHERS ARE BACK!!! YESSS!!!! And I'm actually cheering them on for the first time ever! As Ben keeps saying, he "Always has a plan", and while he suffered a major defeat in "The Shape of Things to Come" with the death of Alex, now he's back and ready to fight! And what everyone seemed to forget this season (Locke included) is that Ben still has an army of Others, waiting for his command to finally come out of hiding. And through the use of some nifty mirror signals, he's now given that order!

I can't wait for the 29th, when (if I'm right) the Losties and the Others are actually going to team up and fight together to defeat the Freighter Folk! Adios, Martin Keamy!! You don't mess with Linus!
Anonymous said…
God I loved this episode. There are plot payoffs and emotional payoffs, and this episode showed that Lost is just as good at emotional payoffs as anything else. Yes, Giacchino is the best in television music right now - I liked the opening music but I liked the ending montage music even better.
Anonymous said…
Did you notice that when Michelle Forbes walks out of the cockpit she says hi to someone off camera before she reaches the Oceanic 6 in the back of the cargo plane. Could it be Mr. Abbadon?
Anonymous said…
What a fantastic ep. i can't really say anything more than you did, as you pretty much covered it all.

Kick-ass Sun was by far my favorite moment.

LOL moment - Sawyer calling the Others base camp New Otherton (or something like that)
"Poor Hurley. Maybe he shouldn't have eaten those fifteen-year-old crackers after all." - Ha!

One of the many brilliant things about this show is its non-linear storytelling, which allows us to watch scenes with a different perspective. Seeing the Oceanic 6 reunite with their loved ones took on an entirely new meaning since we know what happens to them down the line (Hurley being in the mental institution, Nadia's death, Jack and Kate's falling out, etc...)

I thought the use of flash backs was clever and enriched the characters but the use of flash forwards as well really elevates the whole thing to another level this season!

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