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Lost: All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Locke: "Go back. Be the doctor. Let me be the hunter."

I was wildly impressed with this one.

So who thought Charlie was really dead? I sure did. And you know what? I think he was really most sincerely dead. I think the Island fixed him, just like It fixed Locke. And now, like Locke, he's different.

Jack's father, Christian Shephard (what a metaphorically loaded name), wasn't just an alcoholic; he was a complete and total asshole. I was tough on you so that you'd turn out to be a great doctor? What a tremendous load of bull. And Jack bought it, too – at first. He didn't rat out his dad until he heard that the dead patient had been pregnant. Pregnancy clearly means something to Jack, ergo his uberguilt and his reckless plunge into the jungle after Claire. Yes, what Jack did to his father was extreme. It was also justified, and way overdue. And shocking. My mouth dropped open.

Kate got a chance to shine, what with the tracking skills and the tears for Charlie. What confused me was how come she found Charlie, and Locke didn't? Isn't Locke super tracker, tuned into the Island? It's so easy to attribute conflicting motives to Locke; he's so enigmatic. Locke spent the most time with Ethan; is it possible that Locke didn't want to find Ethan?

The search scenes with Locke and Boone were a lot of fun. I especially liked Boone's disbelief that Locke worked for a box company, and his theory that Locke was either a taxidermist or a hit man. I'm a lifelong Star Trek fan and I loved the red shirt reference, too. "Sounds like a piss poor captain."

Since this was a daddy episode, we had more daddy stuff. Kate mentioned that her own father was in the Army ranger battalion stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State, and that he deeply loved the woods. And Michael, our resident Island daddy, got to "go south," although he came back pretty quickly. I think Michael was wrong about why he wasn't included in the search party. Locke probably left him behind because he didn't want Walt to lose his father. Locke may have tried the same thing with Jack in order to protect the Island's only physician. Hard to tell.

On the Sayid/Sawyer front, what a fascinating little scene that was – although I think Sawyer's lines are often so witty and twisted that they seem forced. I really thought that Sawyer would indulge in a little turnabout is fair play torture, but he didn't. And Sayid pretty much apologized, too. Sawyer has been showing his human side for three weeks in a row. Will it last?

Finally, why do "they" want Claire? Baby sacrifice? Are they opening an Island day care center? And what did Locke and Boone find? More old wreckage? A secret government facility? An alien's architectural plans for the Island?

Character bits:

This was a second episode centered around Jack, instead of the as yet unflashbacked Hurley, Shannon, Boone, Mike, and/or Walt. Not that I'm complaining, because it was a humdinger and I'm a Jack fan.

We learned that Boone ran a wedding business and his mom is a Martha Stewart clone. (That's in the domestic goddess sense, not the stock tips and prison sense.)

We learned that Walt's stepfather was named Brian. I bet we get to see him in a later episode. And we learned that Walt, the kid, is very lucky in backgammon.

Sawyer called Walt "Tattoo" and Jack "Dr. Do-Right." Note that Tattoo was a character on, what else? Fantasy Island.

Wouldn't Charlie have a lot of broken ribs?

Claire, who was much mentioned, was not in this episode.

Bits and pieces:

— No eye scene. Of course Jack's already gotten two.

— Since this episode started when the last one left off, it is still twenty or twenty-one days since the crash. There are 46 survivors, plus Ethan Rom, and the uncounted, unknown "they."

— Charlie saved Jack a few episodes ago, and now Jack has saved Charlie. Jack found Charlie before it was too "LATE;" the bandage with the letter E was still on Charlie's finger. I also noticed that, because of his torture at Sayid's hands, Sawyer was wearing similar bandages on his own fingers.

— During the entire dead Charlie scene, we heard a bell tolling. Very effective.

— In the last episode about Jack, we saw his father as a ghost. No ghosts this time. But Jack did hear screams that Kate didn't hear, which was possibly supernatural.

— A helpful reader told me that the necklace around Claire's neck means love, and that the number on Boone's shirt are the Chinese/Japanese numbers eight, ten, and four, meaning either 84, or added together, 22.

— There was yet another mention of $20,000. This particular dollar amount has been mentioned in other episodes, and in other contexts.

— This must be a tough series physically. There was a lot of dirt and sweat in this episode, and the actors looked genuinely tired.


Hurley: "Back home, I'm known as something of a warrior, myself."

Young Walt to Sawyer: "It's stupid to lie about your name."

Sawyer: "So a tribe of evil natives planted a ringer in the camp to kidnap a pregnant girl and a reject from VH-1 has beens. Yeah, fiendishly clever."

Four out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I came to exactly the same conclusion you did about the Island fixing Charlie. I do hope the change is temporary. I prefer jovial, caring Charlie to this guy who actually scares me a bit.

    I laughed out loud at the reveal of Christian's name. A more un-Christlike person it is hard to imagine. I understood Jack's dilemma perfectly. To wait 30+ years for your father's approval and then to finally get it would be a heady moment. And, I can't believe anyone, especially Jack, would want to ruin one's own father. It does explain, however, the conversation Jack had with his mother in "White Rabbit" and why he felt it was his responsibility to bring his father home.

  2. Wouldn't Charlie have a lot of broken ribs?

    Sometimes, rewatching a show that I've already read your reviews for, I have a thought. Like, "Wow, Jack must be breaking Charlie's ribs." Then I reread your review, and realize that you have implanted your thoughts in my brain. :-)

    Charlie's death scene is so intense, and it takes so long for him to revive. Yeah, definitely dead.

    And Jack bought it, too -- at first. He didn't rat out his dad until he heard that the dead patient had been pregnant.

    I definitely agree, but I think there's even more to it than that. When Christian and Jack were talking, Christian got up close, patted Jack's shoulder, and implied that he thought Jack was a great doctor.

    Then, in the hallway, Jack finds out the patient was pregnant (setting the stage of his change of mind) then sees Christian doing the same thing to the husband: standing up close, patting his shoulder, and...lying.

    Christian, like most drunks, is a great liar, and one who knows that the most effective lies are those that are based on an appeal to emotion (in this case, through the forced intimacy of proximity). Jack is called a great liar by Kate in a later episode; she points out that, unlike most people, when Jack lies he maintains complete eye contact.

  3. Great episode,great Giacchino' score. Jack is a great cowboy!one of the best:)


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