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Lost: Do No Harm

Jack: "What if I asked her because I saved her life?"

Marriage, birth, death. The big three.

This was the kind of episode you watch while shuddering and glancing away. Medical emergencies with no equipment or anesthesia: now, that's real horror. I was actually yelling "No, no, no!" out loud while Jack was steeling himself to amputate Boone's leg. I was definitely with Sun there. They could have used the heroin right about then, huh?

So Boone is still in one piece but dead, and we've lost our first actual cast member. It may have been Locke's fault for lying about how he was injured, but I don't think Locke did it deliberately, no matter what Jack may now think. Interesting that Claire's baby was born almost simultaneously, which brings up all kinds of metaphysical stuff about reincarnation or karma or the Island only supporting so many people at a time. Except there was that woman who drowned, and there are all of Ethan's buddies at the Black Rock or under the hatch or whatever.

Jack's little Island practice isn't doing so well. This is the second patient he's lost. At the same time, his crack surgical team, Sun and Kate, have done much better. Was this an indirect way of saying that technology has no real power on the Island, while personal strength and folk wisdom still does? Okay, I'm reminded that Jack brought Charlie back from the dead... but I always thought that seemed pretty unreal and unscientific.

Moving on to another interesting development, Jack was married? (Note that they didn't show us the actual "I do's.") They made it clear that he was marrying Sarah because of the same overdeveloped savior complex that caused him nearly go too far with Boone. Sarah said that her back had been broken in a car accident and Jack saved her, and she said, "I risk it all." Risk it how? We all know that Jack has a particular sensitivity when it comes to pregnant women in jeopardy. Did she get pregnant and die because she married Jack?

Jack is a fascinating man. I know some fans don't like him, but I don't get why. He's an almost perfect hero: a brilliant, handsome, compassionate doctor with a loving nature, but his emotional baggage and savior complex make him very human as well.

Many of the cast had marvelous scenes here that showed them at their best: Kate steadfastly delivering Claire's baby, Sawyer willingly giving up his booze for the cause, and Jin dashing to Claire's rescue and giving wonderful emotional support to the frantic Charlie. Sun in particular showed what a strong, intelligent woman she is; I particularly liked the way she ripped the needle out of Jack's arm. Her medical judgment was actually better than Jack's, because Jack was too emotionally involved and wasn't able to see Boone's situation for what it really was. Maybe next time Jack will listen to her.

Character bits:

Jack and his father were actually on pretty good terms here, so I'm assuming these flashbacks were earlier than in the other two Jack-related episodes.

Boone survived a big plane crash, but succumbed to a little plane crash. Let's face it: some plane somewhere was out to get him.

Claire was seriously afraid that the bad people had "changed" her baby and that was why she couldn't remember what happened to her there. Guess we'll see, huh?

The herbal remedies and the stick thing was an almost perfect little character moment. It showed Jack's disdain for Sun's knowledge, and Sun's good sense at the same time.

Sayid picked a great day to seduce Shannon. Oops.

At one point, Shannon said to Sayid, "I don't want to go back." I think that was more of a character statement about her growth as a person than a desire not to return to camp. It was adult of Shannon to tell Sayid the truth about Boone, but interesting that she stopped before telling him that they'd slept together. She probably thought it would be too much for Sayid, and I think she was right.

Walt is no longer the baby of the Island. Do you think Claire will name her son Boone? Probably not.

Jack's blood type is O negative. He can play the piano. His best man was named Silverman.

Locke wasn't in this episode at all. Good thing, because Jack needs time to calm down.

Bits and pieces:

— There was the sound effect of a beating heart during the opening scene, which reminded me of ER in the jungle.

— Sarah was wearing a tee-shirt with the number 44 on it. Yes, four is one of Hurley's numbers, and four and four make eight, which is one of Hurley's numbers, but all I could think of was that the writers were just playing with us.

— The raft is nearly ready. I sense an upcoming plotline.

— Ian Somerhalder gets gold acting stars for this episode, as do Matthew Fox and Yunjin Kim. Way to go out, Ian. You have class.

— Great news: Lost has officially been renewed for a second season. Not a surprise, considering the ratings. ABC has the bit between its corporate teeth: the ads they were running during Lost and Alias were frenetic.


Sun: "A hollow needle sharp enough to pierce a noodle." Say that three times fast.

Charlie: "That dilating thing. How do I look out for that?"

Hurley to Jack: "Dude, are you okay? You look goth."

Jack did one of Locke's lines: "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

This episode made me cry. (It was Shannon's grief that did it, not Boone's actual death.) Four out of four polar bears,

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


  1. One of the disadvantages of doing a marathon watch of a new show is that the characters begin to feel so real that, when things happen, I tend to take it to an emotional level I probably wouldn’t if I were only watching one show a week. I cried through the last ten minutes of this one. The fear in Claire and then the eventual birth (I always cry when babies are born, so no surprise there), Claire bringing the baby onto the beach and the look of awe on everyone’s faces, the shattered look on Jack’s face when Boone died and Shannon’s grief all had me reaching for a tissue.

    Of all the characters, I thought Boone was the weakest. It never felt to me as though the writers had found a slot for him the way they have for the others, but his death (which I can only assume will not be the last) was heroic and very well done. As you point out, Billie, it gave so many of our other characters a chance to show what they are made of, and every one of them rose to the challenge. It was a graceful way for him to exit the show.

    And, it’s not such a bad thing he did. Where would we be these days without our favourite vampire??

  2. I've been offline a lot this week, and am just grabbing a moment to catch up a bit with your Lost viewing experience, Chris. It's been fun to read your reactions! Hopefully, I'll find some time to catch up with your thoughts before you finish the series. You are really burning through it!

    I just wanted to assure you that watching it week to week did not lessen the impact of this episode. I bawled my eyes out and was incredibly wrecked for a good while afterward. It just killed me that Boone didn't even get to finish what he wanted to tell Shannon. So heartbreaking! And I didn't even feel that strongly about Boone.

    Great episode. One of the top tier of the season for me, despite the slightly schmaltzy choice to combine the wedding-birth-death elements all into one episode.

  3. The herbal remedies and the stick thing was an almost perfect little character moment. It showed Jack's disdain for Sun's knowledge, and Sun's good sense at the same time

    Excellent point. I really don't like how Kate's character works, since I can never pin her down. (Challenge for future readers: describe Kate in 10 words or less. Her character, not her actions.)

    But Sun's character makes perfect sense. She's been trained in all these wifely things, like useful medical care, decorating, herbs--but she has nerves of steel and is sometimes violent. You definitely don't want to mess with Sun. I think most of the other characters don't realize how intimidating she is.

  4. Perhaps my favourite episode of season one. The adrenaline rush is the same every time. Life and Death's theme in the ending is so moving.
    Jack has to let go,Claire has to accept her baby,all the community draws close to each other,Locke is already an outsider.
    Jack here got me absolutely.
    Great acting from almost all of the cast(they're incredible).

  5. For Josie about Kate:she isn't possible to understand,she's so hard to read,to exscuse. She's totally wild,torn,crazy,selfish e childish sometimes. She deceives,lies,manipulates for her interest.
    But she is caring and selfless sometimes,ready to risk her life or her freedom for help a stranger.
    Like Jack,our hero no hero,Kate is a different heroin,complicated,confused and messed up. A pair so beautiful,Jack and Kate,so different but so alike too,they changed for love.
    Kate,born to run,murderer and wanted,sometime in her life learns to stay,to settle down,to feel a selfgiving love,to let go.
    People loved her,people hated her,I still believe that Kate Austen was a fundamental character for the show.
    VIVA LOST from Italy.

  6. “Many of the cast had marvelous scenes here…” - yes Billie! I was thinking this exact thing watching this episode. More than any so far, we really saw the strength, determination, and ability to come together from each of our main survivors. Even better is how at first the ones around Jack hesitated at his commands, in that initial fog of war moment, but then each one came through brilliantly when it mattered.

    My son at the end of the episode: “C’mon, he’s not really dead though, right? On this island?” It’s a great question, and I think that’s why they showed us deaths of survivors already. This is a mystical island that can do magical things (like heal a man’s paralysis), but apparently it cannot revive the dead.


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