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Lost: Maternity Leave

Sawyer: "No boys allowed, huh?"

This show is dominated by male characters, and it was refreshing to have an episode that focused almost exclusively on the women. How about that girlpower? Kate got to take charge and lead an expedition into the jungle, which was just her thing. Claire got to do something more than scream about someone hurting her baby. And I loved that there was absolution for Danielle Rousseau.

Danielle saved Claire's life way back when, and got nothing but grief in return. I desperately want Danielle to get her daughter back now. (Wasn't Mira Furlan wonderful in this episode?) Alex, or the teenager I'm assuming is Alex because she looks so much like Mira Furlan, saved Claire's life and certainly didn't appear to be "infected." Does she take the vaccine? I wonder if the "infection" is still real. I wonder if it ever was. Maybe sixteen years ago when Danielle's crew "changed," but what about now?

The raggedy costumes and the spirit gum for Zeke's beard implied that the Others were faking the whole "lost boys" bit. Are they playing roles in the social experiment? Creating an illusion to perpetuate fear? Ethan said that there wasn't enough vaccine for both Claire and her baby. That implied that there were no new supplies of anything. Maybe the experiment, whatever it is or was, was abandoned a long time ago.

The nasty Henry Gale was working on Locke. That's such an old trick that I was disappointed in Locke for falling for it. I was also disappointed that Jack and Locke didn't tell anyone about Gale. Why haven't they? Claire didn't know about Danielle killing her crew, either. This is a common problem on the Island – no one shares information. And it's unbelievably stupid. Aren't they in permanent danger? Don't they have a common enemy? They need to have town meetings and share everything.

Like the forty days of silence, Eko carried out another ritual to atone for the two men he killed. He held on to a reminder of his sin – those two tiny chin braids – until he could confess to a member of his victims' family, in the form of Henry Gale. Eko is even scarier-looking than Sayid. When Eko came into his cell, Henry Gale must have thought that Eko was going to take up where Sayid left off. And for a moment, so did I.

Character bits:

This episode allowed Claire to work through her guilt about her plans to give up her baby for adoption. Let me add that there's nothing wrong with giving up a baby for adoption.

We got to see Libby in full shrink action, hypnotizing Claire.

I had a problem with Claire leaving her baby behind for one major reason. Wasn't she breastfeeding? What did Sun feed Aaron while Claire was gone? Diluted coconut milk?

Zeke and Ethan appeared to have a boss, or someone they were afraid of. "Well, what am I supposed to tell him? You know what he's going to do when he finds out."

Sawyer had new reading glasses. I liked the old glasses better.

What was Eko doing with the trees? Was he building something? A church, perhaps?

Sawyer called Kate "Thelma." Thelma and Louise reference. More girlpower.

Danielle advised Claire to kill her own son if he was infected. I wonder if Danielle would be capable of killing Alex under those circumstances. I think not.

Bits and pieces:

— Jack said they'd been on the Island for two months. In which case, how did Aaron catch roseola? Did it come from the Others, somehow?

— All of the episode flashbacks took place on the Island. That was new.

— Claire dreamed about the airplane mobile over the crib back in episode 10, "Raised by Another." Wasn't that before she was kidnapped by Ethan? I'm going to have to re-watch that one. Also, Claire mentioned the song it was playing, "Catch a Falling Star," at some point earlier in the series.

— The vaccine bottle had the same numbers on it that Desmond's did: 4-8-15-16-23-42.

— This is a stretch, but the tree trunk that Claire saw had branches in the shape of the Hebrew letter shin.

— The third bunker had a Dharma symbol with a medical caduceus. The Others abandoned this bunker. Are there so many that they can afford to leave one behind? Or were they just worried Claire would lead the Fusies back to it, which she eventually did?

— The sliding horn at the end of a segment was back. I hate the sliding horn.

— The book Sawyer was reading was Lancelot by Walker Percy. (I thought at first that it was the car manual.) And Locke gave Henry Gale a copy of The Brothers Karamazov to read. "Dostoevsky. You don't have any Stephen King?"


Claire: "Are you a mother?"
Sun: "No. I'm not."
Sun looked odd there, as if there was something she wasn't saying. Did she lose a baby? Is she pregnant?

Danielle: "You're not the only one who didn't find what they were looking for."

Ethan: "We're good people, Claire. We're a good family."
Did he really believe that?

Henry Gale: "Are you the genius? Or are you the guy who always feels like he's living in the shadow of the genius?"
Locke and Jack were compared to Hemingway and Dostoevsky. Locke is certainly the kind of guy who would admire Hemingway. I don't know enough about Dostoevsky to compare him to Jack.

My favorite line, as usual, was Sawyer's.
Kate: "I need a gun. And you don't get to ask why."
Sawyer: "Well, Thelma, seeing as I got all the guns, I do get to ask why."
Kate: "No, you don't."
Sawyer: "Yes, I do. Watch. (pause) Why?"

Very, very good. At least three polar bears,

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


  1. One of the reasons I love reading these reviews is to see what little tidbits you pick up every week. As I was watching this one, I was so sure I had one that you had missed. But, I should have known better. It was the one about Sun looking odd at the question about being a mother and wondering what she was going to feed Aaron. :-)

    We certainly are getting to know a lot of the Others, one by one. First Ethan, then Zeke, then Henry, now Alex (that just had to be Alex). I was interested to see Ethan acting somewhat human. Although he was drugging Claire, it felt real to me when he told her he was going to miss her. Even though I think bullets bounce off them, are there still human emotions in there somewhere?

    The other thing that struck me was Henry knowing exactly what Jack and Locke were talking about and exactly how to play Locke. Is he getting help somehow?

  2. "I had a problem with Claire leaving her baby behind for one major reason. Wasn't she breastfeeding? What did Sun feed Aaron while Claire was gone? Diluted coconut milk?"

    Luckily, Desmond's hatch had a breast pump and a bunch of bottles. Surely, they meant to include that on a deleted scenes special feature somewhere. :-)

    It's difficult to comment on this episode without spoiling anything, so I'm just going to point out how cool Henry Gale is, and how interesting it is to watch everyone react to him. He's his own kind of blank slate: Sayid (in "One of Them"), Eko, and Locke all work through their issues (or, in Locke's case, don't work through their issues) with him. He can be whatever they want him to be: someone to hate and torture and mourn with (Sayid); someone to confess to (Eko); someone to try to one-up (Locke).

    Henry Gale asked Locke if Locke was the genius, or the person who stands in the "shadow" of the genius. Fascinating quote in light of many later things, not one of which I can talk about here.

    And now I've got a confession that is either embarrassing or obvious: perhaps because of the people I watched the show with, I thought Locke was being portrayed as something of a messiah in these first two seasons. That we were meant to put our faith in the man of faith, and to empathize with his moments of doubt and weakness. But watching "The Long Con" and this episode within a 24-hour period drives home just how naive Locke is--and how little he understands his own naivete.

    I wonder if that story about Hemingway really is true. I can't imagine two more different authors than Hemingway and Dostoevsky. Stranger things have happened, though: Faulkner was jealous of Margaret Mitchell. :-)

  3. Thinking again about those interrogation scenes, which I think are some of the best scenes on this entire show:

    --I love the "You have good ears"/"You have thin doors" repartee between Locke and Henry Gale. Those two have some excellent back-and-forth moments later in the show, too. (No spoilers is hard!)

    --Up until this rewatch, which is at least my 3rd and might be my 5th (of this episode), I always heard Henry Gale say that he mined "non-metallic metals," and I've always been really bothered by the fact that nobody asked him to clarify what on earth that meant.

    --If a person were to try to boil Lost's brilliant insanity down to just one scene for a newbie, I think the interrogation scenes would work. Not just for the way that Locke, Eko, Sayid, and Jack all treat Henry differently depending on what how they are feeling. Not just for the way that Henry becomes an ambiguous signifier like the button and the Island itself.

    But also for the way that the Doestoevsky book has relevance. There's the famous Grand Inquisitor scene in The Brothers K, so there's allusion. But there's also the sort of "clue" that viewers are meant to pick up on, even if the characters don't: when asked if there is any Stephen King available, Locke says the library is a bit out of date. But that translation and edition of the Brothers K, which is the one I own, is fairly recent. So it's a clue that the Hatch isn't as out of date as it seems to be; that book is probably about the vintage of the washer and dryer.

    Plus, there's Doestoevsky's life to consider, too. After a near-execution, he became a man of deep faith. Shades of Charlie there, but also Eko, and--of course--Locke, our ultimate man of faith. So when Henry Gale implies that Locke might be the Hemingway figure, standing in Doestoevsky's shadow, Locke gets upset and doesn't realize how much he has in common with Doestoevsky already.


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