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Lost: Because You Left

Sawyer: "First things first. Give me your shirt."

[I'm doing the two parts separately. This is a review of part one only.]

Did absence make the heart grow fonder, or was this episode a hoot and a half? I was bouncing around and laughing, I was so delighted. It was like a gift to the fans tied up with a great big bow. (Yes, new viewers would have been totally Lost, but tough. Rent the first four seasons, new viewers.)

Every season has opened by introducing a new faction and new characters. Not this time. And interestingly enough, there were none of the standard character flashbacks or flashforwards. Just lots and lots of stuff about the characters we love and the situations that have merrily confused us for the past four years. In fact, there was so much juicy goodness that I almost don't know where to begin. No, wait. I do.

Yes, we have time travel

Even though it was established last season, this episode confirmed that There Really Is Time (and Space) Travel Going On. Good thing we had a time traveling physicist around to explain it to the cast, huh? Faraday's explanation about time as a stream that can be traveled in both directions but can't be changed explained (for me, anyway) why Michael couldn't kill himself. It wasn't a mystical Island consciousness that stopped him; it was the time stream asserting itself. It might explain the Walking Dead, too. Are the dead that are walking around not supposed to be dead, perhaps?

The jumping around in time also mimicked the structure of the entire series. Flashbacks and flashforwards have always been given to us out of order, haven't they?

The Island, and miscellaneous delightful details

I just laughed through the entire opening flashback to New Otherton and the outtake from the Dharma orientation film. Apparently, the guy we've seen so many times with so many names (as well as now and then with a false arm) is really called Dr. Chang. Faraday was there working as a grunt during the discovery of the Time Machine Anomaly Wheel Thingy. I guess his pink hairdryer time machine really does work. Unless he's just skipping around even more than everyone else does. No, it seemed deliberate and undercover.

Loved the different states of the Hatch. And paranoid Desmond in his yellow hazard suit and gas mask. And the Nigerian plane crashing. And Locke climbing up to it again, and falling down just like Boone, and getting shot again. And Ethan showing up with a rifle. Yes, it was confusing and all over the place, but it was also great fun.

Sawyer and Juliet seem to have developed a connection. That's probably because he's the new Jack now. Or maybe she was subconsciously affected by the fact that he wasn't wearing a shirt for the entire episode. I wonder if that was producers' way of apologizing to Sawyer fans for keeping him so filthy and in a cage for half of season three?

Charlotte now has the fatal time travel nosebleed. Ben was right up close to the Time Machine Anomaly Wheel Thingy last season, and it didn't kill him. Because he's "special," right? Possibly for the same reason that Richard doesn't jump around in time?

The Oceanic Six and Desmond

Sayid, my favorite assassin, was channeling James Bond. (Knives in the dishwasher. Ick. At least the points weren't sticking up out of the guy's chest.) And Sun has become an international woman of intrigue. What is she up to with Widmore? I don't believe she just wants to kill Ben. Is Sun becoming a bad guy, too?

The key fact seems to be that Richard told Locke he had to die in order to convince the Oceanic Six to return to the Island. (That might be why I kept expecting Locke in the coffin to open his eyes.) Coming back to life would certainly be convincing, wouldn't it? What about Walt? Does he not count because the Island let him go? If the dead are important, what about Michael and Jin?

Faraday said that the Rules don't apply to Desmond. He's uniquely and miraculously special. Does that mean he alone can change the time "stream"? I'm glad that his reunion with Penny wasn't the end of the journey for his character. I'd hate it if they'd written him out.

Character bits:

Yay! Jack's terrible, horrible beard finally went away. May it never return in flashback.

Richard gave Locke an old compass, which I seem to remember from the "test" Richard gave Locke as a child. So I guess little John should have chosen the compass instead of the knife?

Dr. Chang and his wife had a baby. I thought women on the Island couldn't have babies? Maybe they had just arrived. Or maybe the Island wasn't killing pregnant women back in the seventies.

What the hell is Richard? It's one of the most intriguing unanswered questions.

Faraday made it, even though he was in a boat with extras instead of cast members. I'm not the biggest fan of the Daniel Faraday character, but I had a feeling he'd be back this season.

When that guy showed up with a court order, Kate was ready to run. She and Aaron were out the door in five minutes. Not a surprise.

Sun was born on March 20, 1980. The passport was issued May 31, 2001, which makes sense.

Desmond was with Penny for three years. Were they on the boat all this time?

Sawyer called Charlotte "Ginger" (come on, that one had to happen) and Faraday "Whiz Kid," "Danny Boy," and... was it "Dilbert"? And for some reason, Kate called Aaron "Goober." Goober?

Bits and pieces:

— Emilie de Ravin and Harold Perrineau are out of the cast. And Daniel Dae Kim is still in, even while officially being blown up. Intriguing.

— The first thing we saw was an alarm clock that said "8:15 a.m." Season two and three also started with a new character putting on music. This time, the music skipped. Just like the Island.

— Dr. Chang mentioned station two, the Arrow, and defensive strategies against the "indigenous hostiles." That was the station the Tailies were in back in season two.

— Miles said that it had taken Widmore twenty years to find the Island the first time. That sounds familiar so we may have heard it before, but anyway.

— Ben and Jack were sharing a motel room. That made me smile, too. They were watching Action 8 news. We don't have a channel 8 here in Los Angeles, but it's one of Hurley's numbers.


Explosives guy: "Okay, so what? We're going to go back and kill Hitler?"

Sawyer: "So when are we now, whiz kid?"
Faraday: "We're either in the past, or we're in the future."
Well, duh. What other options are there, other than the present?

Hurley: "Want a fry?"
Sayid: "No, thank you."
Hurley: "You know, maybe if you'd eat more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people."

Locke: "What is it?"
Richard: "It's a compass."
Locke: "What does it do?"
Richard: "It points north, John."

Sawyer: "Open up! It's the ghost of Christmas future!"

I absolutely loved this episode, so four out of four polar bears. My review of "The Lie" will be up sometime tomorrow,

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


  1. Hi Billie.

    Great review! I, too, really enjoyed the almost tongue-in-cheek Dr. Chang opening. They gave us what we expect (a new perspective on a place we've been before), but this season the "place" wasn't a "place" at all, but rather a time (late seventies? The era of the leisure suit?).

    You asked: what is Richard? To that I add: what are all of the Others? They didn't skip through time with Locke, so are they somehow exempt? Why? How? Why?

    Someone on another website also pointed out that John getting shot near the plane might explain why, when he went to the plane with Boone, his same leg rather mysteriously hurt. I'm sure that has something to do with universal course-correction.

    I can't wait to find out more.

  2. Now we know why and how the "Cabin" keeps popping up in different places....it must be traveling through time.

  3. Hi, Billie!

    Clever, well written review - as always. It´s a joy to read your comments.

    I laughed through the opeining flashback, too. Just because it was filled with everything I´m enjoying about LOST - the camera that gives away information after leting you wondering about what you´re seeing for quite a while, intelligent and funny dialog and storytelling without words...

    Sun is indeed a mystery to me. She has become a very selfconfident women and now it´s hard to tell what she´s up to. I think that she´s capable of killing for her revenge - but I´m not sure that she´s out for Ben. Mabye she´s setting up a trap for Mr. Widmore.

    I really missed that show. And I´m thrilled because it´s back...

  4. I watched the review show (Destiny Calls) and took note of a very interesting choice of words by the producers (writers?). When talking about Sun, the phrase "She BELIEVES Jin to be dead". Believes? Does that mean he isn't? That might explain why Daniel Dae Kim still shows up as a cast member.

  5. It is so good to get back to Lost and your reviews. They always make me smile! Keep up the great work!

  6. Probably the biggest question I have after this episode is "why was Juliet jumping through time, but none of the rest of the Others were?"

    Was it because she's not native? That's the logical answer, but I find it hard to believe that none of the rest of them were recruited, since it seems like that was something they did on a regular basis.

  7. Hi Billie,
    Living in Australia means that I haven't seen the "return" of Lost yet.
    But i enjoyed your review and it doesn't spoil anything for me as I am the type of person that likes (in fact needs) to know the end before the beginning.
    I'm not sure that I will enjoy the time traveling bit, especially if it happens often. But I won't comment too much until I have actually seen the episode
    I'm glad that Desmond is back. I hope that Charlotte doesn't die (apparently she has a nose bleed witch is not usually good sign)
    Can't wait for Lost to come to Australia.

  8. Hey,

    I was thinking about a couple of things.

    Firstly, the compass.
    True enough to the spirit of time travelling, I believed Richard was testing young Locke.
    It seems like Richard is finding the age range of Locke in his present life where the effects of time travelling imprint memories into his mind.
    Think about it. If young Locke knows about the compass then, it will be like Desmond walking up to new memories! Cool.

    And regarding Dr Chang's baby.
    I was thinking about why can't the island allows newborn.
    But isn't that precisely the reason why the Losties can't change the past?
    The island is in a time warp and having a newborn means creating a whole new future of a new being.

    Just my 2-cent worth.
    I had a blast with the 2episodes =)

  9. Hi Billie! I've read your reviews forever, I always enjoy your perspective. Great review, as usual.

    In response to your question about Richard - this might be too obvious or easy, but I think Richard is the Island. It's not that he's in control, but that he's the human embodiment of the Island. It would explain the not aging thing as well as his knowledge of the Island as a whole.

    On a related note, didn't the thing with the Others/Island picking the leaders early remind anyone of how the Dalai Lama is picked? So maybe when Richard went to Locke and asked him to choose, Locke was right to pick the knife. That even though he literally did not pick the item that belonged to him (the compass) he picked the item that belonged to the Island's previous leader. Maybe Locke has always been destined to be the leader of the Island.

  10. Inspired by ChrisB's first-time watch of Lost, I've decided to start my own rewatch. And since Season Five is the only one I own, and I hate watching TV on my computer, I'm starting here. (Also, I've seen the first 4 seasons quite a few times, but have only seen Season Five twice, and Season Six once.)

    This episode really holds up. It's crazy to start here after not having seen the finale to Season Four in a few years, but it still work. I'd forgotten how much I like Faraday. And Miles. And wacky events like Richard and the compass.

  11. Unlike you, Billie, I am a huge fan of the Daniel character. There is something about him that I find charming and sweet. I really enjoy watching him interact with different people, but especially Desmond (whom we know is his constant), Sawyer ( respectful without being cloying or condescending) and Charlotte.

    Leaving aside the fact that a whole episode of Sawyer without his shirt is a little slice of heaven, the character was really worrying me. He seemed to have reverted back to Sawyer of old (threatening to slap Charlotte was a step too far, for me at least) and I was puzzled. But, the look on his face when he said that everyone he cared about was gone, the penny dropped. Of course, he's being Sawyer and masking his true feelings.

    Interesting that they're setting up the fact that the one person who might refuse to return to the Island, Kate, may not have a choice if she wants to continue to protect Aaron. And, who was creepy lawyer's client? It has to be Widmore, right? Whomever it is, does this mean that Aaron is special as well?

  12. "Maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people".

    I love this show!

  13. I don't know if anyone is still looking at these comments but I'm FINALLY watching Lost (only 20 years late, that's not too bad, right?!) and really, really enjoying your recaps. Anyway, I'm finally commenting on this one because you seemed confused about why Kate called Aaron "Goober". It's a pretty common, if a bit old fashioned, nickname for little kids in the southern US. It has the potential to be used maliciously, such as by a school bully, to imply a lack of intelligence, but it's often used affectionately too. The way Kate used it is sort of like the way one might say in a lighthearted way to a little kid, "Watch your cartoon, silly!"

  14. Edi, we still read every comment and in fact, some of our older, classic shows get the most hits. Yeah, I've lived in Texas and Mississippi, although I'm from Pennsylvania and I just don't see how anyone could call a small child Goober. :)


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