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Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 10/19/2006

'Lost': Episode 3 Dueling Analyses

By Liz Kelly

washingtonpost.com movies editor Jen Chaney and I discuss last night's "Lost" and find we don't agree on, well, a lot.

If you haven't watched, beware of SPOILERS.


Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) looks on as Locke (Terry O'Quinn) prepares to enter the sweat lodge. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Liz: So last week you were missing Hurley. Was tonight's re-introduction his best "Dude" ever?

Jen: That was a pretty awesome "Dude." I wasn't sure who I was happier to see: Hurley or Boone. If I may wallow in shallowness for a brief moment, is it possible for Ian Somerhalder to be any hotter?

Speaking of Boone, let's discuss that dream sequence...

Liz: Ya, it was interesting to see John go all "Man Called Horse" and do the vision quest thing, but the overlong airport sequence struck me as so much filler. In fact, the whole episode -- minus a couple tidbits -- was filler in my book. However, like you I suspect, I'd go through more to see a little Boone.

Jen: I thought the dream sequence was kind of interesting, for a couple of reasons. First, I thought it was a metaphor for Locke reconnecting with his faith. In it, he was rendered powerless: He had to use his wheelchair again and he couldn't help anyone. Unless, as Boone points out, he cleaned up his own mess. But Locke didn't hear Boone say this until he looked up that long escalator above and climbed to the top. A symbol of reaching heaven or reconnecting with God? If it looks like a spiritual metaphor and it walks like a spiritual metaphor, then is is a spiritual metaphor.

Much more after the jump...


Locke's flashback included some familiar TV faces: Justin Chatwin (center) and Christian Mulkey. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Also, on a completely different note, I thought the writers gave us at least a double whammy of "Twin Peaks" references tonight. First, the dream sequence could not have been more "Twin Peaks"-esque. I was just waiting for a dancing dwarf to show up, or Boone to declare that "the owls are not what they seem." And the fact that Chris Mulkey, the guy who played Hank on "Peaks," appeared in tonight's show as the hippie commune pot smuggler just made it sweeter.

Liz:Instead of a dwarf, though, I was hoping for Kyle MacLachlan to saunter into the mix. Still, I'm not entirely sure the sequence needed to be that long or was needed at all. After all, John did admit he was wrong in last season's finale. We saw then that he realized the error of his ways. The dream sequence struck me as driving the point home a little too hard.

What about the polar bears? Is there some significance in the fact that Eko was dragged off by the bear -- which we haven't seen since early in season one (I think). Or were the producers just trying to work another mysterious thread back into the tapestry?

Oh -- and am I the only one annoyed by the filler (there's that word again) characters who show up when they need someone to fill out the beach scenes? Couldn't they have had Rose and Bernard crowd around when Locke and Charlie returned to the beach with poor Eko? Maybe I'm just cranky.

Jen: I think the polar bears have arrived on the island via whatever larger experiment is happening on the island. The writers obviously want to remind us of the polar bear, though I'm not sure why yet. (P.S. I missed that white, fuzzy guy, too.)

As far as the fillers, I know one of them was Rodrigo Santoro will be a recurring member of the cast. (The woman may be a new member, too.) But it was certainly a weird way to introduce them: "Hey, Paolo, help us out. That's right, I said Paolo. You all remember Paolo, right?"

On the filler subject, you're sounding peeved that more isn't happening, which seems to be a common complaint among fans. Think that's why the ratings have dropped?

Liz: Absolutely -- if you read through some of the comments readers have left here and elsewhere around the Web, there's a definite sense that we're being asked to swallow more mysteries without having any of the wide open storylines closed. At a certain point, we need some payoff. I think that's the balance that J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse need to seek -- how to reward the audience for hanging in there for so long while still keeping us interested enough to tune back in.

In fact, the three sat down with ABC's Jake Tapper on "Nightline" earlier this week to discuss the show's complicated mechanics. Here's a transcript of their discussion. Lots of good info there about character (and producer) motivations.

Let's talk about the one real revelation of tonight's show, though: That Desmond can somehow see the future. Remember he seemed to know about John's "I'm going to save Kate, Sawyer and Jack" speech before Locke made it? Did he, like Hurley said, "go all Hulk" after the hatch implosion and end up with some special power? What else will he predict, I wonder?

Jen: I'm really hoping you know the answer to this other question: Why do we know Eddie, the hitchhiker/undercover cop? I definitely know the actor, though for the life of me I can't remember why. But has he appeared in the show before? Is his last name -- Colburn -- of significance?

Liz: To answer your last question first. I don't think we've seen him on "Lost" before, but he -- Justin Chatwin -- did appear in an episode of Showtime's "Weeds" last season and in that little Tom Cruise movie, "War of the Worlds." (And I think he also bears an uncanny resemblance to Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.)

Jen: "War of the Worlds!" That's why I recognize him. I feel so much better now. So, since he was in a movie with Tom Cruise, does that mean "Lost" is somehow connected to Scientology? Dear Lord, that would give me a headache.

Liz: Bite your tongue.

Jen: "Lost" has always been about slow leaks, and I embrace that. But I think what they need right now is a gusher: An episode that explains a lot, as you said, to make us feel rewarded for our loyalty. I look forward to watching that "Nightline" clip.

The Desmond thing was very interesting. My theory is that when he turned the key in the hatch, the electromagnetics did something to him. Somehow he can see the future. Yet, at the same time, it's as though he's gone back in time to the very beginning of man's evolution. Hence, the nudity. And the tie-dyed shirt. I mean really, only cavemen wear tie-dye. (Great. Now that Geico dude is going to get mad at me...)

Liz: Okay, so, the most dramatic moment of the night, in my opinion, was... next week's preview, in which Sawyer is strapped down on some kind of lab table and faced with a really huge, novelty-looking syringe. Clearly, he's in for some torture or experimentation.

How 'bout you?

Jen: Honestly, for me it all comes back to Hurley. Having that knife hit his canteen, followed by his shocked, "Dude," was Emmy-worthy drama.

One last thing I found interesting: The scripture on the Jesus stick that fell on Locke's head. The one legible passage said, "Lift up your eyes and look north." That could mean that Locke should renew his faith and look to God.

Or it could mean he should look to the northern hemisphere where, based on last season's finale, those Portugese guys may or may not be monitoring the island. In which case, Locke really was right: Pushing the button was meaningless.

Liz: Dude, I think you should put on a tie-dye to go with your acid trip.

By Liz Kelly  | October 19, 2006; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  
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