LOST Revisited: “There’s No Place Like Home – Part 1” (May 16)

OK, it’s time for the bonus points. All of this week’s points go to spunkybean reader Julie who points out that both Benry and Lock have mothers named “Emily” and theorizes that the two could be half-brothers. Tell me that’s not genius. You can’t, because it is! It adds a mythical dimension to their rivalry, and perhaps being the potential savior of the Island is a genetic trait. Good call, Julie! Now, Benry’s mother died during childbirth, and we did get a more recent look at Locke’s mother in Season One’s “The Brig”. However, given that almost everything that happened in that episode was a scam by Locke’s father, I have no trouble believing that the Emily Locke in that episode was a fake. And they’ve been very careful about reusing character names, so it doesn’t seem like they’d accidentally give these two characters mothers with the same name.

And if I may brag for a moment, back in Season Three, I referred to The Others’ encampment as “New Otherton”, and Sawyer used that name this week. Guys, we are getting so close to an onscreen use of “Benry”. I can feel it!

This week’s title is “There’s No Place Like Home”, which is a nice Wizard of Oz reference. Oz pops up in Lost on occasion, and the more we find out about the Island, the more it seems like a fantasy land. Interestingly, last season’s finale was titled “Through the Looking Glass”, an Alice in Wonderland reference.

Those last few minutes were fraught with tension, weren’t they? Especially with so many people in peril who we haven’t seen in the future. We know Kate’s not getting shot, but Desmond and Locke have no guarantees on their safety. But let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

In the first scene, the pilot has a rabbit foot keychain. Two of those keychains appear in the episode (the second shows up when Hurley’s dad presents his car). That’s worth noting because of Benry and his love of the rabbits. Rabbits are never far away on this show. (By the way, did anybody remember that I said the special feature on the Season Three DVD showing the Orchid Orientation Film was going to be significant? Certainly a lot of talk about that Orchid today, wasn’t there?)

Michelle Forbes of Homicide plays Miss Dekker, the Oceanic rep. I support any appearance of former Homicide cast members. And note that Jack’s still speaking for the group. He does not give up the leadership role easily. I also like Sun’s simple statement, “We are still in shock.” Yeah, you would be.

The number of the plane that returns the Oceanic Six is 1717, and I can find no significance to that number. I tried. You know what happened in 1717? Nothing! History took a year off. Anyway, we get a veritable parade of Lostaway family members. Haven’t seen Jack’s mom in a while, and I’m not sure if we’ve seen Sun’s mom before. Note that her dad can barely even fake being happy. I’m glad to see that Hurley’s dad stuck around, too. Yay, Cheech!

Back on the Island, Frank’s plan makes a little more sense. Setting the phone to monitor mode tipped off Jack and company to the threat on the helicopter. Frank plans better than I do. Interestingly, Faraday is aware of the “secondary protocol”, and Charlotte isn’t. But Faraday has some memory issues, and he does seem a little bit surprised that he knows what he knows. That guy is going to have an awesome back story, by the way. He does have notes pertaining to The Orchid, and one of his notes reads “spacelike factors”. I have no idea what that means. What’s like space except, you know, space? There’s a reason I’m not a physicist.

Once again, Jack is pushing himself too hard, putting his health in jeopardy. And it would seem he’s popped a stitch, with that wound in his side. Huh. He has a wound in his right side. On the one hand, that’s a nice mirror of the bullet hole in Locke’s left side. On the other, guess who else had a wound in his right side? Yeah, that’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jack Shephard, Christ figure! (Come on, his dad is named “Christian”. You knew we were going to get here!)
*** all images courtesy of DarkUFO and LostEasterEggs ***

At the press conference, we get a name for the island – Membata. Of course, since Membata’s actually on a map, it’s more likely a cover story than the actual Island. By the way, the island of Sumba and the village of Manukangga are real, but Membata does not seem to be. It’s also Indonesian for “ambivalent”. Weird, huh?

Also, the story is that on day 103 a typhoon washed up a boat. Note that the boat they use to get to the freighter holds six people, and we have the Oceanic Six. I’m willing to bet that’s the boat they use. And then, on day 108, they end up in Indonesia. 108 is, of course, the sum of Hurley’s numbers, as well as the number of minutes on the timer in the Hatch. Now, “The Constant” was set on Christmas Eve which makes it day 94. At least four days have elapsed since then, but it’s hard to tell. All those time shifts between the Island and the freighter make it hard to keep track. Regardless, we’re at day 98 (at least), so there’s only about ten days until they end up in Indonesia. I never thought I’d see the day, personally.

Once again, we get the story that eight people survived the crash, and two died before they left the Island. I really want to know why that’s part of the story. Who are these two people? We also know that the official story is that Jin did not die on the Island. There’s a theory that he’s still alive, but I think he actually is going to die on the freighter, which is not the Island. I hope I’m wrong, though. Kate claims that Aaron was five weeks old when they were rescued, so she’s fudging the dates a little bit. But then, Aaron is probably small for his age, what with inadequate nutrition on the Island, coupled with a life of pure terror.

I was happy for about 30 seconds to see Nadia. So happy for Sayid. Too bad we know she only has a few months to live. It’s hard to be happy about things on this show.

Now, Benry knows that it’s possible to move the Island, and he knows how to do it. However, I don’t think he’s moved the Island before. Widmore doesn’t know where it is, but the Dharma Initiative does. They’ve been making food drops, after all. Trying to figure out where Widmore stands in relation to the Dharma Initiative makes my head hurt.

Benry’s box of supplies has been there for 15 years – that’s three years before Benry wiped out Dharma, and two years after Rousseau set up the radio signal. Maybe Dharma moved the Island at some point. Regardless, I like that they kept crackers in the box. And who was Benry signaling? He acts like the answer should be obvious, but I’m not convinced. Jacob? Richard “Batmanuel” Alpert? Maybe Locke felt as dumb as I did, and that’s why he kept his mouth shut.

Nice scene with Sun and her father. She really is the only one of the Oceanic Six who left the Island a stronger person. If it weren’t for losing her husband, she’d actually have a happy ending. She says that “two people” are responsible for Jin’s death, and her father is one of them. Does she consider herself responsible? Or is she talking about Keamy or whoever might actually kill Jin? (I’m a little bit in denial yet on the issue of life v. death for Jin.) Note that Sun is the only one who doesn’t come to Hurley’s party or Christian’s wake.

And then we see Hurley – he’s got a bag of Mr. Cluck’s, which is where he used to work. He really doesn’t like change. Nice job with the weird whispering, which seemed like an Island flashback. Weird whispering is never good. He picks up a statue of Jesus, which makes me laugh. As his mom says, “Jesus Christ is not a weapon”, which seems significant now, with the increasing Biblical references. Also, it reminds me of Mr. Eko, who really did use Jesus as a weapon. The Jesus Stick did some damage in its time.

Yes, Hurley’s mom is not a good party planner. Besides the island theme, it’s just not a good idea to surprise a guy who survived a horrifying ordeal and has a history of mental illness. You’re just asking for trouble. And yes, the car in the scene with Hurley’s dad is the same one he’s driving in the police chase that opens this season. Does it seem like a long time since we’ve seen all the numbers together, like on the speedometer? Ever since the Hatch imploded, the numbers have been present, but less prominent. Poor Hurley. His luck’s just not going to change.

On the Island, it’s surprising to find out that Widmore knows about the Orchid. He seems to know the geography of the Island, but not its location. Maybe that journal from the Black Rock came in handy after all. I really want some explanation for Widmore’s strange pockets of knowledge. He’s missing some big pieces, but he sure knows a lot of the details.

Over at the freighter, Sun, Jin, and several nameless Lostaways reach the freighter. I liked Jin’s reaction to Michael – they were quite close after their experience on the raft, but Michael hosed them all pretty badly. Jin’s got no idea how to feel, and I think he really sold that. And then some signal is blocking the ship’s instruments. Boy, I hope there’s a simple explanation and not an absolute worst case scenario. What are the odds?

For a guy who gets almost no screen time in the episode, Keamy certainly looms large. Now he’s got Frank handcuffed to the helicopter. (You have to love that nobody in Keamy’s paramilitary group can fly a helicopter. That’s what happens when you pick your team based on their access to guns, and not a good mix of skills.) Note that Jack and Sawyer are both concerned with rescuing Hurley. Man, everybody likes Hurley. A couple seasons ago, who would have thought Sawyer would willingly put his life in danger for Hurley? Of course, Jack will put his life in danger for a small cactus, because he’s all about the obsessive guilt.

Now it’s Christian’s funeral. Strangely, Jack says that he tried to write the eulogy in the airport ten months ago. That puts the funeral a good six months after the Oceanic Six returned. I guess it wasn’t a top priority at first, but that seems a little long to wait. The fact that Jack actually put the trip at ten months ago probably means there’s some significance to the long gap, though. Otherwise, they would have been more vague about the time. They always used to be vague about the timeline up until this season. Now we’re getting dates and everything.
*** all images courtesy of DarkUFO and LostEasterEggs ***

OK, a couple of weeks back when Jack and Kate fought about Aaron, Jack said “Your son? He’s not even related to you!” The phrasing made me think that Jack actually knew that Aaron actually was related to him, and now we know that’s true, thanks to Claire’s mom. She also says that Jack had been on the plane with Claire for “six hours”. OK, we’ve got the Oceanic Six, six months between Jack’s return and his father’s funeral, and now a six-hour flight. That’s three 6’s people. Are they really throwing the Number of the Beast at us? Or am I just hyper-alert because of the religious imagery in this episode. Probably the latter. Anyway, that goes a long way toward explaining why Jack didn’t want to see Aaron, earlier in the season. Knowing the little turniphead is his nephew by way of a sister he didn’t know he had, that’s a lot to deal with.

So what’s interfering with the signal on the ship? Oh, right. All the C4 explosives in the world, apparently. And that also answers my question of what was on Keamy’s arm last week. That’s the detonator. That nut bar can blow up the freighter any time he wants. Soothing, isn’t it?

This is our first glimpse of the rest of The Others all season. Sure, we’ve seen them in flashbacks, but the present-day Others have not been seen since Benry sent them to the temple. (Other than crazy Harper, but she might have been Island Magic.) Does this mean Kate and Sayid are close to that oft-referenced temple? What the heck have those guys been doing all this time? I’m betting it turns out to be crazy.

OK, so we’ve got explosives on the freighter. Sun gets clear of the Boom Room, but Desmond, Michael, and Jin are still dealing with the bomb. Since we don’t know any of their whereabouts in the future, that’s not a good sign. And you know, if Jin does die, we have to be traumatized all over again. That’s going to be rough.

I’m not sure what Benry’s plan is, but he’s the only person I know who’s going to walk unarmed into a nest of gun-toting psychos who want him dead. You’ve got to admire his commitment, at least. That leaves us with Locke, who’s heading to the Orchid. Come on Locke, move that Island!

All sorts of nice cliffhangers here, with plenty of trouble for the Lostaways and other persons of interest. A lot of stuff happened in this episode, but it also felt like it was mostly buildup, which means the finale is going to be insane. Can you wait two weeks? I’m pretty sure I can’t!

Next week, since we don’t have a new episode, I’m going to dissect the Orchid Orientation Film – I reference it a lot, but if you don’t have the DVDs, you probably haven’t seen it. With the importance of the Orchid right now, it’s definitely worth the time. And then in two weeks, we’ll all be strapped in for a big dose of awesome! The season finales have always led to big, game-changing revelations, and given the momentum of this season, I don’t think this will be any exception. Join me for the big Lost party!

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