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Saturday, June 27, 2009

LOST Rewatch: S1E11 "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" and S1E12 "Whatever the Case May Be"

Here are some of my thoughts after rewatching episodes 11 and 12 of the first season of LOST, as part of my contribution to The LOST Rewatch (see my previous rewatch posts). When I get a chance, I'll post my rewatch commentaries in the podcast feed as well.

Season 1 Episode 11 - "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"

At the end of the previous episode, Ethan was staring creepily at Claire and Charlie, and meanwhile Hurley began telling Jack that Ethan wasn't on the flight manifest. This episode begins with Jack and Locke trying to find them. Locke finds footprints and evidence of two people having been dragged off. Jack says, "This doesn't make any sense. How could one man drag two people, one pregnant?" For a while, many fans assumed that The Others had superhuman strength because of hints like this about Ethan. Oddly, this never seems to have been fully explained on the show, and we now know that at least some of The Others—including Ethan—are normal humans who have been recruited by The Others. We know that Ethan and Ben were originally DHARMA Initiative members' children, Juliet grew up off the Island and was recruited for her medical expertise, Cindy, Zach and Emma were tail section survivors who were assimilated, John Locke was chosen as the next leader of The Others before Ben's departure from the Island, etc. Richard Alpert and Jacob comprise a different class of Others who never seem to age, but we haven't seen any indication of them having unnatural strength.

So, since Ethan was apparently born to normal human parents under normal circumstances, did he have some help from other Others that we never found out about? Presumably if Ethan had assistants, they could have walked in each others' footsteps when dragging away Charlie and Claire, or perhaps they dragged the bodies in such a way as to cover their tracks. However, based on the conversation that Tom had with Ethan (as seen in a flashback in the Season 2 episode "Maternity Leave"), it sounded like Ethan acted on his own, even before making the list that Ben ordered him to make. The mystery of Ethan Rom's apparent superhuman strength remains unsolved.

Walt does exceedingly well against Hurley at Backgammon, rolling exactly what he wants twice in a row (4 and 3, then double sixes). Hurley contends "No one is that lucky," to which Walt responds that his step-dad Brian Porter "said I was the luckiest person he ever knew." Yet again we have subtle hints that Walt may be able to subconsciously make things happen with his mind.

When Walt beats Hurley and Hurley walks away, Walt says "You owe me 20,000 dollars!" Hurley replies seriously, "You'll get it." I wonder whether Hurley ended up giving Walt his $20,000 after they both made it off the Island.

Shannon is concerned about Boone not being back yet after Jack and Kate bring back Charlie. Kate tells Shannon reassuringly, "If there's anyone on this island that your brother's safe with, it's Locke." Considering that Boone ended up dying because of his later adventures with Locke, I guess Kate was wrong about that after all. Earlier in the episode, as Boone carries a torn red shirt for making markers of where they've been, he comments to Locke about red shirts on Star Trek indicating the characters who "always got killed," a foreshadowing of his own fate. Locke remarks, "Sounds like a piss-poor captain." I suppose this turned out to be a self-referential comment considering that Locke was partially to blame for Boone's death, having sent him into the perilous situation that got him killed.

The episode ends with Locke and Boone accidentally discovering the hatch; John throws Boone a flashlight, Boone fails to catch it, and it lands with a metallic clank on the steel hatch door.

Season 1 Episode 12 - "Whatever the Case May Be"

Sayid comments that "Everything is getting washed out to sea. This can't be normal. The tide shifting so suddenly, rising in so short a time." Does this sudden shift of tide have anything to do with the Island constantly moving? Another theory is that the sudden tide shift may be evidence of time dilation, the phenomenon observed by Dan Faraday that time moves more slowly on the Island than off the Island.

Shannon says that Boone "and Locke have been leaving before sunrise and coming back after dark for the last 4 days." Of course, 4 is one of the Numbers. Later, Kate tells Jack that the Marshal had 4 guns in the case.

Later in the season we find out that Kate's toy airplane had belonged to her childhood sweetheart, Tom Brennan. When Tom died, the Marshal retrieved the toy airplane and put it in a safety deposit box (number 815, the Oceanic flight number and also two of the Numbers, 8 and 15, put together).

Kate pulled a long con on Jason the bank robber; she made him think that her name was Maggie, and she developed a relationship with him apparently for the sole purpose of getting him to orchestrate the bank robbery that would get her to the safe deposit box. Clearly, Sawyer is not the only person on the Island with a history of pulling long cons.

Why is Jack so concerned about getting Kate to tell the truth about her past? Jack has challenged her in three different episodes since initially stopping her from voluntarily revealing her past in "Tabula Rasa", telling her "We should all be able to start over." So much for that idea; now Jack wants to get Kate to confess everything to him.

After being pressured by Jack to tell the truth about the toy airplane, Kate tells Jack, "It belonged to the man I killed!" We find out later this season in the episode "Born To Run" that Kate didn't actually kill Tom Brennan, although he died because of his involvement with Kate's plan to speak to her mother in the hospital. We don't find out what really caused Kate to begin her life on the run—murdering her biological father, Wayne Janssen—until the Season 2 episode "What Kate Did".

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