LOST: “There’s No Place Like Home” (part one)

You should know up front that tonight’s episode was the first third of the season finale, and that the final two thirds are two weeks away.

That out of the way, let’s talk about tonight’s episode after the break.

Links and miscellanea:

  • Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof were too busy cutting the final segments fo the finale to do an official podcast. But there is an interview with Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis) posted at ABC.com.
  • What does LOST have in common with particle physics?
  • I don’t remember if I linked it at the time, but this feature from USA Today, in which Cuse and Lindelof grade fan theories, is worth a second look.
  • Evangeline Lily went on The Tonight Show recently and admitted to living in a moldy house.
  • During the ABC upfronts, it was revealed that LOST will return midseason next year with 17 consecutive episodes. Barring an actors’ strike, that is.

Observations and speculations:

  • The title for the season 4 finale is (obviously) from The Wizard of Oz. Just to review, it’s not the first reference to Oz on the show. When Ben Linus first showed up, he claimed to be Henry Gale, the same name as Dorothy’s uncle. Her Auntie Em’s full name was Emily, the name shared by Ben and Locke’s mothers. In the fantastic season 3 episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” Desmond sees a man with red shoes get crushed, just like the Wicked Witch of the East.
  • The episode opens with a Coast Guard co-pilot holding onto a white rabbit’s foot. Later, we see that Hurley’s dad hand Hurley a key chain with a white rabbits foot on it. White rabbits, of course, are a recurring motif in LOST. Also, Ben’s father had a rabbit’s foot in his hand when he died (and his hand was still holding it when Vincent came running out of the jungle holding his disembodied arm).
  • Why exactly did the co-pilot say that the Oceanic Six are “bad mojo”?
  • Jack’s leadership on the Coast Guard plane is questionable, which is classic Jack. He’s not hesitant to speak for the group, but the group seems to be ambivalent about that.
  • This is the first time we’ve seen Jack’s mother since season 1, episode 5. Margo Shepard is played by Veronica Hamel, probably best known as the tough public defender and lover of Captain Furillo on Hill Street Blues. Also, she kind of looks like Kate, which can’t be a coincidence of casting.
  • Now we know what the weird, swirly DHARMA logo is. It’s The Orchid. It was the logo on the jacket Ben was wearing when he appeared in the Sahara, and it was also on the cover of the secondary protocol. It’s also in Faraday’s notebook, so it’s probably related to time travel. (Now would be an excellent time to review the Orchid Station training film. And hey, look! It’s a white rabbit!)
  • The water bottles that Kate and Jack are drinking from as they trek through the jungle are Oceanic Airlines water bottles. (See the level of detail my recaps get now that I have HD!)
  • I like how Sawyer referred to the barracks as “New Otherton.” This is an example of the writers incorporating a term that was coined by the fans into the show—a nod and a wink. Sawyer and Hurley are the two characters most likely to introduce this device.
  • It bothered me a little bit that Aaron is suddenly a much different looking baby. I suppose this is to be expected, though. You just can’t keep babies as babies forever. It also bothered me that Kate was expected to pass Aaron off as five weeks old. That kid was more like four months.
  • I like Sawyer and Jack together. “Hold up. You don’t get to die alone.” That’s a nice call back to dialogue from Jack during season two’s finale (“Live Together, Die Alone.”)
  • I still don’t understand the geography of the supposed theory behind the Oceanic 815 crash site. How does a plane from Sydney to Los Angeles end up off the coast of Indonesia. It just doesn’t make sense, unless the plane for some reason decided to head west instead of east after it took off.
  • The unchartered island that the Losties supposedly lived on was called “Membata.” According to this Webster’s Online translation, “membata-bata” means ambivalent in Indonesian. I suppose this could be deliberate, as the survivors are feeling ambivalent about their current situation. Or it could be a coincidence.
  • Nadia is looking great. It’s a shame that she’s soon to be murdered in Los Angeles. A shame, I tell you.
  • The outboard motor on the Zodiac, the freighter’s tender vessel, says “four” on it. That’s a “numbers” sighting, I guess.
  • Though I’m still a big Michael Giacchino fan, I found the score in this episode to be a little bit overblown and distracting at times. Maybe it’s just me.
  • Inside Ben’s wooden box: some DHARMA Initiative soda crackers, rope, binoculars, an old rag and a mirror. Ben uses the mirror to communicate with someone (presumably the others—which could mean that The Temple is near the top of the mountain).
  • When Faraday takes the first raft to the freighter, it has two of the Oceanic Six on it (Sun and Aaron), as well as other people who don’t make it off the island.
  • Worst moment of the episode for me: when Sun tells her father, Mr. Paik, that she’s taken the money from the settlement with Oceanic Airlines and used it to buy a controlling interest in Paik Industries. C’mon! Unless the individual settlements were in the $50 billion range, I very much doubt that Sun would have been able to buy a majority position in a Korean manufacturing conglomerate. That’s just silly.
  • The more interesting comment was when Sun said that two people were responsible for Jin’s death, and that Mr. Paik was one of them. Who is the other?
  • I suppose the whispers that Hurley heard in his parents’ house was supposed to be a fake out. But were they really the spooky island whispers? We know that they can follow people off the island. Michael heard the whispers on the freighter when he had a vision of Libby.
  • When Hurley arrives at his parents’ house and gets out of his car, he is carrying a sack from Mr. Clucks Chicken, the chicken restaurant he worked at when he won the lottery.
  • The Z28 was the same car that Hurley and his dad were working on in Hurley’s season 3 flashback episode, “Tricia Tanaka’s Dead.” And it’s the same car that Hurley crashed after being involved in a police chase in the first scene of this season.
  • The numbers on the odometer were a nice touch. It’s an indication to Hurley that even though he’s home, everything is not right. It’s an indication to the fans that the numbers have not been entirely forgotten.
  • So now we know what the electronic device attached to Keamy’s bicep is: it’s a detonation device, attached to what looks like a whole heaping lot of C4 explosives.
  • Two weeks ago, I was wondering whether Jack knew that Aaron is his nephew. Now we know he did. Nice that we didn’t have to wait long for an answer to that question.
  • When Kate and Sayid get captured by Richard Alpert and his Merry Band of Others, I feel a lot more ambivalent about it than I ever thought I would. We just don’t have enough information to know how to feel about this yet. I guess it’s preferable to being captured by Keamy and his mercs.
  • Ben always has a plan. In this case, his plan involves surrendering to a really badass mercenary.
  • The closing montage does a good job of setting out just where exactly everyone is as Act I comes to a close.

This wasn’t my favorite episode, but I’m withholding judgment until I see the final two thirds. Much of this was setup. A week off until the final bash of the season, then no more Lost until 2009.

Anyone notice anything I didn’t, or come up with any interesting theories during tonight’s episode?

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49 thoughts on “LOST: “There’s No Place Like Home” (part one)

  1. I loved it, but I agree Sun buying controlling interest in her Dad’s company was ridiculous…

    unless, she got more capital from Widmore, or Linus, or Hanso, which I am hoping is the case.

  2. I had a couple of comments, but you pretty much hit on them yourself. I hate the slow motion montages with the loud score. It SCREAMS at me to care, they shouldn’t need to do this.

    Sun buying a controlling interest in what seems like a very large company with whatever she got from Oceanic was just laughable.

  3. I didn’t think Sun’s buying the company was as laughable as the questions or the obviously fabricated story at the “news conference”.

  4. IIRC, a couple episodes back, Sayid said the Oceanic payout was in the 7 figure range – right before he murdered the man on the golf course.

    Assuming this was the sole source for Sun’s hostile takeover, the inescapable conclusion is that Paik Industries was heavily invested in the subprime fiasco.

    However, I DO like the idea of a Linus/Widmore/Hanso silent partner.

  5. My knee jerk reaction to Sun’s comment about two people being responsible for Jin’s death was that she was the other one. I submit no evidence or reasoning.

  6. I’m waiting for them to do something, anything, with Charlotte Lewis. She just stands around looking stealy eyed.

    Jacob, the writers have mentioned that the freighter people (Charlotte, Miles, Faraday and Lapidus) were the one’s whose stories suffered most from the strike-shortened season. I’m still confident that Charlotte has an interesting role to play, though I agree that they haven’t made much use of her yet.

  7. It’s really too bad, because I love both Miles and Faraday. I hope they get plenty of screen time next season.

  8. Couldn’t Sun just leverage the money she has to buy the controlling interest? They said that 5 banks were involved, perhaps she was able to talk them into loaning her what she needed with her winnings as the down payment (or something, I don’t know how this stuff works).

    Or she got the money from Widmore.

    Did anyone else notice the little look that Faraday gave to Charlotte before they set off in the boat? As if they’ve got their little love-connection going on or something.

    It also kind of bugged me that, what was it, two or three reporters were asking all the questions? It was like all this buzz of people trying to ask a question and then all the sudden the same reporter was able to stand up and ask another question.

    Overall a great episode, or partial episode I guess. Love the fact that there’s no episode next week because I’ll be out of the country.

  9. I hate the baby-acting they have to deal with, too. The entire time Claire has been raising this “4 week old” baby, I have had a hard time even pretending that the baby is so young. I know it’s against the law or the safety or whatever to have tiny infants on acting sets, but still! It’s so obvious that the baby is much, much older.

    Was I the only one kind of bugged about how much time Kate, Sayid, Jack, and Hurley were together after they were “rescued”? I know it makes sense, wanting to be together, the bond they made, blah, blah, blah…but still. It’s jarring somehow –it feels fake. Like they feel they have to be together or something. Perhaps it was just a weaker episode in acting?

  10. Ben always has a plan. In this case, his plan involves surrendering to a really badass mercenary.

    LOL!

    I’m really beginning to like Ben. I used to hate him, but he’s such an important character.

    I hope the finale has more Sawyer. Damn that dude is cool.

  11. What I find amazing is how they turned what should have been the happiest moment of the series, finally getting off the island, into something a bit depressing.

  12. Could Nadia have been given a bigger sweat ring at Hurley’s party?

    When will they address the “illness”? We still dont know what made Daniell’s friend loose his arm in the Dark Territory, or what was up with all that vaccine Desmond took…I hope the season does not end without letting us know more about it!

  13. I’m a little confused on the timeline… At the wake for Christian Shepard, didn’t Jack say he died ten months ago? But at the press conference, weren’t we led to believe the Losties were missing for 3-4 months?

  14. Nadia is looking great. It’s a shame that she’s soon to be murdered in Los Angeles. A shame, I tell you.

    She was murdered in the Middle East.

    Why would Sun be partially responsible for Jin’s death?

    Why wasn’t Kate immediately arrested, following the press conference?

    How on earth did Kate managed to pass Aaron off as five weeks old? That would make her in her third trimester when she was arrested in Australia.

  15. re: The Wizard of Oz, there was also the episode “The Man Behind the Curtain.” Locke said there was no Jacob and he accused Ben of being the Wizard of Oz.

  16. From “The Shape of Things to Come”

    BEN: Bakir was last seen five days ago in Los Angeles, caught by a traffic camera, speeding away from the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica.

    SAYID: That’s three blocks from where Nadia was killed.

  17. Rose #17, Nadia was killed in LA, I believe a “hit and run” near La Brea Ave. She was buried in the Middle East.

  18. Prediction time.

    Rose and Bernard=Dead. Michael=Dead. Jin=Dead, with slim chance of survival. I see Jin and Michael in a race against time to defuse the bomb on the freighter and Michael does something redeeming before it blows up, killing him. Maybe Jin is blown clear and makes it to the island, so he can reunite with Jin and his child at the end of season 6. If Michael does survive the season finale then I figure he’s in the coffin.

    The other person responsible for Jin’s death could be Ben, which would set up Sun going over to the Widmore camp, and put her in eventual conflict with Ben and Sayid down the line.

    I think we may learn the press conference was all set up. The actress that plays the Oceanic rep is Michele Forbes, known to BSG fans as Admiral Caine. I don’t think you cast an actress of this stature (especially to geeks) unless you give her a little more to do.

    I see all the mercenaries dying either in a fire fight, or when the island “moves.” I see a race against time for people to get to safety, either in the Temple, or the Orchid station.

    There will be a group of people left on the island to crack it’s mysteries. Locke, Sawyer, Miles, Faraday, Charlotte, Juliet, Lapidus maybe. Desmond, I’m not sure about, I think he might end up in a different category, off-island, but not grouped with the Oceanic Six obviously.

    In season five Juliet and Sawyer will strike up some sexual chemistry I bet. However, I believe most of season five will center on the idea of people traveling through time and space to manipulate the lives of the survivors to make sure that they got on that plane, so that they would save Aaron, because one day he will be the savior of the entire world.

  19. I freeze-framed through Faraday’s notebook, and it had some simplistic x to y coordinates, and a cone, inverted over another cone. It’s about the Orchid station- as a time travel device of some sort.

    I love it when there are stations and elevators and weird references, reminds me of old school Lost!

    question: who is in the coffin in the first episode of this season? Is it Michael? Was he finally able to die? And Walt has been left kind of high and dry, unless he’s the new Ben/Locke agent for Jacob.

  20. Is it possible that Sun already some sort of stock in her father’s company, and that she just used the settlement to push her over into controlling interest?

    Man, I hate not having TiVo recording while we’re moving. Thank goodness for EZTV!

  21. Brian G.,

    I also thought it was an odd role for Michele Forbes, who is one of my favorites for her work on Homicide and 24.

  22. Worst moment of the episode for me: when Sun tells her father, Mr. Paik, that she’s taken the money from the settlement with Oceanic Airlines and used it to buy a controlling interest in Paik Industries. C’mon! Unless the individual settlements were in the $50 billion range, I very much doubt that Sun would have been able to buy a majority position in a Korean manufacturing conglomerate. That’s just silly.

    That was my favorite part. Obviously the company was in trouble.

  23. My wife has a theory that Jack’s dad is dead but that the dad on the Island is a teleported version from before he died. (She came up with that after watching the video for the Orchid station)

  24. What if Hurley gave Sun the money to buy interest in her father’s company? He said he didn’t want his lottery money. Plus, Sun would likely receive extra compensation from the airline for the supposed loss of her husband on the plane.

  25. I don’t think Sun can blame or revenge on anyone for her falling in love..marrying Jin ..have sex and being pregnant by someone.. not so sure who..
    She has been a serious problem kid causing trouble and headache to her parent ..
    Mr.& Mrs.Paik. fooling around sexually..
    Sun is very immature irresposible little brat who complains throws tandrums.. nothing but a spoiled and rebellious…
    Her character is not an admirable one all…

  26. A couple of comments. I don’t think there is something unseen as far as Sun buying the company, other than an idea that wasn’t well thought out. She seemed to want to spill it all to her father and let her anger out, so no reason why she would hide aid from Hurley. I think she told it like it was.

    One thing I found interesting was that she went off on her Dad for never caring for Jin or something like that. But as far as I can remember, when they boarded that plane, I would say her Father liked Jin more than she did.

  27. I freeze-framed through Faraday’s notebook, and it had some simplistic x to y coordinates, and a cone, inverted over another cone.

    That’ll be a light cone – from Special Relativity. It shows the causal past and future of a point in space-time.

  28. Maybe Hurley gave Sun the money for the buy-out. He’s said he doesn’t want the money, and he may be worth a LOT more than the original lottery win (since the money had a funny way of increasing like crazy).

  29. I suspect we’ll get more information on Sun’s actions and it’ll become more important as time goes on. I can’t imagine it will be this huge implausible action either due to having only a few million to invest, having to borrow from Hurley or whatever. My guess is that the company wasn’t doing that well which is why the Dad needed to use Jin to strongarm people in the first place. I also have long thought than Sun’s dad will end up tied up with Widmore.

    As I said, it was still a great moment in my book.

    Those calling Sun spoiled though I just can’t get it. Her dad was opposed to her marrying a fisherman’s son. He gives him a job only to turn him into a self-loathing thug who isn’t anything like the man she loved. She is trapped at home with wealth but no love. She’s fleeing Jin because he’s become nearly abusive, cold and distant. (Which also explains her affair) When they reconnect on the island she remembers why she loved him and realizes that it was her father that made him like that and more importantly made her so miserable.

  30. BTW – I’m sticking to my complaint that Faraday’s notebook is a joke and a big disappointment. I’m sure they could have found a few physicists to write something at least mildly believable. What’s worse they were bragging about the chalk board and note book in a couple of interviews. Of course as a physicist I suspect I’m just too picky here. I’m sure for many some Special Relativity stuff is pretty esoteric.

  31. Sun did not marry Jin by force.
    Her own impulsiveness, pride and her ego trip driven her to
    create most of the things happened in her life .
    Begging for money from her father to cover up the secret about her mother in law.
    Fooling around having sex with other guy..
    She can’t blame others for miseries.
    Her pragnancy was her parent “Mr. Paik'”s fault.
    Sun has been a girl who’s very very dependent on her parents all her life. Her attitude shows she’s still a spoiled little BRAT!!!!
    She has an evil heart .. attacking her own beloved parents for her miseries…
    She betray and disloyal to her parents. has no respect no respect what so ever..
    BAD example of Korean culture..
    Money can not buy respect!!!

  32. Jin wasn’t like that when Sun married her. Remember his flashback of agreeing to work for her father and his change?

  33. Sun is lucky to meet nice guy like Jin.
    I think Jin forgives Sun probably knowing everything about her sexual affairs Sun had in the past..

  34. Maybe Sun lied and cover up about alot of things and she can’t be trusted…
    Her baby may not be Jin’s…not even the other bald korean guy..
    I’m not sure…but she probably had sex with Michael too.

  35. Ok, We dont know HOW much money Sun got she MAY have gotten more due to the fact she lost her childs father on the plane. They tend to give more in situations like that when he was the bread winner. Just an idea.. They would have compensated her a percentage of what he would make in his life time.

  36. Wow. All the Sun hate. I’m really surprised. She and Jin are two of the more interesting characters in my view. I like their flashbacks much more than Jack or Kate’s.

  37. In my view ..I like Jack and Kate is my favorite
    but I think all the rest of characters are interesting too. I like Charlie and Daniel.
    My least interesting character is Sun . I think she is fake and very boring!

  38. I don’t understand all your weirdness about Sun. The baby is definitely Jin’s. There’s no indication that she was a spoiled brat or promiscuous (in the sense that she was with many men). Where’s all this coming from??

  39. It’s a Real SHAME…Sun’s behavior to her own beloved dad is totally shocking to traditional korean value even to western culture…
    She is extreamly crazy and confused. Sun taking over the corporate suddenly attacking her own farther that way is totally unrealistic.
    I agree.. some dogs shows more loyaly and obedient to their owner than this conniving spoiled brat!!

  40. I agree. I think there’s possibility that Sun had sex with Michael too.
    Sun’s conniving, rebellious behavior blaming everything to her own dad is totally crazy, unacceptable shocking. It’s a shame!!!
    Normal traditional koreans don’t treat their own parents that way..

  41. I don’t understand how anyone can really enjoy Sun as a character. I find her dreadfully boring. Jin on the other hand has an arc that I care about.

  42. Guys, there’s a troll around here who posts under multiple aliases, and who really hates Sun.

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