Friday, March 3

Lost Friday - 'Maternity Leave.'

Season 2 - Episode 15 - "Maternity Leave."

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After a week off, another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

Wow. This episode was huge. Maybe not huge in that it answered any serious questions, but huge in that it once again took the show to another level. You thought you knew what was up? Not anymore. So just sit down and shut your loser yap, because we're all tired of your attitude.

I think Lost prides itself on being the TV show with the most "What the f***!" moments per episode. "Maternity Leave" did not disappoint in this regard. I needed a shot of NyQuil with a Paint Thinner chaser just to get to sleep afterwards. When writing gives you a migraine, you know it's good, unless you're watching According to Jim or something like that.

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("Shhhh! According To Jim is on, and it's hard enough to keep up as is.")

When a show like Lost does something really well, and then somehow gets better at it, that's just insane. However, that's exactly what we saw on Wednesday. Whenever the writers pull back the curtain a bit to reveal some more answers (in this case, what happened to Claire when she was kidnapped by Ethan), they have this way of creating a ton of new questions. At this stage of the game, for Lost to come through with something even trippier and bizarre than anything we've seen so far, that's truly saying something amazing. You may not know it, but there were some things that went down in this episode that have massive ramifications. I'll tell you about those later.

Okay, enough ass-smooching. It's Skinny time, courtesy of Wikipedia.

'The Skinny'
Sponsored by Pepsi Free.

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Aaron is sick with a rash and fever, and Claire sets off in the night to find Jack for help. Locke intercedes and goes in her stead while she remains behind at camp. While Locke is gone, Rousseau appears and tells Claire that Aaron is "infected." Claire has a sudden flashback where she remembers being injected with a needle while still pregnant. Kate sends Rousseau away, but Claire is now convinced that something is seriously wrong with Aaron.

Jack assures Claire that Aaron is fine and the fever will soon break, but Claire is still unsure. She talks to Libby, who helps her recall memories from the two weeks when she had been captured by Ethan Rom. Claire remembers what resembles a doctor's office, and Ethan giving her injections. She also remembers Ethan talking to an older, clean-shaven man - the same man that led Walt's kidnapping and ended the hunting party to rescue Michael - only without the beard and wild hair. She enlists Kate to help her find Rousseau and find the vaccine she remembered from her memories, hoping it will help Aaron.

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(Fat slobs Claire and Libby work together to drop a few pounds.)

Rousseau takes Claire and Kate back into the jungle, to a place where Rousseau said she found Claire the night Claire returned to camp two weeks after her abduction. Claire wants Rousseau to take her to the room with the vaccine, but Rousseau pleads ignorance. Claire notices a stump in the jungle that triggers another memory: of Ethan Rom talking to her about leaving the baby with his group, while she returns to camp. Rom also mentions that Claire does have a choice in the matter.

Investigating further, the three women find a concealed bunker with the Dharma logo on it. Inside, the lights are out and the bunker appears to be abandoned. Claire finds rooms familiar to her memories, while Kate investigates another part of the bunker. Kate discovers a set of lockers with tattered clothes inside. There is also a box containing a makeup kit and a fake beard.

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("But I don't want to be in The Hills Have Eyes!")

Claire locates the refrigerator where she remembered the vaccine being stored: it is now empty. She has a flashback of a young teenaged girl who rescues her from the bunker, telling Claire that the other members of her group plan to take the baby and kill Claire. Rousseau tells Claire that she is not the only one who didn't find what she was looking for.

Back in the jungle Claire has one final flashback where she remembers that Rousseau aided her escape, and was not part of the group that kidnapped her. She asks Rousseau about the baby that the Others took from her sixteen years ago, and then describes the teenaged girl who rescued her. Rousseau warns Claire that if Aaron is infected, she knows what she'll have to do. Claire and Kate return to camp, where Aaron's fever has been broken.

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(Rousseau briefly considers killing Claire, just so she doesn't get rusty.)

Meanwhile, Jack and Locke are trying to decide what to do about their new prisoner, Henry Gale. Locke gives Henry a copy of the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel The Brothers Karamazov. He tells Jack that Ernest Hemingway always felt that he was in the shadow of Dostoevsky, who Hemingway thought was the greatest writer of all time.

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("Until the Dharma toilet paper guy shows up, this is all we got.")

Mr. Eko visits the bunker during this time and figures out what is going on. He asks Jack to let him visit with the prisoner, alone, and Jack agrees after Eko implies that he will tell the the rest of the camp otherwise. Eko tells Henry about the two men he killed when they tried to abduct him from his camp. Henry asks why Eko is telling him, and Eko replies that he had to tell someone. Eko then cuts two knots out of his beard and leaves.

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(For three seconds, Mr. Eko freaks the hell out of 35 million people.)

Locke brings dinner to Henry, who strikes up a conversation about Hemingway and Dostoevsky. Henry has heard the earlier talk about the authors through the thin walls. Henry asks Locke who he relates to more, but Locke doesn't have an answer. He then asks Locke why he lets Jack call the shots, but Locke insists that he and Jack make decisions together. Locke locks up Henry and returns to the bunker's kitchen, where he appears to lose his temper by sweeping dishes off the counter.

Henry is then shown in the safe with a smile on his face upon hearing Locke lose his temper.

Thanks, Wikipedia. You always know just what to say. Numbers, please!

'The Numbers'
Sponsored by Trapper Keeper.

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4- This instantly struck me as one of the most important parts of the episode. When Claire is in the nursery that Dharma created for Aaron, we see a mobile made up of miniature Oceanic planes. Not only that, but the song the mobile plays is "Catch A Falling Star," which is the song that Claire wanted the adopted parents to sing to Aaron.

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(I hope they hung on to the crib; they're so expensive nowadays.)

To me, this means several things, one of which is that Dharma was responsible for the plane crash. You may have speculated this the whole time, but this is pretty much proof positive.

It was all set up ahead of time. The psychic in Australia was in on it, convincing her to board flight 815. Dharma was aware that Aaron was special as soon as he was conceived, for God's sake. They wanted this baby so bad, and their power was so far-reaching, that they essentially did EVERYTHING up to this point for the sole purpose of getting this baby. The nursery was tailor-made for a baby boy; and what is it about Aaron that's so special?

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("I'm special!")

That's just eerie. Seriously, that's really messed up, considering they were going to cut Aaron out of Claire and leave her to die.

The flashback scenes were amazing, Aronofsky-style, fluorescent cuts that were so surreal as to not be actually happening. The Muzak that was playing in the exam room with Claire and Ethan was a sick, darkly funny touch, along with the fact that Claire's hair was perfectly curled and manicured. Ethan was keeping her sedated with whatever 'sour' liquid was in his Dharma-issued canteen, and was almost remorseful in the fact that Claire was about to be gutted like a trout.

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(No HMO? No problem!)

Speaking of Ethan's canteen, it contains the same logo as was seen on the shark in "Adrift." This symbol doesn't fit the pattern of Apollo-themed hatch logos, but could be a standard logo for supplies and the like. There's also online nerd talk of an underwater hatch, which would explain why we keep seeing Walt and the Others soaking wet. That's all speculation, however, so don't quote me.

It should also be noted that this was the first episode that contained no pre-crash flashbacks. "The Other 48 Days" started a few seconds before the crash, so don't correct me.

8- The costumes. Oh my, the costumes. We also found out tonight that the Others are nothing more than clean-cut scholars and scientists, nothing more or less. They would have the castaways believe that they are living off of the land, but we (the audience) have known this to be bunk for some time now. Shortly before Kate found Zeke's disguise, we got to see him in all of his smooth-cheeked glory, berating Ethan during Claire's exam.

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("You seen my pirate beanie?")

So, why are they Others doing that? The most believable theory is also the most logical. The Others can't conduct experiments wearing suits and ties without drawing some unwanted attention. They appear far more bloodthirsty and savage when they look as if they have been living hard, when in fact they are a fully-functional and stocked outfit. They keep their hatches hidden and their supplies a secret. They simply don't want their test subjects to know they are part of an experiment.

Another theory is that they are disguising themselves because they might be recognized by castaways as people they knew before the crash. Considering that the plane crash was set up, there might be Others that were relatively close to some of the castaways beforehand. People like Claire's psychic, for one(?). These people know how to set things up; this has been an experiment from the start.

Most importantly, why does Dharma manufacture their own theatrical glue?

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(Perhaps Dharma started out as an improv comedy troupe during WWII.)

15- When Claire, Kate and Rousseau go back to the medical hatch, they find it in shambles, when just a month ago it was in perfect shape. Lights are broken, things were ransacked and knocked over by people who obviously left in a big hurry. Hell, they even left their costumes behind!

Why? Well, one of two reasons, I suppose.

One, once they realized that Aaron was out of their reaches, they scrapped the experiment and moved onto something else. We saw Zeke wearing the costume just days ago, so they're all obviously still on the island. I don't believe this theory, as if Aaron was truly this important, they would have taken him back by now.

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(They're Desmond approved!)

Here's what I think happened. In the last episode, Locke enters the hatch numbers just before a (supposed) full-scale meltdown. We saw the symbols of 4 of the 5 other hatches, including the medical hatch. My theory is that even though Locke entered the numbers before the Swan hatch could get rocked, perhaps it sent out enough of an initial blast to scare the medical hatch occupants elsewhere. The medical hatch looks like an earthquake hit it, and the timing fits perfectly, so take from that what you will. I think that instance had everything to do with why that hatch was abandoned.

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(Can someone get this guy a new shirt? Anyone?)

16- Eko showed up again this episode, delighting us with a truly creepy scene. I especially like the look on Henry's face when Eko shows up to talk to him. I hope Dharma stocks boxer shorts in bulk.

So Eko, presuming this person to be an other, conducts a confessional of sorts, letting Henry know that he's sorry, and is on the path to righteousness. Symbolically and biblically, people grow beards to mourn, and Eko grew those two antennae-looking things as a reminder of the men he killed. Cutting them off was symbolic of being forgiven and moving on.

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("Hello, my name is Henry Soggypants.")

Personally, I thought he was going to slit his own throat, and I got really nervous. I also think he's building a church in the jungle. I'm also an idiot.

23- Henry's an Other. You know it, I know it, the American People know it. It was gut-wrenching watching him start to turn the screws in Locke's head, messing with his mind and causing more tension in the Jack/Locke power struggle. His grin in the armory after hearing Locke throw his tantrum was all I needed to see. This guy is bad-freaking-news. Expect to see him drive a wedge further between Jack and Locke, and work his psychological magic.

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(Nobody eats all the bundt cake before John gets a piece. Nobody.)

Will Rousseau be reunited with Alex? Sure.

42- When Ethan is talking to Zeke outside of the examination room, he says "Do you know what he'll do if he finds out?" Who is 'he?' Hanso? Beats me, but they're obviously taking orders from some important and frightening person.

'The Preview'
Sponsored by Hypercolor.

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Suckily enough, this is the last new Lost episode for at least two weeks, as they feel the need to take yet another break from the action. The first rerun will be "Whatever The Case May Be" on March 8, followed by "House Of The Rising Sun" on March 15.

We saw some hints of things to come in the previews, such as Sun asking Sawyer for a pregnancy test (Damn you, Jin! I should be playing that role, and you know it!), and Henry talking about locating his balloon. The Henry situation will probably come out into the open, causing a huge uproar and leading to some unforeseen surprise. I'd expect nothing less.

You know the drill by now. Here's the index of CDP Lost Fridays, ranked in increasing order of awesomeness. Tell your friends and trusted older relatives about us. Also, send me money for a new laptop. Send any donations or hatemail to, and please drop us a line in the comments section. If you have any rants or questions, they'll be answered and dissected there.



Great episode!

And nice analysis.

I agree on the link between Locke's quasi-failure to punch in the numbers in time last episode and the fact that medihatch seems hastily abandoned. The only other theory I can think up is that the hatch was abandoned right after Claire escape because the Others feared that Claire might lead the rest of the survivors back there. But that's hard to fit in with the costumes (the beard etc) Kate found. They suggest that medihatch was in use very recently when Jack & co went looking for Michael and found "Zeke" (with false beard on).

"Henry is then shown in the safe with a smile on his face upon hearing Locke lose his temper."
Really? I saw no smile, only a blank stare.

"where he appears to lose his temper..."
Appears is the keyword, I think. Already in the "cell" it looks like Locke is onto Gale's mind game. My bet is that Locke's playing Gale and just waits for him to make some mistake that definitely reveals him as an Other.

On the other hand, Gales attempt to drive a psychological wedge between Jack and Locke was really very crude. Wouldn't an Other be more sophisticated in his manipulations?
They've been playing up Locke's anger problems since the beginning, which makes me tend to think that it's real. That was a pretty crude attempt like you said, though, so maybe Locke is trying to give himself the upper hand. I can foresee a plan where they let him go and then try to secretly follow him to get him to lead them to the Others. I learned that from 24.

The other thing I learned from 24 is how to schedule an action-packed season. They start off with four episodes in two nights, then go non-stop every week with a new episode. Next Monday, they're even having two episodes.

Part of me wants to go back through Season 1 looking for appearances of a clean-cut Zeke. I think it'd be fitting if he was the pilot of the plane. I don't understand why he needs to look all Tom-Hanks-on-Castaway when everyone's seen the hatch and all the modern equipment and supplies.

Zeke? More like... geek.
Hey... I don't think the planes in the mobile are 100% proof positive Dharma caused the crash. I think it's possible that's YARH -- Yet-Another-Red-Herring.

Consider: These are flashbacks to a drug-induced time. Claire has these visions whilst in a dreamlike state. Could her mind be melding experiences?

Sensa, I agree with you on the "Henry smiling at the end of the episode" thing. I don't think he was really grinning or anything, just content that he got into Locke's head. Damn Wikipedia.

About Locke though; his anger is real. "Don't tell me what I can't do!" What's going on between him and Jack might lead to a huge set up for one of them to take a fall from grace. After what Charlie and Sawyer did to Locke a few weeks ago, he feels like he has no say in any matter anymore.

Henry's actions might have been crude, but they worked, and they were just obvious enough for the audience to catch on.

Lost could learn a thing or two about 24. Like, not airing reruns. Ever.

Zeke wasn't the pilot of the plane. The pilot gt sucked up by the security system about 10 minutes in. I don't fully understand the costumes myself, but I still think they just have to do with the illusion that they're living off the land. If the castaways find out about the experiments, then they would cease to be valid, or something to that nature. Of course, they already know, so it's anyone's guess.
Lex, I was thinking the same thing about the flashbacks. They could have looked that way because Claire was simply making a lot of it up, melding it with real and surreal experiences.

But, what if she wasn't?

But, what if she was?

(Passes out.)
I thought that guy in the nose of the plane was the co-pilot. I'm not making predictions anyway, I just thought it'd be neat. I would like to predict that they are actually in a giant underwater complex in the city of Atlantis.

Did anyone else notice that there was a door that said "Escape Hatch" in the medical facility? (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it was labeled, though I'd have to rewatch it to make sure... It was "escape" something.)
It does say "Escape Hatch." I've got a still of it in last week's Lost Friday. Check it 'oot!

I wonder where it leads? Perhaps to a smaller, more secure hatch, and into yet another one until they reach the center of the earth and melt.

One of your theories is going to hit paydirt, Paste, and people are going to think of you as a prophet.

Paste Prophet...more like Haste Muppet.
In other TV news... I was almost crying during Dwight's speech last night. Michael's pre-speech was great, too, especially, "And now, the black guy from Police Adademy."

[pounds fist on podium]
Another reason Lost is a great show: You don't feel like an idiot theorizing about a TV show.

Seriously, the writers have truly worked hard on this show and definately have a grasp of the "wheels within wheels" concept. I love it.

I think Locke's anger was real. All of his flashbacks have revealed him to be a severely disturbed man. I think he truly wants to prove himself worthy of greatness. All his chances to gain respect reveal his weakness. Locke is a man trying to overcome his failures. He seized the opportunity to become a leader on the island right away. But he can't escape his past and I think he knows that he is close to losing again. Locke is an interesting character, he seems able to help others find hidden strength (like Charlie) yet knows he may lack it himself. I think he's able to help others because he has studied those things so hard trying to help himself.

This episode really brought home the Juxtapositional Eugenics theory. The costumes are proof of The Others trying to maintain their duck blind for observation.

Can anyone think of a time one of The Others killed anyone? They have abducted people, but I don't remember if they have outright killed anyone. It may be evidence of them preserving their subjects.
Best Office line:

"I know what I said"
BluStaCon, I agree with everything you said about Locke. He thinks this is his destiny, and comes from a lifetime of betrayal and failure. If this doesn't work out for him, maybe nothing will.

The pilot was killed by the Monster, and Ethan killed Scott (Steve), and basically killed Charlie (and lied to Claire about it). I can't think of anything else right now, but we still don't know where Cindy, Michael, Walt and Desmond are.

My favorite part of the Office was the beginning, where Dwight tackles Ryan, Creed and Stanley. I watched it three times, and laughed harder each time.

I also thought it was nice of Michael to cover for Dwight when he was having his breakdown. When he started sweating, I was thinking about my stand-up routine that I plan on trying someday.
Also, Earl was hilarious, and Paula Abdul was hammered on American Idol last night. Seriously, she was pilled up or something. Even Ryan Seacrest was mad at her.
I like how they've developed Kelly's character with her interest in Ryan. "I bet that's karma for what he did to Jennifer Aniston." I also like that Ryan feels superior to the rest of the workers. I think that's a fairly realistic portrayal of temps... They're at the same lame job, probably get paid less, but at least they're not invested or trapped in it.

Ethan tried to kill Charlie, and that other guy tried to kill Ana Lucia. But I guess both of those happened when they were backed into a corner and about to be found out. So maybe they don't really want to kill anyone, so long as they don't get in their way.

Maybe Zeke's using his costume for the people on the island whom he does really control (all those lights in the jungle). Maybe they think of him as some kind of island warlord, and are part of another experiment.
That part on the Office during Michael's speech where he was apologizing, "I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that you had a hearing aide..." reminded me of your standup routine post.

I also like how everyone thought they controlled the thermostat.

And Crete's shoutout to Hong Kong... what the heck. I lost it when he did that little point at the end.
I like when that one guy "toasted" Amsterdam, and Michael told him that it wasn't a real toast because he didn't stand up. So then he stands up and says, "To Amsterdam," really apathetic and sarcastic.

When I'm at work, I'm a mix between Jim and Ryan. I try to keep myself emotionally distant from the lives of everyone else, but I'm not above screwing around for the sake of a hearty laugh. I also like screwing with people.

Did anyone hear the Arrested Development rumor? Word on the street is that Showtime signed them to a 26-episode deal starting late this summer. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.
I said "Creed" instead of "Crete." If I was in error, I sincerely apologize.
I think you owe Scott Stapp some money for that error. And I hear he'll take what he can get these days.
Scott Stapp? More like Snot Sap.
Snot Sap can take me higher.

Wait, I meant that Snot Sap makes me contemplate suicide. Everyone should read Tyler Maas's article on Mr. Stap over in The CDP Network sidebar. It's witty.

When Randy crashed his moped, I spit out my 7Up. Mainly because I realized I was drinking 7Up.
I heard about the AD deal on another forum (sorry), though it still appears to be in rumor mode. I don't think Fox has even officially canceled it yet. Good news if it comes to fruition. I'll be illegally downloading them till I can purchase them on DVD.
I agree. I love AD, but Showtime won't be purchased in the CDP household anytime soon. We'll see what happens.

I forgot to mention that I liked Locke's reaction when Jack told him Eko found out about Henry.

"Well, there you go."
did anyone catch what was on Ethan's keychain? When Claire was in the chair he was walking toward the medine fridge. He kind of let the keychain drop and dangle before unlocking the fridge. I thought it was kind of weird and meant to check it out later. Unfortunately, my computer missed this episode. Anyone catch it?
I tried slowing it down and pausing with Tivo, but my cable company's pretty crappy and the resolution wasn't good enough to be able to see it. It was round, my guess is that it had the Dharma logo on it.
Hmmmm... a Dharma logo. That would be a surprising twist on things. Could there be a connection?

You would think more people would have heard of Dharma seeing as they appear to be the Goya of the science community. Ranch dressing, theatrical glue, sharks, and antidotes for island madness.
My guess is that Dharma and Hanso are still working directly through the US government, so us taxpayers are giving them funding for theatrical glue and wack keychains.

Speaking of which, I'm such a Lost nerd that I printed myself out a bunch of mini Dharma logos, and I'm putting them on things in my office cubicle. Makes me feel like a big man. What was once a normal stapler has become a Dharma stapler, and people are too afraid to borrow it.

I also am one of the few people with access to our Exam vault, which bears a striking resemblance to the food pantry in the hatch. Shelves and marked boxes everywhere, no windows and a passkey lock on the door. Makes me wish there was something cooler in there besides years of files.
I guess I'm starting to waver concerning Locke. His background and his recent loss of (gun)power really DOES make him a feasible target for even crude manipulation.

I agree with letseatpaste: the Others only seem to kill when cornered. Or at least when there's a need to solve some major problem, like lessening the risk of being revealed as an Other (Boromir's here-I'll-help-you-no-wait-I'll-kill-you-instead-act @ black-haired-guy-from-Anas-prison-pit)

"Maybe Zeke's using his costume for the people on the island whom he does really control (all those lights in the jungle). Maybe they think of him as some kind of island warlord, and are part of another experiment."
- - -
Yes! Some possible primitive tribe that the Others are controlling by disguising themselves would fit the story pretty good! Like explaining the tribal looking dirty small feet Yin and Eko saw from the bushes. It might even have room for the monster: tribe controls monster so Others have incentives to control tribe to avoid monster.
Good theories; really good theories from everyone. Lost draws in intelligent people; The CDP draws in intelligent people who aren't afraid to laugh at Tony Little. It's a good group.

When's the last time a drama made people think and dig as much as Lost? Lots of people mention Twin Peaks, and as much as I absolutely love and continue to adore it, they had nothing on what we're seeing on Lost every week.

It's revolutionizing the TV drama. The way its shot, the massive amount of characters, flashbacks and plotlines would leave 99% of Hollywood writers pooping in their pantaloons and begging to go back to CSI:Miami.

Speaking of intelligent TV, I was just watching Web Junk on VH1, and they showed that karate expert backflip onto his head and proceed to knock himself out during a routine. I was bawling, and watched 5 times before the Missus yelled at me.

It was almost as funny as Natalie Portman's rap on SNL. Expect that to blow up on YouTube this week.

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