Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jack & Michael Part 1

First off, dear readers, let me apologize for the two months or so that I've let this blog go without entries! I'm a freelance writer, and I started the Two Losties blog when I had a bit of a lull between jobs, and then work picked up a bit, and the first thing I ditched, unfortunately... was Two Losties. Work is still going fine, but now I'm going to try to get back in the groove of posting these little character analysis pieces on a semi-regular basis again. What I might do is to try to make them a bit shorter, but knowing my tendency to want to cover every little character beat, that probably won't actually happen. Who knows!

Anyway, I'm returning to Two Losties with two major characters who have actually only had one or two major storylines together: Jack and Michael. The main story element that ties Jack and Michael together is that Jack is very much defined as a son (to Christian), while almost Michael's entire story is about his role as father to Walt (aka WAAAAAALLLLLTTT!!!). Although early on, Christian was painted as being a "bad dad" to Jack, ultimately, I think Michael comes off as much more of a bad dad. Yes, Michael seemed to be obsessed with looking out for Walt, but he went to such extremes, including multiple murders, that he is the ultimate bad role model. Plus, he even made the horrible decision of telling Walt about Ana Lucia and Libby... like that's not going to emotionally scar Walt, because the implication is that Walt is the reason they died? Good call, Mikey !

Okay, let's start at the beginning. Jack and Michael were both passengers on Flight 815. In the first days after the crash, they had little interaction. Michael was off getting into fights with Jin, and not trusting Locke. Jack was, you know, being the heroic doctor type, but that didn't put him in direct contact with Michael much. Their first conversation was in Pilot Part 2, when Michael tells Jack that his son's dog is missing, and Jack says that he had seen Vincent in the woods (when he woke up). From the final "Missing Pieces" short, we know that Vincent was sent to wake up Jack by Christian, in his spooky Ghost Dad form.

When the Losties see their first split over the decision to move to the caves, Michael's initial decision is for him and Walt to stay on the beach, but that decision seems to only last an episode or two. Michael is at the caves in the very next episode ("The Moth"), as he uses his construction experience to help save Jack from the collapsed rocks. An interesting thing to note here is that Michael is one of the few Losties who has never received medical treatment from Jack, and yet he did have a major hand in saving Jack's life, the reversal of the relationship Jack has with most Losties.

In "Solitary," Jack and Michael are shown discussing building a shower at the caves, and they soon join Hurley, Charlie and Kate in the first round of golf on the Island. This includes one of the show's earliest, funniest moments, as the episode returns from the commercial break with a huddle between Jack and Michael, in which they seem to be discussing some really important decision, and then we see that they're discussing a golf shot. Although this is quite literally all fun and games, the golf story takes a darker turn when Walt shows up, noting that Michael left him alone at the cave, and when Michael offers to let Walt join in on the game, Walt refuses.

In "Special", Michael is once again shown looking for Walt, and he asks Jack if he listened to his "old man" when he was 10, and Jack says yes, "maybe a little too well." This is actually one of the rare occasions when Losties discuss fatherhood, considering what a central theme it is to the show. As Michael leaves, Hurley remarks that Michael seems to really hate being a dad, a point that he sticks to. One has to wonder if that isn't why Michael over compensates in the ways that he does, as if he has to prove to himself that he cares. Soon after, Michael interrupts Jack, Sayid and Shannon's discussion of Rousseau's map, declaring that they should be focusing on getting off the Island, and that he is going to start building a boat, which finally gives Michael a major story besides being Michael's dad and seeing Sun's boobs.

And that, folks, is where I'm going to leave Jack and Michael for now, having covered the first 14 episodes of season one. There's a lot more to talk about between these two men as we get into season two, but I figure stopping at the start of the "Michael's Raft" story is a good way to lead into all that... other stuff in the next column.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ben & Hurley

One of the big surprises in season 4 was the reveal that "Good old fun time Hurley" might indeed be (duh dun DUH!)... "special." The relationship that this is most tied to has got to be one of the most unlikely buddie pairings in LOST history: Hugo "Hurley" Reyes and Benjamin Linus. I think it's pretty obvious what this column is all leading to, but that's for the end. Let's start at the beginning.

Hurley is the main cast member Flight 815 passenger whose life pre-Island was most obviously a precursor to events on the Island, I am going to argue, because of his entanglement with the Numbers, which through both the radio tower transmissions and their presence on the Swan hatch door and as the numbers being entered in the Swan computer, are clearly tied deeply to Island mythology. No other passenger on Flight 815 had anything like that connection *before* they landed on the Island. Not that we know of, anyway. My personal theory is that like Walt and Aaron, Hurley was a "special" child, and Cheech (his dad) was aware of this, and had ties to some sort of Island-related group (probably DHARMA, or maybe Widmore's people). On the other hand, via the flashbacks, it would seem like Hurley was one of those people who "wasn't supposed" to be on Flight 815, because of all the obstacles that he had to get through at the Sydney airport to get on the plane. A-ha, *but*, the airport was also chockful of the Numbers as he was making his way there, which one could (and I will) argue were a sort of guidepost leading him to the plane, as a sort of numerological guarantee that he would indeed follow his destiny towards landing on the Island.

Okay, I've set up Hurley's earliest roots in the mythology. Now, let's follow his ties to Ben. While Ben, as "Henry Gale", was being held in the Swan station's armory, Hurley didn't really have much interaction with him. But, Ben's captivity was soon to have a very important impact on Hugo, as a deal was struck with Michael, which led to the shooting death of the other 50% (the really unpopular half) of the Island's Latin-American population, and more importantly, Hugo's hot new crush, Libby. Now, as is pointed out to Michael in season 4, no one *told* Michael to kill Libby, but he did it as part of his deal to free Ben, so Ben is at least tangentially involved, if not technically guilty, in Libby's death.

The first direct tie between Ben and Hurley comes when Michael returns to the Beach Camp, with a list of four Losties he's to bring to the Others: Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. Of those, Hurley's distinction was that he was not hiking off to spending a big chunk of season 3 in captivity. Nope, the Others just wanted to be able to send Hurley back to tell the remaining Losties to leave them alone. Or that, at least, is what we're supposed to think. Considering that our four Losties were knocked out by blow darts, we don't really know for sure what happened on the way to them waking up at the Pala Ferry to see Ben giving Michael the boat and Walt. Perhaps Hurley was actually taken to Room 23 for some quick brainwashing and/or evalutation? Just a theory, but possible, yes?

Ben and Hurley didn't have much direct interaction in season 3, but in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead", Hurley discovered the DHARMA van which we later discovered was actually the vehicle in which Ben killed his father, who was the skeleton named Roger, Workman, which Hugo confused as being his full name. Hurley was led to the DHARMA van by Vincent, dog of doom, who brought to him Roger's arm (in his mouth, ewww). If you interpret Vincent as being a pawn of the Island (and the "So It Begins" mobisode certainly supports that theory), then what was going on was that the Island wanted Hurley to find the van.

And what did Hurley do with the van? Besides lifting a few spirits, the van was instrumental to Hurley's next tie to Ben, which is that he steamrolled onto the beach, killing Ryan, which allowed Sayid and Sawyer to get the upper hand, leading to the deaths of Jason and Tom. With their deaths, and with all those other Others killed the previous night, the physical manpower of the Others was cut by drastic numbers, disabling their ability in season 4 to mount as much as a challenge to Keamy's Krew as they would have been able to otherwise. This also leads to a fairly hilarious scene in which Hurley uses Tom's radio to transmit, "Attention, Others. Come in, Others. If you're listening in, I want you to know that we got you bastards. And, unless the rest of you want to get blown up, you best stay away from our beach!" In Hurley's eyes, he saved his Lostie friends. Yay, Hurley.

Soon after, however, Hurley learns that another of his close friends, Charlie, died through indirect involvement of Ben, through his orders to Mikhail to protect the Looking Glass station. That was the bad news. The good news was that he was told the Freighters were coming to rescue them all. And so, the Losties at the beach headed inland that night to rendezvous with Jack's entourage, and this is where the really interesting seeds of the Ben/Hurley relationship start. Falling behind the group, Hurley gets a bit lost, and stumbles onto Jacob's cabin, seeing Christian Shepherd inside and that same strange eye that we saw flashed at us in "The Man Behind the Curtain." Hurley, of course, freaks out. Hurley runs in a different direction, and there's the cabin... again. He closes his eyes, and the Cabin is gone.

When the time comes later that night for everyone to split into different camps, Hurley is the first to cross over to join Locke, a decision he regrets in the future. Ben asks Jack's permission to go with Locke, to which Jack says, "He's all yours." On the way to the Barracks, Locke announces that they have to make a side trip to the cabin (so he can try to get orders from Jacob), which perplexes Hurley, who says he saw the cabin back some other way. The look on Ben's face when he hears that Hurley saw the cabin is priceless. Clearly, the ability to see Jacob's Cabin is not something that is universal on the Island. Hurley tries to talk his way out of admitting that he saw the cabin, but Ben is obviously not fooled.

Like the rest of Locke's group, Hurley settles quickly into the pleasant domesticity of New Otherton, bunking with Sawyer, with whom he is playing horseshoes in the yard when they see Ben walking along, carrying blankets (a nice visual reference to what Libby was doing when she was shot), who they had thought was being held as a prisoner for being, you know, one of the bad guys. Ben says, "See you guys at dinner", which gives "The Other Woman" an awesome little closing line.

Hurley is playing RISK (a more appropriate board game for that moment, I can't think of) with Sawyer and Locke when the phone rings, with a recorded voice announcing that the security fence had been breached (presumably the code that Alex entered was one that would both lower the defenses and trip the alarm). With Sawyer outside saving Claire, Ben and Hurley argue about whether to let him back in the house. Then, later, when Ben uses the strange things in his basement to call on Smokey's help against Keamy's Krew, Hurley quickly puts two and two together, asking Ben if he called "that thing." Yes, yes he did.

Hurley is recruited by Ben to join him and Locke on that belated trek to Jacob's Cabin they've been hunkering to do for the whole season. Hurley comes up with a fairly sound theory about why it is the three of them who are have been able to see the cabin: they're the craziest guys on the Island. There hadn't been much evidence that Ben was crazy until very recently, in "The Other Woman", where we saw how unhinged Ben got about his obsession with romantically trapping fair Juliet. Hurley didn't know about all that, but he probably figured the leader of the "evil" Others had to be crazy, right? Arriving at the mass DHARMA grave, Locke reveals to Hurley what happened to all those people: Ben. Okay, now, maybe Hurley had grounds to think Ben was crazy. But Ben explains something we didn't know yet, which is that the decision to purge the DHARMA Initiative was made by the leader of the Others, but that leader was not him. Which, of course, leaves us with yet another mystery: who preceded Ben? Jacob? Alpert? Widmore? Someone else? Someone we know?

And now, we come to one of the most awesome scenes of season 4, or possibly the entire series. First, however, Locke offered Hurley the chance to leave the trio and return to the camp, which Hurley refused (arguing reasonably that he probably wasn't safer alone in the jungle), which led Ben to congratulate Locke on his manipulative skills. We've seen lots of evidence that the Others prize mind games, for sure. As Locke heads into Jacob's Cabin alone, the former chosen one, Ben, is left to sit sort of dejected and bored with his unlikely new traveling companion, Hurley. And then, Hurley pulls out an Apollo candy bar, which he offers to share with Ben (who accepts). Ben and Hurley sharing candy. LOST at its finest!

The next day, our trio heads toward some high ground, and Ben lifts a rock to reveal a DHARMA tin box, in which there is a mirror for communicating with someone (Alpert and the Others) up high, and a pack of saltines, which Hurley digs right into, prompting Ben to remind him that those crackers are 15 years old, which doesn't seem to much faze Hurley. He's a big guy, he needs carbs!

After the trio reaches the Orchid, Ben and Hurley go their separate ways, as Hurley leaves with Jack and Sawyer, on his way to becoming one of the Oceanic Six. But, we know that Ben and Hurley are likely to have a lot of interaction in the future, as Ben's new best lackey, Sayid, rescues Hurley from the mental institution, and Ben tells Jack that they *all* have to back to the Island, which includes Hurley. So, whatever special connection Hurley has to the Island still has time to be manifested, will probably come into play in season six, when the Oceanic Six is most likely to return to the Island. And Ben is instrumental to all that, so we still have chances of more Ben/Hurley hilarity. Maybe Hurley will introduce Ben to his mom and Cheech!

P.S. I thought this particular connection was fairly minor, but as it turns out, when I actually got into writing about all the connections between Ben and Hurley, it surprisingly was quite complex!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ana Lucia & Christian

In this blog, I won't be going overly in depth into "flashback characters", but there are some that will be addressed. One very crucial such character is Christian Shepherd (AKA Ghost Dad), who has ties to not one, not two, not three, but *four* of our main Lostie cast members. For all we know, by the time this crazy TV show trip is over, maybe there will even be others. First up for discussion of ties to Christian is Ana Lucia Cortez, extremely unlikeable ex-cop extraordinaire.

Most of the interaction we actually see between Lulu and Ghost Dad takes place in the flashbacks of
Two for the Road, which culminates in La Chica Loca basically joining the Ghostie ranks herself. After a brief encounter in line, Ana Lucia and Christian first officially introduce themselves to each other at an LAX bar (probably the same one where Jack and Ana Lucia would later first meet), as Ana was taking a break (or maybe she was on the job, yay) from the daily grind as an airport security guard, and Christian was prepping for his big bender in Sydney. They made some cute small talk, such as how they both failed beautifully at their respective former professions, and Christian enlisted her to become his body guard on some sort of secret mission down under. They playfully assigned each other code names. Christian called her "Sarah" (after Jack's ex-wife) and Ana Lucia called him Tom. We don't know why she picked Tom, except that LOST is very big on Toms: Mr. Friendly, Kate's doctor-to-be teenage boyfriend, Claire's fiance and father to Aaron, Cooper's Tom Sawyer alias which inspired James Ford, Charlie's drug dealer, DHARMA honcho Thomas Mittelwerk, etc.

The two then are seen in Sydney, as Christian comes to Ana Lucia's hotel room in a completely wasted looking state, informing her that it's time for her to do her job. The duo pulls up to the house of Claire's mother, and Christian informs Ana Lucia that this is what he needed a bodyguard for, since Fodor's Guide to Australia makes it very clear that Aussie Aunties are so freakin' tough that you need a trigger-happy ex-cop to watch out for you. Christian wakes up the household at an ungodly hour and starts shouting about how "she's" his daughter, and he has every right to see her. He pays the mortgage on the house, and everything. "She", is of course, Claire, future mother of the antichrist (or something).

Now, we can interpret all of this in a few different ways. First off, if Christian did actually intend Ana Lucia to be a bodyguard, the only person who probably really needed it was Lindsey, Claire's aunt (her mom being in a coma at this point). Or perhaps Christian wanted Ana Lucia to witness the connection between him and the Littleton family, knowing somehow that Ana Lucia would eventually end up on the Island. Or, speaking of that, perhaps getting Ana Lucia on the plane to Sydney was all part of some master plan to make sure certain people ended up on The Island. Or perhaps it's a little bit of all of the above. Whether theories about machinations of how people ended up on Flight 815 were part of some big master plan will ever be proven, we don't yet know.

Anyway, that is nearly the end of the Ana Lucia/Christian story. They parted ways at this point, with Christian going into that bar where he would encounter Sawyer, and Ana Lucia going off into Sydney to... do whatever high strung, violent ex-cops do in a strange city. Beat up drunks who didn't pay for protection service, perhaps.

Ah, but there is one more beat (thus far) between Ana Lucia and Christian. In The Beginning of the End (season 4 premiere), Hurley discovers Jacob's Cabin, and (spooky!), there are whispers. Now, the contents of whispers are often debatable, but the consensus seems to be that these particular whispers include the voice of Christian Shepherd saying "Sarah, is somebody coming?", with a female voice replying "They must be coming, you..." By the end of season 4, we know that Christian hangs out in Jacob's Cabin. Jack's Sarah is still alive back on the mainland, so the most likely candidate for the "Sarah" that Ghost Dad is talking to is the woman to whom he assigned that nickname: Ana Lucia, who at this point is obviously in the ranks of Island Ghosties. So, there's a hint that the Whispers are not the voices of the Others as once thought, but are instead the voices of Ghosties. Or maybe they're both. As for whether we will ever see the story of Ana Lucia and Christian Shepherd continue in seasons 5 and 6, I think it's quite likely, exactly because of that little Whisper exchange. They're both Ghosties, and apparently are keeping in touch. However they do that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Daniel & Kate

Today's Losties are the first whose connection comes entirely from the limited perspective of the relatively short season 4: Daniel Faraday and Kate Austen; an Oxford professor and an Iowa girl who we're not even entirely sure graduated from high school; a guy who wears his skinny tie with pride in a jungle, and Little Miss Facesmear. This connection is all about the new parallel between how our Losties basically appear to the new Freighter arrivals much the way the formerly mysterious Others once appeared to our Losties, I think. Kate is a savvy tracker Jungle Gal type, and Faraday is... the complete opposite.

Daniel Faraday's arrival on the Island (in The Beginning of the End) is anticipated by the optimistic among our Losties as something just shy of the Second Coming of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ the Nazarene. Jack and Kate are reminiscing about poor, dead Charlie while at the cockpit when they hear the sound of Frank's helicopter above, sounding in bad shape, and see a blinking light coming down nearby. They head in that direction, and are on the scene to get their glimpse of what will become a familiar sight: Daniel Faraday stumbling around and looking completely hapless and out of place in the dangers of the Island jungle. Look up "fish out of water" in a TV/Movie glossary, and Daniel Faraday will be right in there, along with Borat, City Slickers, Coming to America, and you know, Darryl Hannah's literally fish-out-of-water mermaid from Splash. Oh, Faraday, you're so adorably academic. Kate has the same look on her face as when she discovered the Apollo candy bars in early season 2 when Daniel asks, "Are you Jack?"

Announcing that he is there to rescue them, Faraday starts to stumble out what he could do if he had his phone, which is in his missing pack, when Kate offers that they have a phone (Naomi's). Faraday is somehow surprised to hear this, even though he knows that Jack called the Freighter on that same phone, hence how he knew Jack's name. I don't think this is so much a continuity error as an example of how Faraday's mind is so constantly up in the scientific stratosphere and not thinking through very common sense logic. He's a bit of a goof, really.

Following the signal on the phone towards Miles, the trio finds a box from the helicopter containing an ominous-looking gas mask, and Jack asks Daniel why he's packing heat, which leads to the infamous line about rescuing the Losties not being their "primary objective." The tension continues to heat up when they find Miles and he accuses Kate of killing Naomi. This leads to Daniel making a very curious statement about Jack and Kate to Miles: "these are good people."

Now, that might seem like a throwaway line to the casual viewer, but LOST fans should recall that the phrase "good people" is one of those big mythology tag lines that the Others, mostly, threw around a lot in seasons 2 and 3. What we don't know yet is what the Others really meant by "good people", and what significance such standing has with The Island. And for that matter, are Jack and Kate actually good people, inasmuch as The Island defines that term? In other words, is this Daniel just saying something in a context he doesn't truly understand, or does he somehow in fact know what's saying about them (whatever that might be, which we don't really know at this point)?

While Miles communes with Naomi's corpse, Miles is mildly freaking out, talking about how the light doesn't scatter quite right on the Island. Kate tries to bring him back to Earth (good luck with that, Freckles), saying that he doesn't need the gun because, you know, Kate and Jack are such awesomely good people. Remember that? Daniel says Miles would kill him. And then talk to his corpse, probably. When their newly large group (with the addition of Sayid and Juliet) arrives at the helicopter, Kate and Daniel team up to load Naomi's body onto it, which annoys Miles to no end, saying that her body is "just meat." Soon after, Kate goes off with Sayid and Miles to the Barracks on their mission, so that ends her interaction with Daniel for a while.

After some quality sexy time with Sawyer that is brought to a screeching halt by his delight that Kate wasn't pregnant (he even did a "Woo !"), Kate headed back in the direction of the Beach camp and Jack, who would never ever "Woo !" about her lack of imminent motherhood. And on the way there, Kate came across... Daniel and Charlotte, on their way to execute some sort of sinister plan at the mysterious Tempest Station. There is some awkward lying and cat and mouse logic between Daniel and Kate (who Charlotte is pointing her gun at), which goes a long way to demonstrate what an awful, awful liar Daniel is. If you have a secret, don't tell the fat guy... or the egghead. Kate spots their gas masks, which lands her a nice big lump on the head courtesy of C.S. Lewis.

After all the drama of the affair at Ye Olde Tempest Station, Daniel and Charlotte return to the relative domesticity of the Beach Camp, and sort of settle in. From this point, on the narrative between Daniel and Kate sort of slows down to a trickle, and not a particularly interesting one. There's drama at the Beach about the Freighter, and Jack's appendix problem, and lies about the radio, but Kate and Daniel don't have the same sort of "she's good people" bond anymore. And then Kate gets her helicopter ticket to become one of the Oceanic Six while Daniel is busing ferrying future dead redshirts to the Freighter, and that's pretty much it for this connection. Kate's off in the future, no longer being a Jungle Gal, and Daniel will presumably be back on the Island soon, being perplexed by jungle dust and moonbeams. Any imminent Daniel/Kate interaction is very unlikely, probably until season six, if Daniel isn't Smokey bait by then.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sayid & Tom

For a long time, I didn't really know the difference between the terms "strategy" and "tactics", whether we're talking about military operations, or you know... video games, heh. I get it now, though. Strategy is planning in the big picture, while tactics is the practical stuff on a smaller scale. For example, strategy says where hundreds of tanks will go, whereas tactics is what one tank in that group does. In this Lostie comparison of Sayid and Tom, we see three examples of how Sayid is perhaps a great soldier when it comes to tactics, but strategy, not so much.

Sayid and Tom are two characters who have not had very much narrative interaction, but as soldiers in their respective armies, have had a few skirmishes, with Sayid on the losing side two times out of three (and that last one was only a win because of things that Sayid wasn't responsible for). Which is not to say that I'm totally bashing Sayid or anything; he is all kinds of teh awesome. Going back to the tactics thing, he is the baddest bad ass on the Island in personal combat. I will never write up an entry for "Jason & Sayid", so let's just that out of the way: breaking a guy's neck with your calves, while bound and gagged, no less, is a TOTAL win.

The first Sayid/Tom encounter is not direct, but it is interesting. In season 2, Sayid comes up with a plan to lure the Others into a trap by the Pala Ferry. Except Tom and the Others are just a tad more clever, and instead use the Galaga submarine (we think) to approach Desmond's sailboat by sea, and they engage Sun, with Colleen ending up shot in the gut. So, Sayid's strategy proved to be completely outwitted, and they ended up without a sailboat.

The next time Sayid and Tom had interaction was in season 3, when Sayid, Locke, Kate and Rousseau infiltrated the Barracks. First, hiding in the bushes, Sayid and crew were excited to see Jack running towards them, only to figure out that he was playing touch football with Tom, who notably threw like a girl. Their sneaking doesn't work for long, however, as Kate goes to talk to Jack, and she and Sayid are promptly captured by the Others' crack kidnapping crew. There is not a ton of Sayid/Tom direct interaction during all this, but it applies in as much as Sayid and Tom are sort of the "military" leaders of their respective groups, and once again, the Others have the upper hand. Sayid remains tied up to a swing set until Juliet and Kate come back for him and Jack in Left Behind.

Finally, the last interaction between Sayid and Tom is their biggest, as Sayid leads a trio of Losties (Bernard and Jin) in an attempt in the season 3 finale to blow up a large team of Others who are expected to be invading the beach camp. Bernard and Sayid both hit their targets, but Jin's pistol doesn't have the same sort of aim, and so a few surviving Others, led by Tom, are able to gain the upper hand. So, yet another Sayid plan goes badly. The Others hold our three Losties hostage (again for Sayid), and there is some sort of mind game where Ben tells Tom to kill them, but he doesn't actually do it (we don't know for sure why that is). And then Hurley comes crashing through in the DHARMA van, killing Ryan, and allowing Sayid to get all kick ass with the killing with your feet thing, and Sawyer kills Tom. Another example of a strategic plan going wrong, but Sayid's tactical skills shine.

In conclusion, Sayid is an amazing soldier, but not a masterful general. Tom, on the other hand, seems very good at planning attacks, but we never really see any evidence that he is much of a fighter. With Tom dead, and Sayid in the future now, it's unlikely we will ever see them encounter each other again, unless it's some sort of ghost/vision thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boone & Claire

Today's pairing is two original main cast Losties (well, technically one was listed as a guest star in the Pilot, but she's considered a Season 1 main cast member) who really didn't have a lot of interactions until one big episode, where they became big symbolic counterpoints to each other: Boone Carlyle and Claire Littleton. As two of the original Losties who were among the young, cute group, early speculation would have had a point in guessing that they might eventually have been written as having some sort of romantic geometry going on (Boone would have been a nice counterpoint to Charlie), but Boone was more interested in his (step) sister, and that big bald stud, John Locke. Also, Claire's Aussie accent doesn't wrap around "Boone" quite as well as "Cholly."

Boone and Claire are both on the beach following the crash of Flight 815, but Boone is too busy running around asking for pens (for Rose) to apply any of his supposed lifeguard medical emergency expertise to Claire, so the job of helping her falls to the even less capable hands of Hurley. Given his knack at bungling things, though, if Boone had been watching out for Claire in those early moments, she probably would have gotten smooshed by something, or blown up, thus making sure she'd forever stay a guest star.

The next time Boone and Claire interact a little is when she organizes the memorial for the dead passengers, along with Hurley. Soon after, Boone gave Claire one of the bottle waters he had stolen. Again, this is a case of Boone trying to help, but bungling it and making things worse. Yay Boone.

Boone's next couple of connections to Claire all involve that whole Ethan thing. He volunteers to help look for Claire when she and Charlie are abducted, and not long into the wild, Locke suggests that he and Boone split up from Jack and Kate, which started Boone's road to being Locke's little lapdog, as they stumbled upon the Hatch later that night. It was while on one of their little adventures in the jungle (looking for Vincent) that Boone and Locke came upon Claire, after she escaped from Ethan and the Staff station. What a coincidence that Vincent basically led them right to her. Or rather, that totally wasn't a coincidence, I'd say. Claire's return led the Losties to "circle the wagons", and Boone volunteered in his best intentional way, but like the goof that he was, he fell asleep, and was awoken by the trap closest to him, suggesting that Ethan probably walked right by him after killing Steve*.

And then, (nearly) finally, the story lines of Boone and Claire came together in "Do No Harm", following Boone's fall in Yemi's Beechcraft, and Locke dropping him off with Jack. The Beechcraft would also have later impact on Claire's life, when Charlie (with help from Sayid) discovered the wonders of breaking Virgin Mary statues. As Boone laid there by the caves, dying, baby Aaron decided that would be a great day to make his entrance, since it would nicely keep the Island's population balanced (not counting the dozens of people who died in the next couple of months, following). Because Boone required Jack's attention, the good doctor was not able to attend to Claire's birthing, which allowed Kate, but more hilariously, Jin and Charlie, to all have much larger roles in Aaron's birth than they probably would have otherwise. And then Boone died.

Boone and Claire were destined to have one more scene together, sort of. After the Swan station blew up, crazy old Locke decided to build a sweat lodge and ingest some of that psychedelic paste he had put on Boone's head. Boone appeared as a vision, and took Locke back to the Oceanic terminal in Sydney, and said that someone there needed Locke's help (it was Eko). The first people Locke sees are Charlie, Claire and Aaron, who seem like a perfectly happy little family. Boone says, "Not them. They'll be fine... for a while." Which, of course, was a reference to Charlie dying later in that season.

Curiously, the story may not be totally over for Boone and Claire. Like everyone who dies on the Island, Boone switched from being a Lostie to being a Ghostie. And the Ghosties seem to be connected to Jacob's cabin, and that's where Claire was last seen on the Island, and then she herself became a vision to Kate, warning her not to bring "him" back to the Island (which probably meant Aaron, but she might have meant Locke). Anyway, since they are both in that sort of ghostie state, it seems possible that maybe Boone and Claire might actually end up seeing each other, some day. If Ghosties can fall into peril, needing an incompetent hero type to bungle his way through a rescue.

*Dude, that was Scott.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Alex & Sawyer

This entry marks the first (of what will surely be many) pairing that someone, somewhere, out there has seen fit to address via the wonderful world of "slash fanfic", which for those new to the term, is fiction written by fans where they imagine romance (or more) between two characters on a TV show, usually between characters who don't actually have such a relationship, officially. I was actually a bit surprised that I couldn't find any slash fic for Locke and Sun, and inversely surprised that there *is* slash fic for today's Losties: James "Sawyer" Ford and Alexandra "Alex" Linus-Rousseau.

Sawyer needs no introduction, but Alex, perhaps does. Born on the Island to everyone's favorite crazy French chick, Danielle Rousseau, soon after her birth, Benjamin Linus and the Others abducted baby Alex, and Ben raised her as his daughter, apparently quite lovingly and fairly middle class. Alex grew up in something approximating a normal world, and sat around her backyard on tranquil nights with her boyfriend, Karl, making up silly names for stars. But as Alex and Karl hit their teen years and hormones kicked in, Ben became extremely proprietal about Alex, and the possibility that she might die from carrying a little Karl, Jr. , and so he threw Karl in a cage.

Alex and Sawyer first met at the end of season 2, when Jack, Kate and Sawyer were taken hostage by the Others at the Pala Ferry. Alex took bondage duties over Kate, but that's the staging for a whole other "Tales of Two Losties" entry that I'm not doing today. Sawyer ended up in that cage opposite Karl, which then became Kate's cage, after Karl tried to escape, landing himself in Room 23. A few days later, while Kate and Sawyer were doing their whole break rocking thing at the quarry/runway, Alex tried to stage a little ambush, attacking the assorted Others with a slingshot, which would earn her a Sawyer nickname of Slingshot Sally. Other Sawyerisms for Alex include Sheena (of the Jungle), Underdog and Lollipop. Alex warned Kate that she shouldn't trust the Others, as they were going to "kill your boyfriend just like they killed mine." Ah, Alex thought Kate and Sawyer were officially girlfriend and boyfriend. How cute. If she only knew.

The next day, while her dad was just, you know, having major spinal surgery, Alex helped Kate and Sawyer escape, with the agreement that they would help her rescue Karl as well. Using the old "Wookie Prisoner" gag (with Sawyer being the Wookie), the trio made their way into the building that Room 23 is in, and found Karl totally all zonked out. Curiously, Sawyer was also momentarily entranced, although Alex and Kate seemed not fazed at all. Was there something about the brain washing movie that was especially tuned against males, or was Sawyer easily entranced because he had actually already been to Room 23? Ah, yet another mystery, probably never to be officially addressed. Alas. Anyway, Alex sent Karl off with Kate and Sawyer, and she stayed behind to face the consequences of her big adventure.

The following occurred in what was probably the worst episode of season 3, "Stranger in a Strange Land", so you are excused if you didn't get to the end to see this, but back on the main island, Sawyer and Karl had a little male bonding session, during which Karl talked about his relationship with Alex. But... that's all meat for the eventual Karl/Sawyer entry, so I won't get into details. Sawyer tells Karl that if he loves Alex so much, he should go back and rescue her, but Karl says that if he goes back, they'll kill him for sure this time. And then go play some touch football on the Quad.

The Alex/Sawyer story more or less ends here. Alex, Karl and Rousseau eventually join the Losties, and go with Locke's group (with Sawyer) in season 4, and they all live in a kind of domestic bliss in New Otherton for a while, but there isn't really any Alex/Sawyer interaction. Until... Keamy blows Alex's brains out in "The Shape of Things to Come." Sawyer is there as Ben sees Alex die, and since he and Ben are not exactly best buddies, his reaction to it is that he argues that since Keamy's Krew are obviously bad asses, that's all the more reason to turn Ben over to them. Which, of course, they don't. It would have been nice to see a little remorse from Sawyer about the death of the girl who probably saved his life, but hey, season 4 was short, fast, and the story telling was sometimes a bit... economical.