"Deus Ex Machina"

OCTOBER 18, 2010

AIRED: MARCH 30, 2005

We’re back! Due to the Screamfest film festival, I had precious little time for anything else, so Lost had to be put on hold until it was over. But I sort of like the irony, because when "Deus Ex Machina" originally aired, it was after a long break from the previous episode ("Numbers"), which of course I had no recollection of, 5+ years later. It was these sort of long breaks that would ultimately lead to the show airing nonstop in the 2nd half of the season instead of throughout the year like a normal show. Lost is not a normal show.

Good episode. It’s the type that I loved the most, where we had two plot lines going on, one important to the island mythology, and the other character based (and often humorous). The character one is Jack trying to help Sawyer with his headaches. It’s a real showcase for Jack, because he gets in some great lines (“I’m just going to get a one-liner for my trouble. And maybe if I’m really lucky, a brand new nickname.”), and delivers one of the all time best paybacks when he forces Sawyer to admit he’s got STDs and slept with hookers in front of Kate, even though that information has nothing to do with the diagnosis he already made (Sawyer’s got vision problems). In a way it’s sort of mean spirited of Jack, since Sawyer hadn’t really done anything to him in a while and had been being fairly civil to him to boot (the “insurance rant out” line, for example). But I like that when he tells Kate he helped him for her, it seems like he’s being the bigger man, but if you think about it, he did all of this to let her know that the guy she wanted to boink (and eventually did) has the clap.

Also, we see Jack shaving. That settles one mystery of the show – why no one ever grew an amazing beard. They took the time to shave. Me, even if I didn’t have a beard, that would be the first thing I put in the “pros” list when debating life on the island. Shaving sucks.

As for the real story, it opens up a lot more of the plot then it initially seemed on its first airing. The drug plane would continue to be a focal point for both mythology (“?”) and character stuff (Charlie has a new stash!), the priest corpse would turn out to be related to a character we haven’t even met yet... Plus, the light in the hatch not only proved someone was inside, but we eventually got the story of why he turned the light on in the first place. And most of us probably didn’t think Boone was going to die from his injuries, especially since we just found out about his nanny-murdering ways.

The flashbacks follow suit – despite the way the episode ends, this would most certainly not be the last we see of Anthony Cooper, nor would he be Locke’s exclusive burden to bear. And I like how the episode plays with the audience’s anticipation of how Locke got into the wheelchair – there is NO reason for him to get hit by a car in the opening scenes other than to mess with us. Bastards. Speaking of screwing with the audience, sometimes they get a bit too goofy with the numbers – why would a toy store keep Nerf footballs 7 aisles away from the “regulation” ones? They should have just said aisles 15 and 16, if they had to get the numbers in there somehow.

I also like that Locke gets to show off some of his dry humor. “I don’t even know how to spell trebuchet”, Boone says. “It has a T at the end,” Locke replies. Heh. It makes up for the never explained nonsense about him losing the ability to walk whenever it became convenient to the plot. Seriously, that was one of their dumber moves, even if it does sort of work in an ironic way with regards to the episode’s title, as it’s sort of a reverse Deus Ex Machina (out of nowhere, something happens that... totally screws the character over).

It’s weird, I thought Boone died earlier in the season than this, but there are only four more episodes to the season (and thus, 3 after he died, since we don’t get to experience the joy of that until next week/tomorrow). Sorry, Boone fans – I wasn't exactly sad to see him go.

Where are we?

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