"Do No Harm"

OCTOBER 19, 2010

AIRED: APRIL 6, 2005

If you don’t like Jack, or Jack episodes, then “Do No Harm” probably pissed you off, since this makes his third (fourth if you count the pilot) while most folks had only gotten one (and Shannon hadn’t even gotten that much!). But I am on team Jack, so I was perfectly OK with it, especially in retrospect, as its one of his few relatively happy episodes, detailing his wedding to Sarah (Julie Bowen, as lovely as always), a stark contrast to the island stuff, where he spent the entire episode making the “Jack-face” as he tried to save Boone (for some reason).

It’s also one of the even fewer (only?) times he and his dad have a nice, conflict-free scene together, sharing a drink and discussing Jack’s inability to pen his vows. It was a bummer for me to watch, since my dad died shortly after I got engaged, so it was the first time since his funeral that it really hit that he wouldn’t be there at my wedding (which was about 3 months from the time this episode aired). Not that we’d share a drink (my dad did not drink! Smoked like a chimney though – hence why he wasn’t with us anymore. Don’t smoke, kids!), but it would have been nice to have him there, obviously. Way to bum me out, Lost.

On that note, I had to laugh at his cutaway during the actual wedding. Jack and Sarah kiss, everyone applauds, Christian smiles... and immediately looks off to the side. My guess – he was planning his route to the bar.

The point of his flashbacks was to illustrate Jack’s inability to let go and fix things, which of course plays a big part in pretty much every decision the guy will make over the next six years. Granted, we’ve already sort of learned this from the other ones, but it’s nice that they found a way to depict it in a rather happy manner, instead of the usual angry outbursts and fighting that permeates most Jack-isodes. And I like that Boone, moments from death and probably in some pretty unbearable pain, had to be the one to tell him not to use the makeshift guillotine to amputate his leg, because Jack refused to listen to Sun or anyone else. Hilariously enough, it had been so long since I had seen the episode that I couldn’t remember if he actually went through it or not, so these scenes were kind of suspenseful all over again.

Speaking of Sun, they never really explored her role as a sort of 2nd doctor on the island, with her herbal remedies and more level-headed approach to things. I wish they had done more with it, though then again I can’t really think of too many extreme situations like this – pretty much everyone else that died on the show died instantly (well, except for Paulo, the poor bastard).

Jack shouts “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” at one point, which is cool but I think sort of premature in the grand scheme of things – it would have been more of a “moment” if we had gotten further into the Jack vs. Locke “war”, one that basically started in this episode. Up until now they had been casual friends/allies, but from here on they would more or less constantly be at odds for some reason or another.

The other big thing is that Claire finally has her baby, despite looking ready to pop when they crashed 40 days ago. It’s a pretty typical TV moment to have a baby delivered in a less than ideal place by a non-doctor (Michael Giacchino’s score basically seems to be mocking it), but it plays well, and it’s worth it for Jin’s reactions to Charlie throughout the process. It’s the first time that Jin has been warm and friendly to another character; even when he’s doing something helpful (like building the raft) he always seems pissed off. Good ol’ Jin and his inexplicably fast-growing hair. I also like the bit where, for once, he communicates with Sun as translator – it’s underplayed, but it's pretty much the first time they’ve really spoken civilly since he found out she spoke English.

And this is the first time I’ve watched the episode since it became a “thing” that Kate would raise Aaron. So that takes on a nice little bit of extra meaning. You can even go deeper – Jack refused to help deliver him, just as he would later shun the chance to have any contact with him (and going even deeper than that – it’s your nephew, dude!). LEVELS, man.

Anyway, RIP Boone. May you appear in several random flashbacks over the next five years.

Where are we?

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