OCTOBER 23, 2010
AIRED: MAY 24, 2005
I made the mistake of watching the season finale, "Exodus: Part 2" with some friends, which is something I wouldn't do again until the FINALE finale (because for that one I was promised mini-wieners). It's just too hard to not talk while watching stuff with friends (at least, for me), and Lost isn't something you want to talk during (AFTER, of course, is a whole other ball game). So I had missed a lot of the little moments here and there; I remember not knowing how Charlie got the cut on his eye, for example.
Since it's a direct continuation of part 1, it's a lot more action packed, since so much of part 1 was about getting everything set up. The smoke monster "chase", the boat attack, Charlie and Sayid's mad dash to find Rousseau and Aaron, the various goings on with the dynamite (poor Arzt... and poor Jack, with "some Arzt" on him)... this is a pretty Bruckheimer-ian episode, compared to most others (including some of the other finales). I love when the smoke monster drags Locke (even more so now with later developments in my head), prompting Jack to do an awesome dive to save him (and then blow the thing up). I just wish that Locke had a little disembodied smoke tendril on his ankle when he got pulled up, that'd be amazing.
And yet, true to form for the first season, it never loses sight of the characters. It's not as tear-jerky as part 1, but there are a lot of minor little bonding moments throughout the episode, such as Michael and Sawyer discovering their mutual love of Bob Marley, or Locke and Hurley discussing Twinkies. Hell even Jack and Locke get in a brief moment, discussing the game Operation (with Locke displaying some of his dry humor again - "Zzzt"). However, the most memorable is probably with Claire, Sun, and Shannon in the caves, trying to cheer each other up. I never really noticed before, but the women on the show never really had much interaction with each other on a one-on-one basis the way the guys did. I can't think of one female/female relationship on the show that I'd consider as strong as say, Hurley and Charlie, or Sawyer and Myles even. Kate and Sun probably come closest, but even that was fairly limited.
Speaking of women not getting as much to do as the guys, I never noticed - Claire doesn't get her own flashback in either part of Exodus. Every other character has one (and some appear in others'), but Claire gets screwed, other than the final, silent montage of everyone getting on the plane.
Another thing I noticed in this one goes back to what I was saying in the review for "Born To Run", as we have another instance of not knowing that something was still a secret when it becomes an issue. Sayid brings Charlie to the plane and literally throws heroin at him - I figured by now his junkie status would have gotten around (especially since he told Hurley, and we've been led to believe Hurley cannot keep secrets). And even if not, Sayid's a pretty smart guy - he never noticed Charlie's obvious withdrawal symptoms?
The episode also includes one of the series most oft-mocked moments, Harold Perrineau's "Darth Vader finds out Padme has died" level outburst of "WAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLT!". It's not even so bad in context, it's just that it was part of like 17 'Previously, on Lost' clips, it began to drive spikes into my brain (as did Kate's "I OWE him that!" concerning going back for Jack in Season 3). Some DVDs give you the option of skipping the "Previously" things, though I don't think Lost is among them. If so, I definitely would, especially on episodes like this episode where they are THREE minutes long.
As we all know, the episode ends with Jack and Locke staring down the hatch, cutting to credits before we know who or what is in it. All summer long folks were asking "What's in the hatch?", though few ever came up with "A guy named Desmond". As future seasons came and went, interest would dwindle, and such cliffhangers would often infuriate rather than intrigue. So it was nice to go back to the capper for what was the closest to a perfect season the show ever had.
Really, there were only 2-3 weak episodes this season (its longest, for the record), and no outright stinkers, something future seasons couldn't claim. The pacing was perfect, the ratio of answered questions to reveals of new ones was quite satisfying, and all of our characters were given plenty to work with. Take Season 6, for example - Desmond only appeared in like 3 episodes. Obviously some got more time than others, but it never felt like they were completely abandoning a character for long stretches. Also, it never felt like they were just dilly-dallying; there was a sense of urgency to the season as a whole, whether it was the search for more food or the race to find Claire or whatever, things were always on the go. Later seasons would include Claire trying to attach a message to a bird's foot, or Charlie building a church. Riveting. So it's a shame that the show never lived up to this first season (IMO), but it's a testament to how great it was that it retained my interest until the end - I felt I owed it to the folks behind it as a thanks for doing something so great here.
Next up: Season 2! Eko! The Hatch! Ben! DESMOND!!!
Where are we?