"The Greater Good"

OCTOBER 20, 2010

AIRED: MAY 4, 2005

Lost returned from another “brief” hiatus with “The Greater Good”, which is annoying even under normal circumstances, but even more so when you consider that the episode takes place later on the same day as “Do No Harm”. It’s been a month for us but they’re just burying Boone now and Claire still hasn’t named her baby? So this is definitely an episode that works better when watching them all back to back.

Because it’s not a particularly good episode, because half of it surrounds on something you know isn’t going to happen (Sayid or Shannon killing Locke – he can’t die til we know why he was in a wheelchair, dammit!), and the other half revolves around cutesy Three Men & A Baby antics. These sort of things are fine, again, in back to back viewings, but they were pretty cruel to come back after a month with this sort of nonsense. I do like that the baby only stays quiet when he hears Sawyer’s voice – I wonder if Kate ever told Jack that when they were fighting in the future. Would have been a good burn.

Sayid’s flashback, as before, is about Nadia, and we learn how he got on Oceanic 815. It’s kind of a bummer moment, because he changed his original, presumably non-crashing on a magic island flight, in order to help bury his friend, thinking it was the least he could do after selling the guy out and causing him to pull a Radzinsky right in front of him. Otherwise the flashbacks aren’t of much use, mostly just telling us stuff we already know. It’s a shame so many of Sayid’s flashbacks revolved around his involvement with the Republican Guard - he seemed like he could be one of the more interesting characters but they always focused on this sort of stuff. And with each character having roughly 7 centric episodes a piece (except for Jack, who got like, I don’t know, 46), in the long run I wish they had opted for a little more variety, knowing how few they’d have for everyone.

My favorite scene of the episode is probably the lone stand-alone bit, with Walt asking Michael about the raft. It’s the sort of scene they wouldn’t bother with after a while, where they give the non-involved characters a bit of business in order to justify their paycheck. But in retrospect, it’s kind of telling – Walt asks about sharks (they encounter one), if they’ll die on the boat (both Michael and Jin DO die on boats, albeit not that one – Sawyer is not actually in the scene), and if it will tip over (well, no, but it will get blown the hell up, and the mini-rafts they make out of it tip over a bunch). Every now and then, they either prove that they did have everything planned, or watched the episodes over and over to build plot elements out of throwaway dialogue. Either way, makes it fun to watch again.

And we have a beach fight! It’s been a while. Doesn’t amount to much, since everyone runs in to break it up, but it’s fun to see Jack go apeshit for once and tackle Locke. It’s not as amazing as his diving punch in the finale, but for a while it was definitely one of the best “Action Jack” moments.

Where are we?

1 comment:

  1. I remember thinking the same thing about Locke being unable to die at the time... but looking back on it, Libby was revealed as having been in the same institution as Hurley- shortly thereafter (SPOILER) getting unceremoniously blown away by Michael. It made sense at the time Locke would have to stick around, but the writers eventually showed that tying up loose character threads would take a backseat to dramatic tension. Had he not been so integral to the plot, it coulda happened, in retrospect.