OCTOBER 5, 2010
AIRED: FEBRUARY 9, 2005
According to the Lostpedia, Damon Lindelof considers “Homecoming” (which he wrote) the worst ever episode of Lost. Now, I assume he couldn’t pick one that someone else wrote, but even among the ones he DID write, I’m not sure why he singled this one out. It’s not a particularly great episode, no, but it’s not a BAD one by any means. You get Jack kicking some ass, Charlie going all Charles Bronson on Ethan, a nice Office shout-out, and an 815 reference (the copier) that I just caught now on my 4th viewing. Not too shabby.
My guess would be that the episode does have some plot contrivances that exist to keep the Others from being unveiled too early. We get that Charlie is pissed, but shooting a guy in cold blood does seem a bit out of character. And it also robs us of Ethan, who was always one of the more interesting Others (which they obviously agree with, since they kept working him into flashbacks – he appeared in more episodes after he died than he did before).
Also their new clothes are largely ill-fitting. Sawyer’s bright blue shirt and Jack’s black one just don’t look right on the characters. It’s an odd thing, yes, but I dunno, it bugged me for some reason. However, I highly doubt that was one of Lindelof’s issues.
Otherwise, what’s not to like? Hurley delivers one of the show’s all time best eulogies (“Sorry I kept calling you Steve.”), Vincent returns, Jin gets to have another “conversation” with one of the English speaking folks (Charlie, who tells him he’s lucky to be so ignorant – it would have been cool if they had figured out a way to do an episode from Jin’s perspective, without understanding a word), and Jack gets one of his rare good insults directed at Sawyer.
As for the flashbacks, like the best episodes (which again, this is not), we learn more about the past of a character while understanding what drives them to do what they are doing on the island. Here it’s Charlie being turned down by a woman he cares for, telling him he will never be able to take care of anyone. It’s a sad moment, and ties in perfectly to the island stuff, which a few of the recent episodes weren’t as successful at doing (such as “All The Best Cowboys...”). I remember one season 2 episode, they actually changed who the episode was “about” by swapping in someone else’s flashbacks, but that doesn’t seem like it would be possible with this one. It’s totally a “Charlie” episode (hell, it’s not even HIS worst one, now that I think of it - the one where he has flashbacks about doing a diaper commercial was way worse).
Then again, Mr. Lindelof thought dedicating half of the final season of the show to some temple that no one cared about was a good idea, so why listen to him?
Where are we?