NOVEMBER 4, 2010
AIRED: JANUARY 18, 2006
Ever notice how like half of all Lost episodes involved some folks grabbing weapons and heading off on some mission? How has this show never been turned into an RPG of some sort? “The Hunting Party” is one of my favorites though, because it’s the rare one with a team of Locke, Jack, and Sawyer (I bet there are some slashfics inspired by this episode), and they encounter one of my favorite others, Tom, aka Mr. Friendly (but for now only known as Zeke). Sure, he has a shitty fake beard and kidnapped Walt, but he’d eventually become one of the most compelling Others – I still laugh when I think about him and Jack playing football. Shame he got killed off so early.
But it’s also a good episode because it has one of the most crucial moments in Jack’s past, something only hinted as thus far: his wife leaving him. And man, it’s such a gut punch of a scene. I mean she just fires on all cylinders – she’s already packed, she’s been cheating on him... hell she doesn’t even want him to help her with the dishes! And you can see that he knows he’s been fucking it up and is trying to make amends, but it’s all for nothing. On the surface it might seem like it has no connection to the Island stuff, but I think the final flashback sums it up perfectly – when she leaves he does nothing to stop her. He’s not going to make the same mistake with Michael, even if it is another lost cause. But more obvious, Jack’s a good guy, and he will always try to do the right thing and help people, even at the expense of his personal life (he basically tosses Kate to the curb, twice, in this episode).
Come to think of it, it’s kind of a bummer episode all around. Jack’s flashback deals not only with the death of his marriage, but the death of the father of a really hot Italian lady who wants Jack to look into her back(side) as well. Even though she kisses him, I’m guessing that in the long run, women tend not to stay with the guys who are involved with the death of their father (take note, AJ Frost). And you can’t help but feel bad for Charlie when he sees Claire and Locke playing with the baby, ignoring him. Even the light moments have a grim side, like when Charlie and Hurley are just chilling listening to records and Sayid comes in and says “This music is depressing”, as if anyone had asked him.
It’s also a bummer as a viewer who has seen every episode, because there at least two plot threads that never go anywhere. One is Walt being “special”, of course, which Tom tells us, just as Brian and Lock have in the past. The other is the final scene, with Jack asking Ana Lucia to train an army. I mean, I remember the final season of Buffy, with her and Faith training an army of Slayers – THAT was an army. What the hell does Ana Lucia ever do?
(Speaking of this scene – what the hell is all over that bottle Jack gives Ana Lucia? It looks like blood or rust or something. They don’t have detergent in the Hatch?)
The confrontation with Zeke/Tom is awesome though. I love his analogy of “coming over someone’s house”, and the idea that they’re there because the Others LET them stay is sort of chilling, even now with the knowledge of the Others’ true intentions (well, some of them – I still don’t get they had Kate put on a sundress and shovel rocks. Unless they’re working to simply appease my prurient interests). Plus, I’m a big fan of actor M.C. Gainey (Swamp Thing!) and was happy to see him get a meaty, multi-dimensional “villain” role, and his work in season 3 (plus season 4’s episode about Michael in NY) were definite highlights for me.
Where are we?