DECEMBER 4, 2010
AIRED: APRIL 18, 2007
I stand corrected. Yesterday I made reference to "Catch-22" being a lesser Desmond episode, but I forgot that it was the one with the "camping trip", which is a hilarious and sweet little subplot featuring some top-notch male bonding. Jin telling the scary story is one of his all-time best moments, and I also love Charlie and Hurley debating Flash vs. Superman. So it's still a pretty great episode.
I think it just pales (slightly) to his others because it's more traditional - no time travel, no Island stuff... it's a very Lost-like "here's something that happened in their past" tale. But it does yield two surprises. One is that his frequent use of calling people "brother" is actually not a random affection for the word - the dude was a monk! It's the rare case of Lost explaining something we didn't really need an explanation for without annoying us, if anything it's kind of endearing.
The other surprise is that it seems like a possible sequel to the previous episode, where he broke up with Penny. It would make sense that he was so distraught he joined a monastery, being aimless and seeking a purpose and all that. But as we learn about halfway through, it's actually another girl he was running from, and that this is actually the oldest of his flashbacks. It allows for a wonderful coda, where he actually meets Penny for the first time (something that would have been an even nicer surprise if they hadn't spoiled Sonya Walger's appearance in the opening credits - grrr).
I'm also impressed with the hair/makeup folks on this show. While Locke's never really had a convincing wig in his flashbacks, I never can figure out how they do beardless Desmond in the past with bearded Desmond on the island. Either the beard is fake (lot better than Tom Friendly's!) or Henry Ian Cusick has Joe Lynch-ian abilities to just sprout a beard more or less on command. Some characters they don't really bother changing the appearance at all (Jack being the main offender) but Desmond, Sayid, and Hurley in particular really DO look a lot younger in their respective flashbacks.
And it's been a while, but this episode has a maddening unanswered question! For no reason whatsoever, there's a closeup of a photo on the main monk's desk with him and Ms. Hawking. Is he also her son and thus Daniel's brother? It's also a really shitty Photoshop job, which somehow makes it even more annoying - they tasked some graphics guy with the show to make this photo and never bothered doing anything with it.
Which got me thinking, since they were such "Dark Tower" fans, I wonder if they would ever consider "revising" the show for a future DVD release, where they can remove pointless things like this, fix minor inconsistencies (Charlie saying he was on the swim team in one episode, saying he can't swim in another), etc. That's what King did with the first "Dark Tower" book once he was done (or close to done) with the rest of the series, he went back and fixed some stuff that was ultimately "wrong". I'd buy it, anyway.
Final note - Hurley's "Thanks for the heads up about bringing an umbrella, dude." is possibly one of his best lines of all time.
Where are we?