"The Man From Tallahassee"

NOVEMBER 30, 2010

AIRED: MARCH 21, 2007

I notice now that a lot of late Season 3 episodes of Lost were tying up loose ends about the characters’ back-stories, since their method of doing flashbacks was about to be dramatically overhauled (i.e. flash-forwards, time travel, etc). They were also having less to do with character themes and more with trying to connect them to an actual plot point. So you get episodes like “The Man From Tallahassee”, in which we get another tale of Locke getting fucked over by his dad (and how!), and it’s not until the final scene, where the show’s title comes into play, that we understand why we’re seeing this particular story (same goes for the previous episode – had almost nothing to do with Claire’s state of mind on the island, it just served as a vessel for telling us that Christian was her dad).

It’s also a damn fine episode, with a lot of adventure elements, some great Jack/Kate stuff, and a top notch performance by Michael Emerson, who starts to really display his dry sense of humor in this one (as well as his incredible chemistry with Terry O’Quinn). I love how instantly he comes up with “we have two giant hamsters in a secret underground lair...” (and O’Quinn’s annoyed reaction is just as priceless), and I laugh my ass off every time when Locke asks him if he was speaking in code. But he also shows some of his true colors, when he tells Locke his dilemma about Jack (and, unsaid, but Juliet as well) and how he made it so simple for him. Up until this point he’s been a complete enigma, but here we start to see the kind of guy he is. And it also starts the (rather long) process of making him an ally instead of an enemy.

Frequent director Jack Bender is also in fine form here, particularly in the flashbacks. It’s terrifying when Cooper knocks Locke out of the window, and the scene where Locke gets put into his wheelchair for the first time is truly horrifying – Bender does an amazing job of making it seem like the absolute worst thing in the world, as well as depicting Locke’s terrified state. Nice work, guy who directed Child’s Play 3.

Jack/Kate fans also get one of the best “let’s use this clip in a Youtube montage set to a Lifehouse song” moments too, when he tells her “I wish you hadn’t come back for me” and then, after a pause, whispers “But I will come back here for you.” Awww! (cue “Breathing”*). I also like that Jack plays his own theme music on the piano. What a self-absorbed ass.

Jack also seems a bit too trusting of Ben when he tells him that he will let Kate and Sayid go. Didn’t Kate just escape from him like 2 days ago? Granted, it seems the only reason he wanted her in the first place is to play her and Sawyer’s relationship against Jack to get him to do the surgery, but Jack doesn’t know that. I hate when things make sense to us (the audience) but wouldn’t make sense to the characters.

It’s also pretty much the last straw for Locke and Jack being “friends”. They’d spend the rest of their scenes together more or less in anger, and it wouldn’t be until after Locke died that Jack would say anything nice about the guy again (which is kind of sad, because Locke starts off the episode defending him). Yet they’d both more or less be friends with Ben near the end. Who would have seen that coming?

Tomorrow – Nikki and Goddamn Paulo die!

Where are we?

*Heh, when I was Youtube searching for a clip to put below (which I ended up just 'cheating' and using the video for "Please Come To Boston", which if you listen to the song you'd know why it came to mind), I tried “Lifehouse Lost” (no quotes) just to see if anyone had done such a thing – no luck with “Breathing”, but there were clips that used “Broken” and “Take Me Away”. And yes, I like Lifehouse.

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