"There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)"

DECEMBER 28, 2010

AIRED: MAY 15, 2008

It’s a good thing that “There’s No Place Like Home” was split in two, because it allows me to watch part 1 without being annoyed, since part 2 has the stuff I dislike. This is actually a pretty good episode, something that’s even more impressive when you consider that it doesn’t focus on one particular person, giving it a ‘loose’ feeling that recalls the series premiere. It doesn’t give all the characters something to do (Claire doesn’t even appear), but it’s a solid episode with a lot of good character moments.

Hurley’s birthday party is one example; Sayid’s reaction to the island theme is hilarious, as are Mr. Reyes’ nonsensical attempts to make small talk with them. And Jack’s eulogy is quite touching, but not as much as the fact that the other six (save Sun) came and sat in the front row, something that probably annoyed some of the folks who actually KNEW the guy. Basically, I liked seeing that they were still close once they got off the island (Sun, living in Korea, being the exception, though “Ji Yeon” showed she kept in touch with Hurley at least) – so much of this season kept everyone apart or constantly at odds with one another, it was just nice to see them sticking together and being a part of each other’s lives (especially since they’ll all have to spend eternity together).

The island stuff isn’t AS character-friendly, but it’s got a couple of good bits, such as Sawyer going against his better judgment in order to aid Jack (“You don’t get to ‘die alone’!” kills me), and then both of them realizing that they can’t just bail without getting Hurley first. In a season that killed off two of the biggest recurring characters (Alex and Rousseau) and took place immediately following the death of Charlie (easily the biggest main character to die yet), events that didn’t seem to bother anyone for more than about 12 seconds, it’s good to see these sort of bonds are still intact.

It’s also the rare time I get choked up at the BEGINNING of an episode. Usually reunions and sad moments are final act deals, but the episode more or less opens with Jack, Sun, and Hurley being reunited with their guest star parents (and Sayid with Nadia), which is quite touching, as is the moment where Hurley’s mom gives Sayid a big hug. “Thanks for constantly getting annoyed by but then ultimately helping my son on the island.” Sadly, no one comes to see Kate (Nathan Fillion, you dick!).

And they land in Hawaii! Kind of funny how the show filmed 99.9% of its scenes there, and constantly had its characters going around the globe (several US states, Australia, London, Iraq, Scotland) and this is actually the first time Hawaii was even mentioned I think, let alone allowed to play itself for once. Poor little state. My wife wants to go there next year for our 10 year (dating) anniversary; I agreed only on the condition that we spend a day in Oahu, where Lost was primarily shot, and partake in any Lost-related tours or whatever that are offered. Not a fan of spending a lot of money “to relax” – I can do that shit at home!

One thing nagged at me though, and it may have been answered in S5 or 6 – does Kate know Jack is Claire’s brother and thus, uncle to the kid she’s raising? Not HERE, I know she doesn’t because Jack just found out and made his Jack-face instead of turning to Kate and being like “Holy shit!” But does she know in the other episode? I know Jack says “You’re not even related to him!” but it’s unclear if he means “and I AM!” or if he’s just being an insensitive ass. It would have bugged me then, but for some reason I forgot that he learned about it so quickly after they got back home (since it’s at his dad’s funeral, which I assume didn’t take place too long after the O6 were ‘unveiled’).

Speaking of Kate, I haven’t mentioned her hilariously good tracking skills. I buy that she can tell someone has passed through and whether or not it was recent, but sometimes they’re just way too specific. There was a scene in S1 where she knew Sawyer was following Boone’s trail, and a few episodes back she could tell that one track was a half hour ahead of the other. What? Now she can not only tell that neither Jack or Sawyer made certain tracks, but also that the tracks have doubled back. Look, if they are actually footprints in the mud, then you don’t need someone who can track, and if they’re not footprints, how the hell can that be determined? A broken twig and some displaced grass is a broken twig and displaced grass, no? Guess you just have to be a tracker. I bet Kate would be just as perplexed how I can tell when some credits are a pixel lower than they should be on the credits for Law & Order, or that the kerning spacing is -50 instead of -25 as it should be. I’d be happy to show her though.

Tomorrow – a kick-ass Keamy vs Sayid fight almost makes up for Michael blowing up without half of the people he sold out ever even being aware he was ‘back’, let alone getting a chance to confront him. Almost.

Where are we?

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