Thursday, August 30, 2018

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, episode 10, Raised by Another

Raised by Another

"They want to hurt my baby!"
Events: Claire's backstory reveals that she became unexpectedly pregnant and that her boyfriend, Thomas, suggested they give parenthood a try. Claire, being into astrology, goes to a psychic just after this decision, who begins her palm reading but abruptly stops. Thomas changes his mind about commitment and fatherhood a few months later and Claire goes back to the psychic to find out what the deal was the first time. The psychic explains that Claire must raise the baby herself. Convinced she won't be able to provide for her baby alone, Claire meets with a prospective family but is stopped from signing adoption papers when three pens fail to work. Claire's presence on Oceanic flight 815 is to get her to a different adoptive family in Los Angeles and was arranged by the psychic, who claimed his initial position about the baby's upbringing was wrong.

On the island, Claire dreams of a baby crying but after searching through the jungle, only finds a
strange John Locke with black and white eyes, flipping cards. He informs her, "Everyone pays the price, now, Claire." She wakes, screaming, after she experiences a presence of someone trying to physically harm her and the baby. Charlie leads a group to pursue the assailant who fled but they find no one. Claire wakes a second time after having the same experience of someone trying to harm her in her sleep, but again, no one is found. Jack assumes stress is to blame but Charlie is adamant that Claire must be telling the truth. Hurley, concerned that the survivors really don't know anything about each other, decides to create a census of residents with Sawyer's help using the flight manifest. Sayid returns from his island exploration and shares what he learned; eventually Hurley discovers that the one person not on the flight manifest is Ethan Rom.

Greater Meaning: There are several implications at play in this episode. First, Claire's dream shows John Locke at a table, flipping over cards with one black eye and one white, suggesting the game we've seen him play with Walt, backgammon ("Two players, two sides. One is light, one is dark."). Why the pieces in Locke's eyes, is he playing a game? Is he both light and dark as a character? What interest does he have in Claire or her baby? Locke's words echo those of the psychic, so Claire might just be projecting the psychic's vision and insistence that she raise the baby herself onto John, but in the end Charlie suggests that the psychic may have been right---Claire's seat on Oceanic flight 815 ensured that no one else would raise the baby; he knew all along that the plane would crash. Does John Locke possess "knowing" as well? Jack seems totally convinced that Claire is hallucinating her attacker, and in all other instances Jack's knowledge has been respected and expected. Here, he's wrong and Charlie was right, with Claire's dream of Locke suggesting that Locke may also know things that Jack can't or won't accept: things, events, feelings that don't coincide with his doctor's evidence-based values.

Second, Ethan Rom tried to attack Claire twice and wasn't on the flight manifest. Where did he come from? If he is one of the island's "Others," then Rousseau also was telling the truth and must be given at least partial credibility (which Sayid shares with the other survivors). If there are Others on the island, where are they, what are they doing there, and why do they want to hurt Claire?

Further Questions:

1. Will Claire safely deliver her baby on the island?
2. Is it a boy or a girl?
3. Why must Claire be the one to raise the baby herself?
4. Did the psychic know other things about the plane crash or the island?
5. How many "Others" are there?