Monday, May 4, 2020

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Episode 24, Exodus part 2

On-island Events: As Sayid prepares the beach group to head to the caves, Charlie asks him for a gun to protect Claire; Sayid refuses. As Hurley marvels at the spectacle of The Black Rock, Rousseau takes her leave of the group. Inside the ship, Jack and Locke discover its background as a slave vessel and Kate finds the dynamite. Arzt explains the dangers inherent in unpacking the dynamite but suddenly explodes in the process.

Shannon becomes emotional as she attempts to bring Boone's things along to the caves; Sayid validates her worries and offers to help. Hurley admits to Kate that he's bad luck and blames himself for Arzt's death. Jack and Locke work together to carefully unpack and transport the dynamite. Rousseau returns to the beach, shouting for Sayid, but in speaking with Claire, stirs up a memory of Claire scratching her in the dark. Charlie returns with Sayid to discover that Rousseau has taken the baby from Claire. Sayid reasons that Rousseau has taken the baby to give to the others who took her own child sixteen years ago; Claire begs Charlie to bring the baby, which she has suddenly named Aaron, back to her.

When the group reaches the caves, Sun asks Shannon if she thinks they're being punished by fate, but Claire is adamant there is no such thing. While resting near the Nigerian plane on the way to the black smoke, Sayid shows Charlie the heroin inside the Virgin Mary statues. As they return to the hatch with the dynamite, Hurley asks John what he thinks is inside the hatch. "Hope," Locke replies.

The Raft: The group sails by the unexplored edge of the island and marvels at its vastness; Sawyer sings Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," which catches Michael's interest. Michael explains the transmitter and radar screen to Walt while Sawyer reads everyone's messages from the bottle. As Michael shows Walt how to sail and Walt asks important questions about his parents' relationship, the raft hits something and the rudder breaks off. Sawyer swims off to retrieve it and Michael discovers Sawyer's gun in his shirt.

Flashbacks: In the airport before the flight, Jin encounters one of Paik's spies who knows he plans to run away with Sun and who threatens him. Charlie rummages about a hotel room searching for heroin, fighting a woman for the last remnants. Michael struggles to connect with his son and calls his mother to ask her to care for Walt when they return to New York. Michael ends the call, exclaiming, "He's not supposed to be mine!"

Greater Meaning: In the middle of all the action (kidnapping, explosions, raft in peril), important ideas are being reiterated concerning the characters. While Exodus part one showed several instances of change as well as stubbornness versus adaptability through current island events compared with flashbacks, this episode seems to expand on the same concepts while adding adding an element of redemption (pinpointed in Jin's case by Sawyer's song on the raft thus providing us with a well-defined theme). Jin had formerly been a criminal under Paik's employ, but has changed significantly both personally and professionally, if fishing skills and the building of the raft are to be considered to be occupational. Charlie has successfully kicked his drug habit and continues to write songs and be musical but he's added the role of caregiver and protector of Claire and Aaron to his duties. Michael's devotion to Walt hasn't changed, he's always loved his son, but the flashbacks take us through the challenges the two have faced while also showing Michael's frustration and desperation in those moments.

Together with Exodus part one, and through all of the previous episodes we've seen, LOST has given us a group of seriously flawed characters, each in need of his or her own unique redemption. The raft group (arguably minus opportunist Sawyer) redeems itself for past ills by working together to seek rescue; Charlie redeems himself through his devotion to Claire. Sawyer is a special character as he is motivated not by redemption but instead vengeance, however the Marley song is significant as it hints he may unconsciously be seeking what he sings about eventually (despite his actions thus far) suggesting he's just not there yet. He could have chosen to sing Skynyrd or Hank Williams just as he could have chosen to solely read rifle or porn magazines on the island, but he didn't. Sawyer is flawed like the others, but with complicated criminal influences (ala Kate, Sayid, and Jin), which is a direct contrast to people like Jack, Locke, Hurley, Sun, and Claire.

Further Questions:

1. Will the raft be okay?
2. Will Sawyer need the gun?
3. Will Charlie and Sayid get Aaron back?
4. Is Rousseau's daughter still on the island?
5. Will the others allow Rousseau to trade Aaron for her daughter?
6. Will the dynamite project work?
7. Will Charlie relapse after seeing the Virgin Mary statues?