Saturday, May 9, 2020

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Episode 25, Exodus part 3

On-Island Events: On the way back to the hatch, Jack, Kate, Locke, and Hurley encounter the moving black smoke monster rippling through the dark territory; Locke does not run, allows the smoke to approach him, and then appears to run after it. The smoke takes hold of Locke's legs and attempts to haul him into a hidden cavern. Kate throws a stick of dynamite into the cavern and the smoke releases its hold on Locke.

Charlie falls for one of Rousseau's jungle traps and sustains a head injury, but refuses to give up the search for Aaron; Sayid cauterizes the wound with gunpowder and a match. Hurley and Kate discuss the number 23; Kate discloses that the person who turned her into the feds in Australia did so for a $23,000 reward. Jack and Locke disagree about the danger of the smoke monster that attempted to take Locke. Locke explains their disagreements stem from the fact that he, Locke, is a man of faith, Jack is a man of science, and that the island brought them here for a purpose, being there is their destiny. The path they were meant to follow, Locke insists, ends at the hatch. Jack concludes the conversation by stating he does not believe in destiny.

Charlie and Sayid find an elevated fire pit on the beach creating black smoke but no others. Soon they hear Aaron's cries and Rousseau emerges with the baby, explaining she thought she'd get her daughter back but the others did not show up as she'd planned. She claims she heard whispers that the others were coming for the boy; Charlie dismisses her as being crazy. Jack and Locke rig the dynamite with Kate's help; Kate and Jack discuss leadership, Jack suggests they may soon have "A Locke Problem." As Hurley gets into position before Locke ignites the dynamite, he sees the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 42 have been engraved into the side of the hatch. He rushes Locke, demanding they stop what they're doing but Locke lights the fuse, setting off the dynamite.

Charlie and Sayid return to the caves with Aaron; Shannon is relieved to see Sayid unharmed. Charlie has brought one of the Virgin Mary statues back with him. In the aftermath of the explosion, Jack and Locke lift a metal door from the hatch and peer lengths down into it.

The Raft: As Michael and Jin discuss English phrases, Jin presents Michael with the watch originally meant to be delivered to one of Paik's associates in Los Angeles that had caused so much trouble between them immediately after the crash. As night falls, Sawyer insists they keep checking the radar as Sayid instructed. Sawyer and Michael discuss Walt's behavior and Sawyer's history with his parents; Michael accuses Sawyer of wanting to die and Sawyer admits he's no hero. When a blip on the radar suddenly rings out, the crew disagrees about whether or not to launch a flare but chances doing so. The craft on the radar spots it and moves in closer, bathing the raft in a harsh spotlight. The group cheers and waves as Michael tells the new boat's bearded captain their story; the bearded man surprises everyone by replying, "We're gonna have to take the boy." The men on the other boat kill the spotlight, Sawyer attempts to shoot the bearded man, and in the chaos, the men from the boat take Walt and blow up the raft as they sail off with him.

Flashbacks: Hurley oversleeps the day of the Oceanic flight and continues to deal with setbacks on his way to the airport. Showing up late, he implores the agent at gate 23, "For all that is good and holy, please let me on this flight!" Locke is carried onto the flight after the boarding wheelchair couldn't be located and deals with further frustration when he drops something in the aisle of the aircraft and is unable to retrieve it on his own. The rest of the survivors are shown in turn onboard the flight preparing to leave; as Hurley finally arrives, Walt smiles at him as he passes. Jack and Locke make eye contact but do not speak.

Greater Meaning: Rousseau believed the others would take Claire's baby having heard the whispers state they were "coming for the boy." This was misleading only until the group of men on the boat took Walt from Michael on the raft; Rousseau had good reasons to believe what she did (her own infant was taken and Claire was abducted while pregnant with Aaron) but was only wrong about which boy the others planned to take. The others, whoever they are, are takers of multiple children.

Hurley has a difficult time in this episode, not only because he blames himself for Arzt's death and takes far longer than Jack, Locke, or Kate to process it, but because he's unexpectedly faced with the numbers that have caused him so much trouble in the past via the hatch, something that's being touted as a sanctuary for the survivors. Once he sees the numbers, Hurley does not want the hatch opened but Locke disregards his wishes and blasts it open anyway. What possible connection could the numbers have to the hatch, and why is Hurley involved? Hurley has shown himself to be honest, empathetic, and wholesome throughout each of the past episodes but isn't viewed as a leader or in this case, even listened to when presenting an argument. In "Numbers," Hurley tries to explain to multiple people (his mother, his accountant, his father, and later Jack) how the numbers, his winning the lottery, and his general presence seems to be bad luck or cursed but is repeatedly blown off. Despite his honesty and ability to articulate his thoughts intelligently on these matters, Hurley continues to be disregarded.

The mystery of the hatch will continue into the second season, but there have been several instances leading up to its opening that suggest the hatch is dangerous: Locke and Boone spent weeks using scientifically-engineered methods to open it; Locke's use of his legs and Boone's life were jeopardized in efforts to open it; Walt grabbed Locke's hand and specifically told him not to open it; Hurley sees the cursed numbers engraved on the side and implores Locke not to open it. Should the survivors breach the hatch now that it's been opened, the downward descent into it is significant---why are they going deeper into the island when their goal was to be rescued from it? What traditionally dwells in deep, underground spaces, both in the physical and spiritual world? We already know of three unique threats on the island, 1., the smoke monster, 2., polar bears, and 3., the others, and the hatch could be related to any or all of these threats as well as some new, unidentified ones. 
The island has been shown to have powers of healing and danger, the characters are shown to be dealing with the pushes and pulls of their past lives together with the new struggles of island survival; how they deal with these challenges given their own issues seems to be the main point in determining what the show is trying to show us. In that, the idea of the island as a character or governing force emerges.

Further Questions:

1. Who were the men on the boat who took Walt? 
2. Will Michael ever get his son back?
3. Is Rousseau's daughter still on the island? 
4. Are the numbers bad? 
5. Who engraved them on the hatch?
6. What is inside the hatch?