Friday, April 30, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, Episode 23, Live Together, Die Alone part 1

On-Island Events: Jack, Sawyer, and Sayid swim out to the boat just offshore from their beach. Once aboard gunshots ring out at them from below its galley and they discover Desmond, apparently inebriated, is the shooter. They bring him back to the beach and Desmond explains that he couldn't leave the island. Sayid suggests that he use Desmond's boat to meet Jack and the rest of the group as a surprise attack when they return to the others' camp; Jack agrees. As they make their way through the jungle Kate discovers two others tracking them. A shootout happens and one other is killed. Jack informs the group that Michael has been turned and forces him to confess his betrayal to the group. Michael admits his role everything and apologizes for killing Ana Lucia and Libby. Hugo wants to return but Jack insists they carry on, stating he has a plan.

When Sayid asks Desmond to borrow the boat for a trip northward, Desmond asks if he's headed to see "the hostiles." Desmond refuses to sail Sayid, but Jin has sailing experience and is willing to accompany him. They set out with Sun along the island's coast and are confused when they happen across a four-toed statue of a foot. 

Locke demands that Eko stop pushing the button in the hatch; Eko refuses and pushes Locke out. Later Locke finds Desmond drinking on the beach and shares the contents of the pearl station's orientation video with him. Desmond lures Eko out of the computer room inside the hatch and forces the blast doors down so he and Locke can wait for the countdown to run out. Eko runs to the beach and asks for Charlie's help in getting back into the hatch. 

Flashbacks: A short-haired Desmond receives a collection of possessions, including a Dickens novel (Our Mutual Friend) which he says he'll read just before he dies, at the conclusion of having served time in jail. He is met by a gentleman who presents him with a box full of letters addressed to Penelope Widmore, his daughter. The man attempts to pay Desmond to stay away from Penelope. 

Desmond is in America where he meets Libby, who pays for his coffee and offers up her late husband's boat, The Elizabeth, for Desmond's sailing race around the world. Later, Desmond meets Penelope who asks why he didn't write to her while he was in prison. He shares his plan to win Widmore's race, intending to regain his honor in doing so. Lost in a storm at sea, Desmond falls and is knocked unconscious on the boat. When he awakens, Kelvin Inman, the same man who trained Sayid to be a torturer, is standing before him in a yellow hazardous materials suit in the hatch. Inman shows Desmond the hatch's orientation video and explains the need for him to vaccinate himself.

Greater Meaning: Desmond's flashbacks reference the previously introduced connection with Jack at the stadium but now include connections with Libby and the previously unidentified Kelvin Inman, who was connected directly with Sayid and secondarily with Kate (through Sam Austen). The connections are growing with every new episode, but thus far Desmond is special for having multiple links to survivors. This again seems too important to ignore and must be for a bigger purpose than just coincidence. Obviously Desmond is not just a throwaway character. He's the person with the most knowledge about the hatch and the button, he has a sailboat (although why the boat was unable to carry him away from the island is a mystery and he seems upset about it), and now, he has these connections. We must conclude, like Locke has consistently maintained, there is a reason for this and that ultimately Desmond is important for what lies ahead. The fact that he's entertaining Locke's stop-the-button-pushing idea as a serious one says a lot about what Desmond knows (or suspects) about the island. If they stop pushing the button and nothing happens, they've all been duped, but why? Are the people Claire saw in the medical station the scientists who are conducting the psychological experiments being observed? Are they "pretending" to be scientists just as they are "pretending" to be hillbillies (as Kate stated)? If they stop pushing the button and something happens, it will be clear that Eko's faith was guiding him correctly and that Locke was wrong to doubt himself and his importance on the island. Desmond doesn't seem quite as invested in the right and wrong of it all the way Eko and Locke are, but he is interested and we are heading for a potentially explosive series of events for the season two finale.

The stealing of children from parents remains an ongoing theme in the show's narrative: first Rousseau
(Alex), then Claire (Aaron, by Rousseau then Ethan), and now Michael (Walt). The two young children from the tail section were not with their parents but were also taken. Walt tells Michael the others make him do tests; are they doing experiments on the other children? Alex seems to have joined their cause but chose to free Claire and shows a kindly concern for her, now. This only people able to fully empathize with Michael are Rousseau and Claire as none of the rest of the survivors are parents. Of course everyone continues to look to Jack for answers, but Jack is a doctor, not a father. The reactions of everyone's faces after Michael admits his terrible acts are ones of disgust; they cannot fathom Michael having chosen Walt, his own son, over other community members. This seems significant as Rousseau was unable to reclaim Alex and eventually lost her; Claire was drugged into agreeing to give the others her baby but was saved by Alex, and now Michael, after killing two people and betraying another four, is fighting to get his son back. Will he? 

Further Questions: 

1. What is Jack's plan?

2. What happened to the foot statue?

3. What will happen when the countdown completes and the button isn't pushed? 

4. What is Desmond's role in all this?

5. What happened to Kelvin Inman?

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