Sunday, December 22, 2019

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, episode 13, Hearts and Minds

Stay away from her.
Events: Boone is having a hard time with Shannon and Sayid's budding friendship and expresses discomfort over lying to her about the hunting expeditions (hatch-digging excursions) with John. Through flashbacks we learn that Boone's relationship with Shannon has been put to the test through abuse and money issues, but more importantly, that Boone and Shannon happened to be in Sydney at the same time Sawyer was having his own little run-in with the Australian police. Boone's flashback also shows that the two are step-siblings and that Shannon manipulated Boone into having a fling that she got over but he didn't.

After John decides that Shannon's behavior has too strong a hold over Boone, he knocks him out, ties him up, and smears a botanical paste over his open head wound before leaving him alone in the jungle. Boone awakens to Shannon's screams and sees that she too has been bound. The bellowing black smoke attacks them both, chasing them through the jungle where eventually it seizes Shannon and leaves her to die on near a stream. Boone finds John and accuses him of causing Shannon's death, but John reveals to Boone he hallucinated the whole thing--Shannon is alive and well.

Greater Meaning: While the episode focuses around two of the supporting characters, Boone and Shannon, much effort was spent on John Locke's strategies as a would-be leader. Boone's attention (and devotion) is important to John, who has put the hatch above everything else on the island, even hunting, so John forces a decision on Boone with the help of whatever hallucinogen he smeared on his head. This is similar to what he did with Charlie's heroin addiction; for whatever reason, John Locke has showed a strong, consistent faith that the people he puts in these situations will emerge victorious. Locke's ability to read people seems to be highly developed, and he uses this to his advantage as a leader in a way that Jack does not. Now, on the island, Locke is confident and comfortable with himself where Jack is comfortable only in relation to his medical experience (off-island).

The questions of hunting boar, catching fish, and planting a garden all speak to the group's sustainability and continued survival on the island. It seems now pretty clear that no rescue is coming, so what they do, how they get along, and how they use the island is all the more important, which is something John seems to have embraced from the very beginning. As Jack is reacting, John is planning. Strategizing. The proverbial "hearts and minds" mean more to John than anyone else on the island.

Further Questions: 

1. Is Claire safe?
2. What is inside the hatch?
3. Will Shannon and Sayid hook up?
4. Will Jin and Michael bury the hatchet?
5. Why has Sun been hiding her English from Jin?
6. How did Jin get to be such a good fisherman?
7. Will Boone and John's relationship change?