Saturday, April 3, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, Episode 15, Maternity Leave

On-Island Events: Claire goes to Locke in the middle of the night because she believes Aaron is sick; Locke offers to fetch Jack from the hatch for help. Rousseau shows up before Jack can reach Claire and insists the baby is "infected." Claire is confused but suddenly remembers images of a baby's nursery, a large needle, and her own screaming. When Claire suggests to Jack that the baby might have an infection, Jack insists there is no infection and that Aaron simply has a fever and rash. 

Claire consults Libby, a clinical psychologist, to help her remember what happened when Ethan kidnapped her. Libby agrees, and Claire begins to remember while under an altered state of consciousness. She sees herself in a medical setting with Ethan, who gave her a shot for the baby. Claire is agitated when she comes out of the altered state and demands Kate help her find the medical station where she believes there is medicine that will help Aaron. 

Claire has another vision of Ethan, again giving her a shot and then leading her through a bunker to a nursery, which he says is for her baby. She asked several questions but Ethan claimed everything would be too overwhelming for her to understand. Claire studied an airplane mobile above the crib which plays the song, "Catch a Falling Star," while Ethan spoke with an unknown man outside the nursery. Common in all of Claire's visions was also a brunette teenage girl who implored, "You gotta go!" each time. Claire comes out of the memory and decides to leave Aaron with Sun so she, Kate, and Rousseau can find the medical station. 

On the way through the jungle, Claire sees an old stump and has more visions of Ethan. Ethan told Claire he would miss her when she went back, but that there was only enough vaccine for the one. Claire agreed, also stating that she would trust Ethan's people to raise her son.

Claire eventually finds the medical station and goes inside; the nursery has been cleaned out. Kate finds lockers with costumes, a fake beard, and other props. Claire has a vision of the teenage girl again, who insisted she needed to leave, stating Ethan would take the baby by cutting it out of her. Claire fought the girl but was then drug out to the forest. Claire called out for Ethan but remembered encountering Rousseau instead, who dragged her back to camp. When she comes out of the memory Claire finds that no vaccines remain in the medical station; Rousseau admits she did not find what she was looking for, either. Claire realizes Rousseau's daughter, Alexandra, must have been the one who saved her.

After his condition improves, Claire confesses to Aaron that she was going to give him up, but that she knows now that they were meant to be together. Locke brings Henry a bowl of cereal inside the armory and the two chat about Hemingway and Dostoevsky. 

Greater Meaning: Instead of flashbacks which focus on Claire's life before crashing onto the island, we get flashbacks from her time as Ethan's prisoner. In every case before this, the flashbacks have served a few purposes within the narrative: 1. general background on the character; 2. specific background in terms of mistakes, shortcomings, or trouble with relationships; and now, 3. connections between characters known or unknown before the crash of Oceanic 815. Claire's flashbacks of being held captive by Ethan don't really give us any additional information about her, other than showing that she was likely drugged during her captivity, and through conversations with Ethan implied that she still planned to give Aaron up--- but to whom? 

Ethan was shown in scrubs and medical face coverings with several other people in the flashback where the brunette tried to free Claire. Who were these others? The costumes in the locker seem confusing at first . . . why would there be beards and dingy clothing in a medical station? The man speaking with Ethan outside the nursery has a familiar voice and appearance, but has not been named or referred to, yet. Admonishing Ethan for his handling of Claire's situation, the man brings up the words "him," and "list." Back when Ana Lucia, Bernard, Mr. Eko, and Libby were on the other side of the island, Goodwin and his people used lists to determine which survivors to take. We already know Ethan is an "other." To whom is he reporting back? Is it the same person who means to claim Claire's baby?

Rousseau becomes important in this light; if her baby was stolen and kept by the others, what's the reason? They've taken Alex, now a teenager, the two children from the tail section, attempted to take Aaron while Claire was still pregnant, and Walt. Why do they want the children? Is Claire doomed to eventually suffer the same fate as Rousseau? Is there another connection, besides Ethan, that we're missing in all this?

Further Questions: 

1. Was Aaron infected with something?

2. Did Ethan purposely infect Claire with something?

3. Is Alexandra the girl who helped Claire escape?

4. What are the props in the locker room for?

5. Is Henry Gale purposely trying to turn Locke against Jack?

6. Who is in charge of the Others?