We’ve loved Rose and Bernard since we first met them, so we enjoyed the focus on them moreso than perhaps fans of the “classic” cast of characters. But I think Jen liked “S.O.S.” better than I did. It had some wonderful moments — from Bernard’s proposal at Niagara Falls, to the creepy Henry smile, to Rose crossing paths with Locke at the airport — but I thought the flashback was rushed and the island segments empty… save for the last two seconds. For an episode that leads us into a two-week hiatus, I was expecting more. Jen, though, felt the emphasis on how the island healed Rose (and Locke) was significant (albeit not a new idea to most “LOST” theorists), as was yet more acknowledgement of things that previously seemed to defy common sense.
The writers do definitely seem to be going out of their way to explain things better, although it still seems a bit forced. Why did Jack bring Kate? Because Sayid (the more practical choice) already declined. Why hasn’t anyone talked about that “medical hatch”? Because Kate was still sore no one told her about Henry. Not good explanations, but explanations nonetheless. There must be a fan forum researcher on staff now.
Definitely noticed the direct acknowledgement of the “40 other survivors of the plane crash” — or, as the late, great Arzt put it, the folks who aren’t part of the “merry little band of adventurers.” Bernard calls out some names — including Frogurt (I thought Damon and Carlton were kidding) — and we see more unfamiliar faces than usual. One of them (see notes below) seemed to be especially visible.
“S.O.S.” brings us another mystical encounter, Rose’s faith healer Isaac, a clear parallel to Claire’s psychic. Both men are startled by what they see, and seem to directly portend their arrival on the island. Although Rose’s ailment was cancer, Isaac’s specialty seemed to be physical disabilities, and the focus on crutches, both in his office and on Locke’s crutches on the island, seemed pretty deliberate.
On a purely snarky level, Jen could barely stand Kate this week. “She hit the Kate trifecta,” she noted: tagging along needlessly, getting wet, and screwing everything up. The whole close encounter in the net was downright embarrassing. But I’m sure the “Jaters” were wetting themselves.
Notes and Notions:
- So Isaac heals people by channeling mysterious energies from the Earth, which may be magnetic. The island may be “the spot” for both Rose and Locke. (And maybe Jin.) This healing trait, though, makes a distinct contrast with Danielle’s obsession with “the sickness,” and the misfortunes that have befallen others. Perhaps the island, and not the Others, is exacting judgment on “good people” and “bad people.”
- So what’s with the pale old guy? Folks on The Fuselage noticed, as I did, that the camera seemed to linger on this background character this episode… and found him in “Dave” as well. Just a distinctive looking extra? Or someone we’ll learn more about in future episodes? A mole, perhaps? I’d like to think so. He’s a friend of a friend.
- Vincent’s back. Looks like he’s lost weight, too. Loved how he trotted up to the lone Sawyer in the closing montage that otherwise showed us happy pairings. Well, except Sun didn’t look particularly happy.
- Speaking of funny looks, Kate seemed to squirm a bit as Jack recounted her capture. She also doubted they’d found the right spot even though Jack was certain. How she came to be held by Zeke and company is still a mystery.
- So what was with that trap? Why a doll as bait? Jack and Kate suspected Danielle, and maybe it is as simple as that — was it an old trap set to somehow capture her lost daughter? But I’d like to think it was something more than that, and not just a pointless device to smoosh those two together.
- For the third (or is it fourth?) time, someone directly asks Mr. Eko what he’s building, and only now there’s an answer (courtesy Charlie). Yes, it’s a church. Now why, exactly, was this such a big secret?
- As Bernard notes, “everyone on this island is building something.” So what was Ana Lucia’s project in the hatch? She seemed to be tweaking the exercise equipment. Perhaps to convert it into some kind of Henry torture device? It was she, after all, who created the hole for Nathan.
- So Jack’s handy with a gun, too. Another hint at his past? His recently noted time in Thailand, perhaps? As “hints for a future flashback” go, his are really piling up.
- Why was the “S.O.S.” abandoned so readily? We know how some of our survivors might have found themselves happier on the island than they were pre-crash, but is that true for everyone? Even if Bernard (“Norma Rae”) was a lousy leader, a rescue signal or sign seems like a perfectly reasonable project to me.
- Music: The song in the hatch was “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding, one of many musicians who died in a plane crash. Interestingly enough, the same song is also in the background of Rose and Bernard’s flashback. I don’t think they’ve done that before.
- The snowy street scene was filmed in a narrow lane very near to where I work. They had to haul all that ice down and spread it around. Actually, that lane is also on the same block as the parking lot where Ana Lucia shot Jason in “Collision,” and where Locke and Anthony Cooper chatted about the safe deposit box in “Lockdown.”
- Looks like much of this episode was filmed in the early days of the stormy weather that plagued Honolulu for 42 days. (Hey, that’s one of the numbers!) I imagine the next few episodes will also feature unusually wet island scenes.