Further Instructions

After two episodes firmly grounded in the real world, “LOST” throws a curve with “Further Instructions,” echoing some of the other decidedly mystical stories of seasons past. Specifically, tonight’s story seemed to be a third act, after “Deux Ex Machina” (1×19) and “Question Mark” (2×21), revisiting the underlying arc of faith and redemption. Those who love the spiritual and metaphorical side to the story probably cheered that “LOST” is back. Those hungry for details about the mysteries in the foreground, however, were probably disappointed.

It was great to see Boone again, a character whose strengths seem so much more evident in hindsight. And there was a lot packed into Locke’s vision at the Sydney airport. It was a cryptic overview of the survivors and their respective situations, with more than a few hints of things to come. Desmond as the pilot, having some power but wasting his energies with selfish pursuits. Charlie and Claire and Aaron, at peace… for now. Hurley behind the counter, ever helpful. Jin and Sun lost and in conflict, with Sayid to show the way. And Jack, Kate and Sawyer threatened by Ben (and Kate and Sawyer distracted with flirting), but Locke unable to help them until he cleans up the mess he made for Eko.

I don’t quite know what to make of Charlie, and Jen most certainly could live without him. It seems as if his stock took a sharp dip toward the end of Season Two, but after surfacing in a daze after the hatch blew up, he’s suddenly back on his feet and as wry and snarky as ever. For a character who is supposed to be tortured and conflicted, he certainly didn’t seem to spend too much time on the dark side. That said, he was definitely the best match for Locke in this episode, keeping things grounded when Locke went all voodoo.

And yes, Locke is back. Jen actually cheered. For the wimp-turned-badass we all fell in love with in Season One, it was a bit frustrating to watch as he lost direction and, frankly, got a bit whiny in Season Two. And as flashback/island parallels go, this one did a good job of illustrating the journey Locke has taken, both on the island and throughout his life. But on both sides, the picture is incomplete. After all, we didn’t see Locke clean up his mess on the farm, and he’s just getting started on the island. I’m curious how people will interpret the “farmer versus hunter” dichotomy, and Danny’s assertion that Locke is a “good person” and not a killer. How Locke now answers the call to reunite his island family will, I think, give us a final answer as to his true nature.

It was a relief to see Mr. Eko and Desmond and Hurley again, though there really never was any doubt about their return. When it comes to questions and answers, Desmond’s recollection of a speech yet to be given certainly adds another entry to the former bin. Especially when you realize that Desmond was throwing rocks on the beach when Locke actually gives the speech. Is he clairvoyant? Did he take a trip through time? The only thing we know the hatch “implosion” did for sure was take his clothes. Jen was certainly tickled by that. And he looked just adorable in Hurley’s shirt.

And did Mr. Eko talk to Locke under the tree, or not? I think his comments came from the same place Boone’s did. Wherever that is.

Almost as an afterthought, as the episode drew to a close, we’re introduced to two more survivors, Paulo and Nikki. Their sudden prominence was a bit jarring, especially given the familiarity with which Locke tossed out their names, along with the names of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. I guess our cast of characters is growing, though it’s unclear if they’re just more redshirts like Dr. Arzt, or temporary players like Ana Lucia and Libby. I’m fairly certain they won’t become one of the “merry band of adventurers.”

Notes and Notions:

  • The eyeball opening returns. After being missing in action for half a season, we’ve now seen it at the start of two out of three episodes so far. This was a definite mirror of the first shot of the first episode, and given Locke’s speech at the end, it’s clear the message is, “Locke now leads the survivors.”
  • What did we see in that cave? Apart from Eko and an angry polar bear? A toy dump truck, and a bunch of skeletons and DHARMA logos. Wonder if there’s a link to “Adam and Eve” in the cave from Season One? Anyone see any black and white stones?
  • Speaking of the polar bear… Jorge Garcia had mentioned, during our lunch, that polar bear technology had advanced since the creature appeared in Season One. But considering how much detail was obscured with jump cuts and close ups, I guess it still wasn’t as convincing as they’d have liked.
  • Both Locke and Sun have had someone at gunpoint, and both their targets told them they weren’t murderers. Who would have thought it would be Sun who would pull the trigger, and that Locke would back down?
  • Geronimo Jackson makes a cameo, and we get additional confirmation of the era they’re from. The man who asks Eddie about the shirt, though, seemed to be more than just a little familiar with the band. Any bets on whether we’ll see him again?
  • Locke’s California drivers license listed his address as being in San Francisco. We also see the Golden Gate Bridge in Locke’s airport vision on the brochure Sawyer is holding. The Golden Gate Bridge last appeared on the wall of the psychic Rose and Bernard visited in Australia in “S.O.S.
  • Odd that Locke lost the ability to speak, then regained it, just like he lost the ability to walk, and regained it as well. It makes you wonder if his disabilities are physical, or purely psychological.
  • Locations: The farm Locke lived on was the lychee farm in Mililani Mauka. And, of course, the airport was again the Hawaii Convention Center. It was neat to finally see the scene I saw them filming a month ago.

31 Responses to “Further Instructions”

  1. Jeff in Buffalo, NY says:

    I thought tonight’s episode was pretty good. There was not the character tension we saw last week, but it was great to see what happened to some of our other favorites: Locke, Eko, Charlie, Desmond, Hurley.

    I was really expecting another encounter with the smoke monster or the monster that pulled Locke into the hole in season 1. But we were tricked by the ABC previews and they brought out the polar bear.

    POLAR BEARS
    Q: What do we need to know about the island that the polar bear will help us answer?

    Did the animals on the island (Darma genetic experiments) get out of hand and eat up all of the DARMA employees? There was a skeleton with a DARMA uniform in the cave. The Tonka truck may indicate what had been happening to the children of DARMA or the Lostees.

    DESMOND, THE HIPPIE JESUS?
    So Desmond has ESP powers now. The hatch has brought him new powers, or awakened powers in him. Is Desmond some sort of key to understanding the island, or getting Jack, Kate & Sawyer back?

    –Love the nod to Geromimo Jackson
    –Love the implosion of the hatch shot
    –Love seeing Charlie & Locke coming together in helping Locke
    –Love the Rambo Lock going into the cave
    –Love that Sun can shoot somebody, but Locke can’t. Who would have thought!

    Looking forward to your comments!

  2. matt says:

    Desmond comments struck me more like it was a recollection than predictive.

  3. Brian says:

    Wow… this may very well be my favorite of this season so far. It was great to see Locke back to his old season 1 ways. Long Live John Locke!

  4. Nuckinfuts says:

    Finally!! LOST is back to what has made it so good…keeping me spinning wondering what is going on, and the island itself being one of the main characters…not just people ( the other’s, or good guys, or Fenry Benry or whatever you all call them now ) messing w/ JKS, etc. on his little ego/power trip for whatever… I’m not doubting that it is not sinister intent or that I may not grow to like the more I know about what they are up to, but this episode made me want to see more, whereas the first 2 episodes this year seemed like just about any other show…

    It was cool seeing Boone again and John listening to the island…I was sure John was gonna get shot by the cop and be paralyzed or that the pot people were gonna take him down ( which could still happen since we didn’t see the very end of that life sequence, but I loved the suspense…and in a wierd way that’s what I’m talking about…I like not knowing everything and it seemed like the 1st 2 episodes were showing too many tricks up sleeves and there wasn’t as much majic in it )

    No real brain-buster questions for anyone…unless anyone knows if we’re gonna have a few more characters from the fuselage to have to figure out since one or two actually had some words….kinda funny since the last guy who spoke was blown up w/ dynamite….long live Arnst….fine by me…that girl was another impressive notch on the islands belt of losties….this island’s animal magnetism sure attracts some hotties….boy that’s lame, but maybe I just firgured out LOST.

  5. sir monster says:

    hehe Charlie AKA Merry said “trees are great conversationalists”.

    that made me laugh.

  6. Connie from Alaska says:

    I watched the whole episode…it was great…but did I miss the bit about Clair finding Paulo and Nikki in Jack’s tent?

  7. debbie says:

    Good to see the old John Locke back but what was he doing mixed up with that crowd in his flash back?! Im assuming this was “post helen”. Locke remains my favorite charactor but he is the sucker born every minute.And whats with Charlie?He acts like he wasnt in the hatch when it exploded .

    and sir monster: I smiled at that line, to. tipof the hat to treebeard and Merry.

  8. Dave says:

    Jeff in Buffalo — regarding the polar bears. My wife and I were watching the show and wondering where they suddenly came from. Then it dawned on me: when last we saw a polar bear, the FIRST electromagnetic anomaly had just gone off (e.g. Desmond didn’t press the button and the plane came down). There HAS to be some significance to this; it didn’t just happen. (And if it did, shame on the writers.)

    I was overall not as into this episode as the first two. I don’t especially like the hallucination episodes (Boone, Locke, and Eko have all had them).

    I did like the Locke flashback. Someone had asked above what the hunter vs farmer motif was about. A few thoughts:
    - Locke’s dad taught him to hunt. So he is, literally, a hunter.
    - The other folks in the commune were growing pot, not making a bomb. So they were agrarians (farmers), not aggressors (hunters).
    - Locke wishes to be part of the farmers, not the hunters. And this moment where he could take out his aggression on someone who betrayed him, rather than absolving them, determines if he is a hunter or a farmer.
    - In season 2, we came to think of the Others/Hostiles as hunters, and of the Losties as pacifists (only Sun seems to be a farmer) =). This season is presenting the Losties as a parallax shift; we see them all in a different light. A switch between the hunters and farmers, if you will.

    I am disappointed, though, that we still have not learned how Locke became a paraplegic. My interpretation of his silence was that he developed a somatiform/conversion disorder.

    What’s up with Desmond as a Jesus figure though? Risen from the ground with magical powers?

  9. Frank says:

    Hey guys, had some trouble commenting the past week which means I have a lot to say. So where do I begin:

    I am pretty amazed at how no one said anything about the “Hydra”. One of the 12 labors Hercules had to do. And look the Dharma symbol looks like a six headed snake thing. Hercules could not just kill it by cutting off its heads, because everytime he did 2 more grew in its place. So he had to burn off the heads (fire and water?) and bury them. Another labor was the capture of Cerberus, the tree headed hell-dog. Oh wait haven’t we herd this before to like on the blast door map. The minute I herd Juliet said it I already knew the reference.

    I already commented about the first and second episode but they are not on the comments page anymore. I can not exactly remember what I wrote. If anyone read them before they disappeared please refresh my memory.

    OK back to lost, for last nights episode I enjoyed it just as much as the first couple of minutes of the first episode. My favorite character is and always will be John Locke. Next in line is Desmond. Next after that is Mr Eko. Look at that the episode involves all of them. The best so far this season, the episode is. One question that I NEED to get answered and that is what ever happened to the polar bear in “Special” because that is the only Lost episode I missed to date, I think. The one where Walt was hidding in a tree from an attacking polar bear. Did that polar bear ever die? Or in last nights episode is this the same polar bear. And funny how they refered back to the one Sawyer killed in the “Pilot” only. If so how many polar bears are on the island. At least they showed how the polar bears have been surviving off of; humans and boars (another task Hercules had to do was kill a boar or to the like. Another reference?????). I need to see a better image of what the Swan looks like after the impolsion. I too like the fact that Charlie was Lockes companian through his journey. Also his reference about the trees, funny too. But also how they kind of bonded after the harsh time they went through. Yes Locke has become the new leader with Sayid as his second hand man. Connie from Alaska I too watched the whole episode and did not see the part that Claire sees our new characters in Jack’s tent. I agree with what most of you guys said. Overall a very very good episode.

    I think I said a little too much. Can not wait for next weeks episode. I have to go now. Talk to you later.
    PS- If this disapears someone read it quickly. Also sorry for any mistakes.

  10. zzipidy says:

    A quick question I have after I watched the airport scene…. do we know how Jin and Sun ended up in Australia yet? Did I forget something, or haven’t we been told yet?

  11. Loved seeing Boone. Loved to see Rambo Locke once again. Loved Desmond sans shirt.

    Loved it!

    For more, see my review on http://www.flipthisbody.com

  12. Josh says:

    That was my favorite episode of the season, as much as I’m interested in what’s happening on the other side I don’t care about any of those characters. Too bad it seems they’re going to be on a rotation so I won’t see anything else from Locke & company for a few eps.

    I was nervous Locke was going to be a wuss after the explosion, and I’m glad to see instead he turned back to the island for guidance.

    Boone’s long hair was jarring – as if he had kept living after dying on the island. I’m sure (hope) that’s not the case, but would Locke age him in his head?

    One last thing, I was on the edge of my seat when Locke had the gun on Danny. I didn’t want him to shoot him because I think Locke is better than that, and he is. He was hurt, that was obvious, but it’s good to know the weed farm really did help his anger.

  13. Gretchen says:

    Ryan – Nikki and Paulo will be around for a while — they’ve been talking about Rodrigo Santoro and the actress who plays Nikki on SpoilerFix for a while. And you’ll notice that Santoro’s name is now shown at the beginning like the regular cast. (And he’s SO HANDSOME, he has to stick around for a while!)

    I think Locke could talk again once he had “talked to the Island.” That actually made sense to me.

    And I liked this episode best so far because we have some sense that someone is going to help Kate, Sawyer and Jack!! (But next week – it’s back to prison camp…)

  14. Michael says:

    regarding the Polar Bear – The polar bear’s cave has obviously been it’s home for some time based on the state of the skeletons.

    The first time I saw the cage that Sawyer was in, I thought “bear cage”. (and Mr. Friendly does say that “it only took the bear x minutes to figure it out”. If Dharma was keeping polar bears on the island, it makes sense to me that they would be in these cages – with puzzles to make them smarter.

    Maybe the electromagnetic anomalies (not the one that crashed the plane, nor the one that imploded the hatch, but the “incident” from the training video) caused the polar bears to escape from the cages and get into the jungle.

    Hmm.. smart & semi-wild polar bears in the jungle…eek.

  15. Linkmeister says:

    “Polar bear technology had advanced.”

    Moore’s Law for animatrons?

  16. jlyn1980 says:

    That was so funny watching the scenes in the airport, because I felt like I was having my own deja vu sequence. It was cool to see those scenes. When you were filiming them, did you recognize Boone? Because I didn’t so I had to watch J&J’s vidcast again. That means they are a month ahead of us, because we saw that scene just about a month ago. Thanks for keeping us up to date with the scenes you find on the island. It’s cool that we Lost addicts have our own personal Other Spy.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Daren says:

    They made a LOST reference tonight on the new episode of
    The Office on NBC, about half way through !!!

    The crazy salesman guy with the glasses was training a
    temp for sales and had him partake in a fraternity like initiation. At one piont he had him tied up to a chair in the middle of a barn yelling questions at him.

    ” Question 3… Do you know what the Dharma initiative is ? ” Then it cut to a new scene.

    Thought it was pretty cool…. but not nearly as cool as Further Instructions…. MOST HEADY EPISODE EVER

  18. Jena says:

    What does Hurley’s deja vu refer to?

  19. Blondie says:

    zzipidy–I think that Sun and Jin were delivering two watches–one to a person in Australia and one to a person in the US. The watches were from Sun’s father. I’m pretty sure that was why they were there. One of the watches was found by Michael and that’s why Jin beat the crap out of him in Season 1. :)

  20. Carlton and Damon’s first collaberation, a little gem called “Carnivore.”
    Funny spoof:
    http://tvscifi.com/blog/?p=13

  21. Nadia says:

    what animal did locke turn into for a brief moment after coming out of the airport vision scene….a jaguar or a leopard…it was a quick moment so i wasn’t sure

  22. Dave says:

    Nadia — it looked like a singed polar bear to me.

  23. peejay says:

    Great Ep. Hurley’s Deja Vu I think refers to the Pilot ep. Jack waking up with Vincent running past him—> Locke waking up with a naked Desmond running past him….

    Polar Bear ep… not sure if it was in the Pilot??? think so…

    Jack makes a speech at the end of the pilot rounding the troops, the leader of the crew…

    at the end of this ep Locke rounds up everyone, gives him speech , his turn at being the leader…

    Hurley saying Deja Vu at the end …

    Desmond throwing rocks into the ocean at the end —> Charlie was throwing rocks in the ocean at the end of the pilot….

  24. Arad says:

    Actually, I think Hurley’s deja-vu was referring to the fact that Desmond had asked Hurley about the big speech about finding KSJ before he actually made it. You’ll recall Desmond played it off as if he had imagined it.

    But those are great points also.

  25. stacey says:

    What I thought of when Locke could not speak was the story of Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father in the Bible. When Zach did not believe that his wife was really pregnant, an angel made it so that he could not speak until John the Baptist was born. Locke didn’t believe in the island, and after the implosion couldn’t speak until he did something to prove he believed. Maybe the believing Locke is some sort of John the Baptist type?

  26. Tim says:

    The island regains its intrigue! I’m glad at the new direction, Locke seemed to go downhill in Season 2.

  27. Frank says:

    Hey guys,
    I read on about the episode “Special” and the polar bear was not killed just wounded with a knife to the throut. This must seem to be the same polar bear in “Futher Instructions”. If this polar bear is not killed off soon I have a feeling this will not be the last we have seen of it. Our cast-a-ways are really pissing this polar bear off. I might even expect it to attack the camp in future episodes.
    Maybe the impolsion or electrical magnetism did something to Desmonds brain allowing him to have this ability. In the next episode it says that he starts constructing some object.
    peejay, great points too, but Arad is right. The only thing that made it confusing was Hurley’s (Hugo’s) choice of words. I would not call it deja-vu but I guess that the only way for him to say what happened while making it understanderable.
    As for what I commneted about on the 19th, does anyone have any comments. I think us fans shold really talk and comment. Different people have different interpretations on things and I want to hear thoughts.
    I really enjoy using this website Ryan and Jen but I am not able to comment on my home computer for some reason. Where you put your E-mail address is yellow on my computer. I am here at my college and using the computers here to comment. I sent you an E-mail some-time last week, did you get it? If not thats okay. I will use my college’s computers for the time being. The comments I had posted disapeared so they retrieveble please post them on again but if not thats okay too.
    Fans and everyone else please post your ideas and thoughts. I try my best to go on a computer. This is the only way at least for me to interact with other fans of Lost from different parts of America and the world.
    Ryan and Jen thanks for this website and please bring the podcast back, I really enjoyed listening to them.
    Have a good night and talk to you later.

    P.S. Sorry for any mistakes.

  28. Frank says:

    Hey Guys,
    does anyone know if any other Lost books came out yet?

    Also why has no one been commenting. Are other people having difficulty like how I did? Ryan and Jen is there something wrong? Can anyone see my comments? Alright it will be a long shot but I am going to give out my E-mail address. I know it is bad but it is worth it. E-mail me at:
    MrDragon811@optonline.net
    -or-
    Tehrfe@farmingdale.edu

    I need to know what is going on. Thank you.

    I cannot wait for tonights episode. I really want to know what will happen to James and Kate. Also if Jack is being influenced or not.

    I have to go; have college work to do. Talk to you guys later.
    P.S. Sorry for any mistakes.

  29. Ryan says:

    Frank, your comments are posting just fine. Can’t say why you had problems from a different computer. As for why no one has been commenting… we have had several, excellent comments. But not every comment will inspire a reply, and certainly interest in a post or thread will wane as time passes.

  30. Perry says:

    This episode reminded me of that odd sci-fi movie SPHERE, based on that Michael Crichton book, anybody remember that?

    A team of researches encounters an alien artifact, then afterwards each of them exexplicably begin experiencing different but supernatural effects.

    That seems similar to what happened to the guys in the hatch implosion. In the movie SPHERE, each of the characters ends up with a subconcious ability to basically play god — they could manifest anything in their imagination. It’s almost like each character that was in the hatch implosion has manifest their own fate.

    Charlie: he’s sober. Peaceful. Not wound up, doesn’t have a worry. Doesn’t need his heroin.

    Ecko: he’s punished. he is dragged off by a beast, to a certain death that he probably feels he deserves. Maybe for failing to push the button, maybe for his life before priesthood.

    Desmon: not sure. but maybe he got the ability to time travel? if he could do anything, I’m sure he would turn back time to restore the relationship he left behind.

    Locke: his manifestation could be the vision and means to save his “family” — starting with Ecko, maybe later with the rest of the Losties.

  31. Frank says:

    Thanks Ryan, I will be commenting on “Every Man For Himself”.
    Perry I am a big Michael Crichton fan and agree with what you said.

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