Now here’s a weird one. And honestly, knowing what we know now, Lost fans, I’m not sure parts of this even make any frickin’ sense. As such, in the recap proper, I’ll distill what actually happens on-screen, but later, I’ll try and make sense of what happens to Boone and Shannon out in the jungle. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the on-Island actions held up, even if the flashback still leaves much to be desired.
Hearts and Minds
4) In Short
"She ain’t heavy, man; she’s my step-sister."
8) On the Island
We open on Boone’s eye. It doesn’t blink suddenly open, as is the show’s general wont, but rather staring intently at Shannon. He watches Sayid give Shannon a present: a pair of shoes. He got them at the Banana Republic. OK, from the wreckage, but Boone’s all huffy all the same. Hurley interrupts Boone’s starefest, asking why he and Locke haven’t brought any boar back in a week. Hurley, in a meta moment, points out that, "This isn’t a game, dude."
Boone orders Sayid to stay away from Shannon. And I spit up my water from laughing, as this is a battle Boone would never win should it turn to fisticuffs. Sayid’s almost as amused as me, but before he can turn Boone into so much deadness, Locke calls him away into the jungle.
While walking back to the metallic structure in the woods, Locke tells Boone to back off, pointing out Sayid would be an asset to "their side." Boone conveys his worry that people are getting suspicious of their daily treks into the woods. Locke insists their priority lies with the structure, with approximately five square feet revealed and at least one small window on the surface.
Hurley finds Jack in the jungle, with an important question on his mind. Turns out, he’s not feeling so hot in the tummy area. All that fruit makes Hurley one sick puppy. Jack suggests getting some protein is his diet, with fish as a primary option. Hurley thinks Jin has it in for him after refusing to eat sea urchin right after crashing landing. Yea, I know, a whole scene about Hurley’s eating problems. Sigh.
Jack, playing the role of Sawyer, watches Kate from a not-so-hidden place in the jungle. She’s collecting passion fruit seeds. She leads him to Sun, who has been tilling a garden unbeknownst to Jack. I honestly forgot how freakin’ useful Sun used to be on this show. Now she’s Epically PO’ed Warrior Woman, but she used to be the Martha Freakin’ Stewart of the Island. Without all the jail time and such.
Boone’s confused: turns out the two of them have been staring at the exposed metallic surface for two days now. Locke, making some sort of compound in a papaya shell, tells the story of Michelangelo, who stared at a block of granite for four months while designing the statue of David in his head. (But Locke says this is super awesome mystic Locke fashion. It’s a fantastic monologue and I’m sad he doesn’t get these anymore.) Locke insists they are doing the same thing: waiting, watching, looking for a way to open the hatch before them.
Boone insists telling the Lostaways about the hatch. Locke thinks that’s a horrible idea. Boone asks for permission to at least tell Shannon. After an argument between them, Locke relents, only to play Whack-A-Boone with the butt end of his knife. Hee. That was fun. Boone wakes up, tied to a tree, watching Locke make the same type of compound her did earlier. Locke then applies the goop to Boone’s head wound. He then leaves Boone alone with a knife, ordering him to find his way back to camp. Worst Greek hazing evah.
Back at Sun’s Garden Emporium, Kate realizes Sun speaks English after Sun unwittingly laughed at one of Kate’s jokes. Over at Jin’s Fish-R-Us, Hurley asks for help in catching his own fish, stepping on a sea urchin for his troubles. That’s Alanis Morrissette levels of irony there.
Locke finds Sayid making a compass in the jungle out of water, metal, and Iraqi grit. Locke conveys that he hasn’t see a compass like that since his days as a Webelo, which I gather is like being a Boy Scout only with a name 34% more likely to get you beaten up by your peers. Locke hands over his own compass to aid Sayid’s orienteering efforts, saying he doesn’t need it anymore.
Boone’s out cold at The House at Boone Corner, when he suddenly hears Shannon’s voice in the jungle. He then hears something else: the familiar sound of the unseen monster. Turns out, that’s the proper motivation needs to reach the knife, free himself, and go running towards Shannon. He finds her maybe 50 yards away, unties her, and leads her through the jungle, eventually hiding them in a set of banyan trees. The monster bangs against the trees, but seemingly can’t penetrate them.
Sayid has a pop quiz for Jack: which way’s North? Jack’s confused by the query, but gives an answer which should be correct. Sayid shows how Locke’s compass is nearly 45 degrees off. Man, it’s almost as if the island has unique electromagnetic properties, wouldn’t you say?
Time to get some glimpses around the Island: Jack and Locke have a pow wow on the beach about the boars. Sun makes Kate promise not to tell anyone about her English skills. Jin gives Hurley a cleaned fish. Michael looks through a box with mysterious contents. Jack makes a contribution to Kate’s garden. And Charlie confides to Jack that if there were one person on the island he’d put his faith in to save them all, it would be Locke. Hmmm.
Back in the banyans, Shannon insinuates it was Locke that tied her up. The two fight all the way back through the jungle. To shut her up, he confesses to her that they’ve found a hatch, while incredibly loud flapping noises can be heard nearby. And then a freakin’ tree explodes out of the ground and I soil myself, again, as the monster comes after the two of them. She eventually gets yanked up, into the air, and disappears. He soon finds her dead in a river bank. And we have our first big death on the show.
Oh wait, we don’t. Turns out that the paste administered by Locke was a hallucinogen, prompting Boone to live out a dream-like sequence in which Shannon died. Locke’s curious to know how Boone felt about that. The answer? "Relieved." Chill-tastic. Locke’s Acolyte is restored to full loyalty, and the two go back out into the jungle.
15) Off the Island
Boone’s at a country club, having just finished a game of tennis with a female partner. He gets an urgent call from Shannon, who needs his help in Australia. Once there, he encounters Bryan, her boyfriend, and Shannon insists she never contacted him in the first place. But while Bryan looks away, Shannon brushes her hair away, revealing a bruise on her forehead.
At the local police station, Boone’s having a hard time getting the police to take action against Bryan. While pleading his case, Sawyer actually gets dragged into the back of the station. Turns out, Boone is her step-brother, not actual brother, and oooh, now we get all the creepy stares on the Island, don’t we? In the end, the police won’t take action without physical evidence or Shannon herself asking for help.
Boone then confronts Bryan, asking him to dump Shannon. He refuses. Citing this as the third time it’s happened, Boone offers to pay Bryan off to leave. His initial offer of $25K gets countered with $50K. Sold to the step-brother with the Shannon obsession!
Boone goes to Shannon’s place to help her pack, only to find out that all those times in which Boone saved her from abusive boyfriends were just cons to get at her step-mother’s money. Boone gets beat up (a theme in this episode) by Bryan and sent on his unhappy way.
That night, Shannon comes to his hotel room. Turns out Bryan took the money and left, with the con (wo)man getting conned. Shannon’s drunk as hell, and accuses Boone being in love with her. And then starts nibbling his ear. And then the tonsil hockey starts. This. Is. Creepy. Afterwards, a more sober Shannon tells Boone to forget it ever happened when they get back to L.A. Cue "Bad Day" for Boone.
16) The Mythology
- I’m pretty sure this episode marked the first time we’ve seen two on-Island characters cross paths before the airport. I’m not sure if this is "mythology" per se, but the show’s gone to great lengths to show the six Dharma degrees between a majority of these characters on the show.
- The unique magnetic properties of the Island come into play for the first time. I rather enjoyed how much Sayid downplayed this discovery. It’s as if he’s just said, "Look, this Island ate a big bowl of crazy this morning, and I’m just rolling with it." Obviously, said electromagnetic anomalies sorta kinda play a huge role in things to come.
- OK, so the monster: if I have this right, and I think I do, Boone and Shannon had never experienced the monster as any more than sounds in the jungle on the first night. So how, exactly, does the monster sound and act correctly during a fever dream? To put it another way: did the Monster actually make an appearance to a drugged Boone, or was it all in his head? Seems to me that Boone wouldn’t have had enough information on the Monster to realistically dream it all, but hey, it’s a dream sequence on a mysterious Island: maybe I should just let it go.
23) The Moment
Fever dream or not, when that tree explodes out of the ground, it’s one of the great GOTCHA moments in the show’s history.
42) In Retrospect
- I enjoyed Locke talking about needing Sayid on their "side," almost as if he’s anticipating the schism that will occur once widespread knowledge of the hatch is attained. In fact, rewatching this episode makes it all the more amazing that the Locke/Shephard separation doesn’t truly happen until Season 4. Then again, there was another group that helped delay the inevitable.
- Loved all the compass talk, both in terms of the item in "Cabin Fever" and in terms of the Island’s unique properties. The whole magnetism thing was a stroke of genius, as it allowed people to accept the unusual elements of the Island via this route versus making it purely about parapsychology, time travel, or the other more obscure/geeky things later introduced in the show.
- I know I’m reading into this too much, but I couldn’t help thinking about this when I heard the loud flapping as Boone told "Shannon" his secret. The wife just thinks that some nearby birds were getting out of Dodge, knowing what was about to go down, but that just makes too much sense, darnit. I like my theories as implausible as possible.
108) In Summary
A weak backstory with a creeptastic ending aside, this was a stronger-than-expected episode upon reviewing. I miss this version of Locke terribly: he’s both incredibly sage and incredibly terrifying all at once, and the show seems to completely orbit around his character in this episode. Watching Sayid, Jack, and Charlie size him up gave me incredible joy. Elsewhere, the show established an important bond (Sun/Kate) while softening a now-beloved character (Jin), and set the long stage for the show’s first major death down the road.
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Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.