Although it had its detractors, the Hurley-centric ‘Tricia Tanaka is Dead’ seems to have served a real purpose – allowing Lost to slow down a tic, let everyone take a pause, get reacquainted and settle their bearings before we were off to the races. If Tanaka’s symbolic moment is a rusted VW bus spinning donuts in a valley, last week’s ‘Enter 77’ and this week’s episode have given the core survivors a mission and with that some real forward progress in the narrative department. Oh yeah, a generous sprinkling of those coveted answers as well.
On with the show.
1. While the title ‘Par Avion’ (loosely translated – ‘By Bird’) is tied to Claire’s plot to catch migrating seagulls and attach a message to them in hopes a South Pacific researcher will key in on their location. I found that Claire’s plot was really the B plot. Or, at least, it shared equal space with Kate’s journey to rescue Jack. Anyway, I’ll tackle Claire’s subplot first before diving into the revelations introduced in the jungle.
2. I thought this episode did a great job of balancing numerous plates. Claire’s mission to nab a sea gull actually made sense, it was a practical effort for someone to reach out for rescue. Although, based on the context of her letter, some of this may have just been more about holding out hope for rescue – of fighting the stagnation that can settle in – of not being resigned to one’s fate. I’m not sure that a researcher would deduce the exact island a bird landed on but for those left on the island, it’s certainly worth wishing for. It’s that same hope a message in a bottle carries.
3. In Claire’s flashback we got official confirmation of something rumored since last season’s Ana-Lucia flashback. Jack and Claire are half-siblings. This was first introduced in the episode last season where Christian Shepherd, while on his Aussie bender, was seen banging on a door demanding to see “his daughter.” While not a massive revelation in the grand scheme of things, this is just one more element that ties all of these survivors together. I don’t think it is entirely accidental that the survivors crossed paths in so many ways prior to coming to the island. I don’t know the meaning for it yet but based on The Others’ knowledge of these survivors and their past lives, I don’t think these connections are just meant to be cute.
4. This leads me to the trek towards The Barracks – as Kate, Danielle, Locke, Sayid and Mikhail (One-Eye) make their way across the island to locate The Others’ encampment and liberate Jack. There’s an interesting exchange where once again Mikhail brings up ‘The List’. This isn’t the list that Mrs. Klugh pressed Michael with last season but rather the list that the unforeseen Jacob drafted. So far we have had confirmation in a past episode that Jack was not on Jacob’s list. In this episode, Mikhail confronts Kate and says he will not share information with Kate because she is not on the list. He then restates a message offered by Goodwin last season, inferring that Kate is not one of the ‘good people.’ He calls her (and her fellow survivors) “flawed”. Again, another example supporting my theory of The Others’ campaign for a better humanity.
5. Mikhail then offers a telling, taunting line of dialogue – “How could I know you… Kate Austin? And I do not know you… Sayid Jarrah? But you, John Locke. You I have a fleeting memory of. However, the John Locke I knew was pa…”
6. Paralyzed!!! That’s what he was going to say. So was he taunting John with this knowledge or did Mikhail know him in a former life. With next week’s ep looking to shed light on how Locke came to find that wheel chair, we may get some additional intel.
7. Speaking of Locke, this episode provided some clues that perhaps Locke knows exactly what he’s doing. I don’t think he was playing that chess game just to have some fun. Based on the discovery of the C4 in his backpack, Locke seems to have known what he was doing when he entered 77. This jibes with his former destructive tendencies, including his attack on the hatch computer last season. He does NOT want to be rescued.
8. Back to Mikhail and his disturbing end. Those security pylons they came across were creepy, a great image as the camera swept the landscape and we spied them arrayed for miles (a stunning shot in HD by the way). Interesting that when Locke threw Mikhail through the ‘plane’ – Mikhail turned and said “Thank You” before his brain was fried by the sonic beam. This seems to infer more of that religious aspect – that Mikhail believes he is going to a higher plane.
9. I’ll say one thing – the Survivors have now racked up a much higher body count than The Others which cannot be good for them. So far this season, The Others have lost Danny, his wife, Mrs. Klugh (technically Mikhail pulled the trigger) and Mikhail.
10. But they have gained Jack, if that creepy, cool coda taught us anything. I think that’s the first time we’ve seen Jack happy on this island and all it took was a pick up game of Boozeball with his new clone buddies to turn that frown upside down. TOUCHDOWN!!!
Next week – the ‘The Man from Tallahassee’.