Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Review: Lost 1.13: Hearts and Minds

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Locke tries to give Boone an experience.
Lost - Season One, Episode Thirteen - Hearts and Minds
Written 21/5/13

This episode was rather better than it appeared on first inspection. Covering what felt like a wider spectrum of ideas with multiple characters rather than honing in on its centric character, the very hateable Boone, the episode rounded up certain characters' deceptions - the ones they hold with those they love, and the ones they hold with themselves.And it worked, unequivocally.
     Boone is jealous of Sayid and Shannon, and Locke notices. When Boone wants to address the concerns that the camp is having over Boone and Locke not actually catching any boar (because they're secretly going out to the Hatch) by confiding in his sister, Locke knocks him out, ties him up and drugs him. Sayid discovers that compasses don't seem to work properly on the Island. While working with her at her Allotment, Kate discovers that Sun can speak English and promises not to tell Jin. Hurley tries to get Jin's help, and in exchange for eating one of Jin's sea urchins, Jin catches and cleans a fish for him. Boone escapes his bonds when he hears Shannon screaming, and he finds her tied up. She is killed by the Monster soon after, dying in Boone's arms, but when he finds and confronts Locke he discovers that it was all a hallucination.
     In Boone's flashbacks, we go back to before the plane - Boone is pulled to Sydney by a phone call from his sister (revealed thankfully in this episode to be of no blood relation) who he believes is in an abusive relationship. He pays $50k to her boyfriend to get him to back off, but later discovers that she was conning the money from him and that her previous "abusive relationships" were similar cons. Drunk, she later confronts him in his hotel room over the fact that he is in love with her. They have sex, but afterwards she asks him to pretend it never happened, leading to his feelings of frustration as we see on the Island.
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Boone learns of Shannon's con.
     Ian Somerhalder is a great actor, simply in how much he works how stupid Boone can be. I really don't think we're meant to like him at all - there's obviously an attempt at some kind of redemption arc with quite a number of characters, but Boone and Shannon's are the most obnoxious in their early stages. Boone's lengthy torture and the realisation of his relief when he believed that his sister had died (and that he didn't have to face his feelings for her any more) made him a rounder character in the space of a few minutes, and I think that was expertly done.
     Elsewhere, it's nice to see Sun and Jin's characters integrating more into the main cast, giving Yunjin and Daniel Dae Kim a bit more to do with their time. Jin and Hurley's escapades on the beach were funny, even if I resented the fact that once again Hurley was used as the "haha look a fat dude" comic relief. Sun's secret and the discussion of it will be picked up on again in about a month's time. Overall, I think it was good that we were afforded storyline progression for two characters who generally don't have a major role to play in the series' plot.
     Hearts and Minds was a decent exploration of a few of the characterisations, not fully taking on the whole hatch plot while realistically depicting the confusion that would arise surrounding it. It saw the integration of two isolated characters into the main cast and redemption of one of the first season's most prolific irritations from a gormless load into a rounded human being. Really, any series that can do that has proven its credentials a thousand fold - I just wish that this could have happened before all of the crap that Boone brought to the series beforehand.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: Wherein the writers make us wonder why Walt is so Special and then pretend down the line that it never had any plot significance...

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