Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review: Lost 1.15: Homecoming

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Ethan lies dead. Spoilers.
Lost - Season One, Episode Fifteen - Homecoming
Written 28/5/12

 This episode was apparently quoted by lead writer Damon Lindelhof as being his least favourite episode of the show, which is more proof if any was needed that he is a man of bad taste. Homecoming sees the Losties take their destiny in their own hands in a big way by hunting down Ethan, as well as seeing Charlie start his second of about fifty seven bajillion redemption curves as he struggles to reconcile with amnesiac Claire.
     Claire returns but she has no memory of anything after the crash. As the camp wonders how she escaped and what's gonna happen, Ethan attacks Jin and gives Charlie an ultimatum - return Claire, or someone dies every night. The Losties try to create a night perimeter but Ethan kills beloved background character Steve (or is it Scott?) and Jack literally gets the big guns out, with Claire offering herself up as bait for an ambush. The group corners Ethan and has him at gunpoint but in a moment of anger Charlie shoots him in the chest, unwilling to let him remain in the same space as Claire. In the past, we see Charlie just before he goes to Australia to ask his brother to reform the band. He's in Manchester, and is working for his dealer to steal from a rich heiress. Charlie sees the opportunity in the relationship he forms with her to create a normal life, but a moment of temptation and then hospitalisation due to his withdrawl symptoms sees his original purpose discovered, leading to his rejection.
     Charlie's story across the show is not one that can really be commended. Despite the early promise in his storyline, he sorta turns out to be a bit of a prick and until the end of Season Three (and his eventual Heroic Sacrifice) there's not much to like about him. This is sorta the beginning of that, as Charlie takes a sort of possessiveness over Claire that just doesn't seem right given that she no longer remembers who he is. His killing of Ethan keeps both the camp and the viewers in the dark about who the fuck Ethan is, where he came from and why he was hunting Claire.
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Meanwhile, Charlie sells copiers while recovering from
addiction! Fun time for all.
    I should really talk about Ethan before he pops off and becomes a flash-back only character. I have no doubt that in his original capacity as Mr. Creepy that he fulfills that role perfectly, but the problem is that when saying any other line at all the delivery is wooden and thus hilarious. The line back from Daddy Issues is a great example - "If you do not stop following me, I will kill one of them!", delivered in the style of a pre-badassification George McFly. He's not someone you can really take seriously, and his stunted delivery becomes even more jarring later when we find out that he brainwashed Claire into thinking that he was the most trustworthy person ever.
      Homecoming was something different to the norm - there was a sense of tension, of excitement, of great danger. Season One plays most of the situations out to their most realistic, and the precautions that the camp takes as the "A Team" try to protect their people from Ethan's attacks feel semi-realistic. Not that that's particularly important, I suppose, but it's the little touches like that which at this stage of the game seperate Lost from the rest. After setting up all of our characters in their own wonderful little bubbles, the show puts the pieces on the playing field and watches them go. And the ability to do that and still feel cohesive is commendable.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: It's another Sawyer story! Where he shoots a guy. Hmm. It's Outlaws.

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