Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Review: Lost 2.1: Man of Science, Man of Faith

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Jack faces someone strangely familiar...
Lost - Season Two, Episode One - Man of Science, Man of Faith
Written between 29th June and 1st July 2013

Say what you will, but Lost's openers are always very interesting presentation wise. It's the show's chance to flip the table and replace the curtains, to say that no matter how peripherally similar the episode may be, that some things have irreversably changed. Season Two's opener is one of the series' most famous, and despite what I feel is rather a blandly executed main-plot, the rest of it more than makes up for what is going to be a slow revving up again.
     The episode's opening moments follow a man in an underground bunker undergoing his daily routine, pushing numbers into a computer to the sound of "Make Your Own Kind Of Music." We are shown that this is the place at the bottom of the Hatch, whereafter Locke and Jack argue about whether to go down. Eventually Kate goes down and Locke follows her, followed later by Jack who discovers that Locke and Kate are being held hostage by a mad scotsman that Jack recognises. The episode's relative fame comes from how unexpected the opening is - the way it's presented makes it feel like a total non-sequitur when it arrives right after the "Previously on Lost" rehash, and the way they reveal the gorgeous set and its plot significance is genius. Shame about how humdrum the rest of the main plot is, though.
     The episode's flashback throws us straight into important Jack territory, showing us how he met his wife Sarah (whom we met in flashback during Season One's Do No Harm). Sarah is wheeled after a car accident which kills Shannon's Dad and the prognosis is not good - Jack is confident of the fact that she's never going to walk again. Christian wants him to give her a little hope, and after her jerkass boyfriend walks out on her before her operation Jack makes a promise that he will make her better again. He goes for a run, where he trips and meets a lovely Scottish man named Desmond - the guy in the Hatch - who gives him a pep talk. Jack returns and despite his reservations discovers that Sarah's paralysis has been healed and that she's gonna be fine.
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...whom he's met in a life-defining moment.
     The overall pickup from the end of the last season was pretty weak; deliberately so, I feel, in order to build up the mystery of Desmond and the hatch to near frustrating levels. I can't really expect the series to come back with a full series of character analyses while it's simulatenously trying to address the last season's cliffhangers and set up the plotlines for the weeks ahead. All I can say is that I'm glad for the fairly entertaining flashback storyline, which despite feeling like it's popped out of Holby City had the standard great stuff with Jack's wife, which provide some of his best flashbacks.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: We do this episode again from a different perspective, in Adrift.

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