Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: Lost 2.15: Maternity Leave
Claire remembers Ethan doing some crazy shit.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episode Fifteen - Maternity Leave
Written 14/8/13

 I said last season that I wasn't really a massive Claire fan, and while that hasn't changed a bit I really must clarify that there isn't any animosity in me for the character - rather a distant apathy that has let me sit and watch as everyone and his dog has tried to kidnap Claire, her baby or both within the space of no time at all. However, the last season did leave us with a gap in our knowledge, which gives us the perfect excuse to experiment with Lost's format as well as reveal, through both flashbacks and through Henry Gale, some of what The Others were up to.
     Claire starts getting flashbacks, and when Aaron gets a fairly normal baby illness, she is acosted once more by Rousseau, who gets the idea in her head that the baby has the mysterious "sickness", which her flashback of Ethan giving her a vaccine backs up. She and Kate look for Rousseau, who helps Claire as they search for The Staff, a Dharma station that Claire sees in her new flashbacks. Even as she finds the place empty, she remembers that she was drugged by Ethan into trusting him completely, but that a teenage girl called Alex (who we know as Rousseau's estranged daughter) helped her to escape. Elsewhere, in The Hatch, Eko gets to talk to Henry Gale and confesses to killing two of The Others on his first day on the Island, and Henry makes some select comments about Locke and Jack's working relationship that make Locke and angry and frustrated.
      The show seems to love to play Claire up as a Cassandra character - one who makes extraordinary claims and is believed by no-one until those things actually happen. That tied in a little to what were some... interesting performances from actress Emilie de Ravin as she went from lofty drug-induced delusions in her flashbacks to her slightly more annoying paranoia and misbelief in the present island storyline, up until the point where she finally remembers everything and it turns out that her baby is okay after all. I think the parallels with Danielle Rousseau end up being very interesting, especially in the long run where by Season 6 Claire has basically become her.
Rousseau hears word from Claire that her daughter might
be alive. From Wikia
     Elsewhere, and Henry Gale's manipulations begin here, in a wonderful scene which would be later homaged in Eggtown. The genius of what his character does is to say, in a sentence or so, just the right thing to instill doubt and dissent. Henry makes it clear that he can hear everything that goes on in the main room of The Swan - enough to know of the rough relationship between Locke, who's happy pushing the button and being cool, and Jack, who Locke sees as a threat to his work. The way Henry manipulates Locke so subtley, without Locke even seeming to notice, is what drives Locke into a state of despair as the season reaches its end. It's really quite brilliant to see manipulation acheived in a way which looks so effortless.
     Maternity Leave was a great episode, with a great guest cast (any episode with both Ben and Danielle is gonna be really good) and a sense that, after the little two week break in purpose, that the show now knows where it's headed again. And, whatever that direction, it's one being marched to with confidence, as the manipulative Henry Gale and the even weirder observations of The Others in Claire's flashback show so concisesly. The season's second half is gathering some speed, and that's really enjoyable for me.


NEXT WEEK: Back in What Kate Did, Jin and Sun did the do. Now Sun is pregnant, in The Whole Truth.

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