Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Review: Lost 2.20: Two For The Road

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Rest in peace, Ana-Lucia. From Wikia
Lost - Season Two, Episode Twenty - Two For The Road
Written 10/11/13

Ana-Lucia is one of my favourite characters in the show for various reasons better covered in my review of Collision a few weeks ago. This is her final story and her second centric episode, which ties together her usefulness in the series with a nice bow and, just after allowing her the precious character development she deserves, the show exercises its favourite trick and kills her in a way which is blunt and quite enraging. And deliberately so, most likely. It doesn't exactly match its predecessor blow for blow, but it is an Ana-Lucia episode and thus manages its character developments with the utmost finesse, which is always a good thing.
     Ana-Lucia is having a friendly chat with "Henry" when he violently attacks her, goading her about the things she did on the other side of the Island (which, we will find out later, were orchestrated by him anyway.) This kicks up her lust for revenge - she goes to Sawyer to get a gun and ends up having to seduce him to get it. Meanwhile, Jack and Kate bring back Michael and he spins a story about escaping from the Others' custody, and expresses a desire to follow his path back and storm their camp. Ana-Lucia goes to execute Henry, but she can't find it within herself to do it - which is when Michael offers to do it instead. He then shoots her in the abdomen, as well as witness Libby, and lets Henry go, shooting himself in the shoulder.
     In her flashback, Ana-Lucia leaves the force after having executed her assailant, Jason McCormack. She goes to Australia, where she meets Jack's dad, Christian Shepherd, himself having left his family after his son sold him out for drinking on the job. He employs her as a bodyguard, as he attempts to find out about his daughter, who we discover is Claire. A conversation with Christian sees him fire her, with her leaving him in the Bar we find him in in Outlaws. She rings her mother and tells her that she's coming home... on Oceanic Flight 815.
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Fuck you, Michael. From Wikia
     Like one of Henry Gale's plots, the episode's final tragedy falls into place piece by insignificant piece, each small little plot point mounting up to that pivotal moment. Henry attacked Ana-Lucia to get her riled up enough to bring a gun to the Hatch, and he knew that this would give the newly released Michael a chance to carry through with his instructions - the instructions he formulated. If Henry hadn't attacked Ana, she wouldn't be dead; if Hurley didn't want to take Libby on a romantic picnic, she wouldn't be dead either. While on the initial watch it feels inconspicuous, the way everything falls together is evocative of high tragedy, as Ana-Lucia's moment of redemption is underscored by her blunt and meaningless death.
      Even better is the foreshadowing provided during the final scene itself by Harold Perrineau, whose performance as Michael betrays all of his feelings - the mixture of reluctance and desperation and self-loathing as he murders twice and then shoots himself in the arm, all in the name of rescuing his son. Two For The Road wasn't an episode which delighted in grand-slamming or laying on the symbolism - rather, it kept a slow build-up which manipulated characterisations in the way that only Lost can. I'm going to miss both Ana-Lucia and Libby, and the plots that they brought with them, even as we head towards this season's awesome finale.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: Do they really plan on having an episode title this short?

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