Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review: Lost 3.4: Every Man For Himself

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The true nature of The Others' prison is revealed.
From Wikia
Lost - Season Three, Episode Four - Every Man For Himself
Written between 23rd and 24th February 2014

Every episode of Lost has its favourite allusions, but none so more than my treasured Sawyer episodes. This week was a string of allusions to Of Mice and Men, from shaking rabbits to death all the way down to musings on the nature of mankind. It felt like something of a sign that the show seems to be feeling more comfortable in this story than it was last week, resulting is an hour of intrugue and drama with barely a misstep to talk about. That this comes from a centric of one of my favourite characters is not lost on me, and I'd be the first to blast my own bias, but perhaps those lengthy narrative references have just rubbed off on the writing.
      After the shooting two weeks ago, Other member Colleen is rushed to their surgery. In order to teach him a lesson, Ben abducts Sawyer from his cell and, after injecting him with a sedative, informs him that he's been fitted with a pacemaker which will kill him if his heartrate goes too high - thus discouraging him from trying to escape. Jack is called into surgery when Juliet reveals that she's just a fertility specialist - he isn't able to save Colleen, despite best efforts, but he notices that someone in The Others' group has a spinal tumour, and seeing as he's a spinal surgeon he guesses that he wants them to save them. After some argument, Ben reveals to Sawyer the truth - the pacemaker was an elaborate con, and they couldn't escape even if they wanted to, as they're on Hydra Island, a fair stretch of water away from their people. At the beach camp, Desmond saves Charlie's life thanks to a premonition. In the past, Sawyer is in prison and discovers that he has a daughter by Cassidy, the woman he conned in The Long Con. He cons a fellow prisoner in order to earn his way out of jail and set down a nestegg for his daughter.
     The cornerstone theme of this episode was about love, however indirectly. Aside from the ridiculously back and forth relationship between Kate and Sawyer (which is better than Kate and Jack, at any rate), we have that relationship compared to the love shared between Danny Pickett and his now late wife Colleen, as well as Sawyer's muted actions in the past to go against his usual principles and betray his friend in order to make a better life for his estranged infant daughter. Sawyer's path of redemption is touched upon quite nicely here - most of his actions throughout the episode are done to protect Kate from physical or emotional pain, just as he puts aside his grudge against the prison warden in order to snitch his way free.
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"Can I still tend the rabbits, George?" From Wikia
      The developing story with Jack and Juliet, ignoring for now the potential for fun fun fun emotional polygons, is doing something of a stellar job of developing Juliet's character within these limited time constraints. Parallels are constantly drawn between Jack's captivity here and Ben's captivity in Season Two, with Jack in this episode pulling off on Juliet almost exactly what Ben did to Locke in Maternity Leave. Except that, to be fair, Juliet is a fair bit more put together than Locke was at that stage, and Jack doesn't need to push that much to reveal the underlying hatred that exists between her and Ben - the cause of which we will find out later in the season, and in Season Four's The Other Woman.
     At times, this episode's theme couldn't get any clearer - "every man for himself" doesn't work. That's a nice uniting theme throughout Lost, and one that this episode embodied in ways that made it slightly deeper than the past three weeks. It's still not Lost gold, and I'm still damning this arc with the faint praise of being "entertaining," But this week's episode recaptured something in the series that this season had been lacking so far - a sense of thematic potency, of the kind that Lost excels in delivering. And it referenced Steinbeck, which is always a good thing in my book. As we enter the final stages of this arc, I hope that the show gets better, although I know that there are some corkers and some stinkers waiting on the other side.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: The third and final outing for my fave character, Mr. Eko. Nikki and Paolo start to get annoying. The Monster starts showing teeth. And Eko must discern The Cost of Living.

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