Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review: Lost 3.12: Par Avion

"To whom it may concern: We are survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. We have survived on this island for 80 days. We were six hours into the flight when the pilot said we were off course and turned back toward Fiji. We hit turbulence and crashed. We've been waiting here all this time--waiting for rescue that has not come. We do not know where we are. We only know you have not found us. We've done our best to live on this island. Some of us have come to accept we may never leave it. Not all of us have survived since the crash. But there is new life, too, and with it, there is hope. We are alive. Please don't give up on us.
I don't know why Claire was a goth. Lazy writer speak for
"rebellious and moody"? From Wikia
Lost - Season Three, Episode Twelve - Par Avion
Written 9/3/14

Sixty-one episodes since the pilot and we're officially at Lost's half-way mark, even if we've covered about 91% of the show to get here. Odd, that. As is this episode, which takes a look at Claire and her past with Jack's dad Christian, presented alongside a juicy continuation of last week's plot in order to give us something actually interesting to think about. For those not versed in gratuitous French, Par Avion is the French term for being delivered "by way of air," which is either a genius title exploiting the series' premise or a pretentious piece of foreign language snobbery. You decide, Britain.
     Dans l'island, Desmond tries to protect Charlie from yet another terrible death, a result of Claire's desire to catch a seagull and exploit its migratory nature by pinning a message to one of its legs.She gets very confused and frustrated as Charlie refuses to have anything to do with her attempt, and she's noticed that he and Desmond keep having secretive little chats. After shouting at Desmond for once again foiling her attempt, he goes in himself and catches a bird, explaining everything to her. A good few kilometres north, and Locke's merry band follow the Flame's map towards The Baracks. They encounter a set of pylons, which Locke tests by throwing Mikhail into, leading to his apparrent death. They scale the pylons, but once they arrive at the Barracks, they find Jack casually playing football with Tom Friendly.
     In Claire's flashbacks, we discover that she crashes her mother's car, leaving her in a coma. This leads to the arrival of Christian Shepherd, Jack's dad. Here he is shown to also be Claire's estranged father, who is paying her mother's hospital bills while she's comatose. Initially Claire warms to him, but soon he reveals his intentions - he wants to euthanise her mother. She disowns him and is revealed to still be visiting her mother in hospital all the way up to the fateful flight to Los Angeles that saw her brought to the Island par avion. I really liked the reappearance of John Terry as Christian Shepherd, mainly because he just masters any scene that he's in, but because despite being a very minor character in the long run, it's epoisodes like this that make Christian just as developed as some of the main guys. Carole Littleton, who would come back in Season Five with a different head and miraculously out of her coma, wasn't so impressive.
Jack plays Rugby to scare chords from the soundtrack -
clearly this is an evil sport. From Wikia
     Like back in S.O.S, it's a little odd that part of this episode revolved around one of the more minor survivors still trying to get home. In real-time it's perfectly reasonable, but given all the crazy shit that's happened since, finding part of the story still holding that naiive Season One mentality of "Oh I'm sure we'll get rescued eventually" was an odd story decision. I also didn't see why both Charlie and Desmond were being so secretive with Claire - this is, after all, the same woman who was on the flight to L.A. in the first place because a psychic told her to take it. A fraudulent psychic. Who changed his prediction for no reason. Yeah, I'm still not over that.
      A la fin de la journée, Par Avion continues a string of good episodes for this season - a string which is about to wind and wind and make a beautiful plait of episodes, some of the best in the entire show. I suppose I was a little lacklustre towards this week because, as I've probably explained before, I'm not really a Claire fan. While characters like Claire and Charlie were fun to have in the intial lineup, when the show was about strangers coming together in adversity in a mysterious place, it's a very different show now - one that revolves around deep characters, an expansive mythos and trying to tell who's lying about what to whom and why. And these two lovebirds, the intriguing "Charlie's gunna die my visions" plot aside, don't really have the right personalities to fit into that show. Hence why Charlie gets written out at the end of this season, and Claire's character is mucked up at the end of the next one.


NEXT WEEK: We finally get to see what put Locke in a wheelchair, as we once again discuss Locke's relationship with The Man From Tallahassee.

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