Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Lost: Season 2 Recaps

We are currently doing a weeklong tribute to my favorite TV show (or thing in general), the television series Lost.  For more articles about Lost week, click here.

(Editor's Notes: These episodes are judged on a curve.  Lost is my all-time favorite show and even at its worst, it's still better than pretty much anything I've ever experienced on television.  Additionally, Lost is a show that is built off of its mystique and mystery-if you haven't seen these episodes, SEE THEM NOW as they are the part of the best series ever put on television, and then come back and discuss as we're about to get our spoil on).

Man of Science, Man of Faith (#2.1)

Review: Coming off of a Lost high is never easy, particularly considering all of the fantastic twists and turns of Exodus-Others, hatches, and black smoke, oh my!  It would take an entire season to explain just everything that was going on in that finale, so all things considered, we got more than we probably expected-a twist, a turn, and resolution on just what is in the hatch (no explanation of what it does, but still).  Jack’s back story is a rich one, showing how he would meet his eventual wife, and gives us one of the tenderest and most smile-inducing moments of Season 2, as both Jack and Sarah discover together that she can walk.  The arguments between Jack and Locke make Locke seem more “sane,” which isn’t really the case and is something that I don’t think the writers intended, but that little bit of questionable logic isn’t enough to deter this from being a standout episode.
Get Out the Kleenex: Jack and Sarah, learning to walk-so wonderful.
Hurley Dude Count: 3
Desmond Brother Count: Our most fraternal castaway’s favorite term of endearment is uttered four times in this episode, all to Jack.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: For the first time in the entire series, Sawyer doesn’t appear, and so no hillbilly nicknames
Irony: Desmond quite literally sees Jack in another life (circa Season 6)
Best Line: “What do I say if I have to stop? –Kate, “Stop,” –John deadpans back, proving that not everything on this island has to be mysterious
Best Moment: That opening shot of Desmond, and the long camera arch upwards.
Episode MVP: I’m going to be winningly abstract right now, and go with Cass Elliot, whose song more than any other that would appear in the series, became entwined with the lore of Lost.  You're gonna be nowhere, the loneliest kind of lonely

Adrift (#2.2)

Review: There are episodes of Lost where you know exactly where things are going to end, and you’re more along for the ride.  Two episodes into the season, everyone knew that Michael, Sawyer, and Jin were all going to return to that island, that we would make little to no progress on Desmond’s situation, and that the “Others” would soon be making an appearance (though in the latter, appearances can be deceiving).  That being said, I did enjoy some of the psychological banter between Michael and Sawyer, even if the back story was all a bit redundant (haven’t we already done most of this with Susan already?).  In the episode, we get to see some decent acting, but some lazy writing.  Everything in this episode was either preordained or repetitive, including but not limited to “Walt!, WAAAAALT!”  The ending leaves us wanting more, but even that is cheap in retrospect, as these are not Others, but in fact the Tail section of the plane.  A disappointing journey, with one great scene of Michael saying goodbye to Walt, but otherwise we’re left wanting much, much more.
Hurley Dude Count: Not a peep from our resident dudemeister.
Desmond Brother Count: 2, to John and Jack.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Calling the island home seems much more bittersweet when we realize that that raft was the furthest he'd get from that island for many years to come.
Best Line: “What are you going to do, splash me?” -Sawyer
Best Moment: Michael, trying to say goodbye to Walt.
Episode MVP: Michael, I’m finally going to give you a best in show here.  That final scene with Walt and Susan was one of your best moments on the show.

Orientation (#2.3)

Review: It is the rare Locke episode that doesn’t aspire to greatness, and Orientation, his first of the season, continues the trend, both in structure and in character.  Our beloved dreamer is found on the island, deducing the meaning of a button he knows he is supposed to push, and off the island, realizing that he needs to let go in order to be loved.  I’ve always loved the way that Locke and Jack are both incredibly dashing when they want to flirt, as if, in another life, they could have been very sophisticated ladies men.   The storylines that aren’t surrounding Locke are served as satisfying morsels as well, from Jack breaking down and admitting for the first time to viewers that he is divorced to Ana Lucia pulling the wool over the raft-offs in the hole.  But it is John Locke, eternally at the center of a strife that he can’t quite understand, who sails through this episode and is its shining beacon, finding hope in a world he’s determined has it.
Hurley Dude Count: Three (I expected more with the food discovery)
Desmond Brother Count: Three, to Jack and John
Best Line: “We’re gonna need to watch that again,” –John, stating the obvious
Best Moment: Counting down, Locke convincing Jack to press that button.
Episode MVP: I have to give this to Terry O’Quinn, who manages to continually surprise the audience in realistic ways as he searches for love and purpose.  Bonus points have to go to Katey Segal, Henry Ian Cusick, and Matthew Fox, who as Helen, Desmond, and Jack find angered purpose even in the most indirect of times.

Everybody Hates Hugo (#2.4)

Review: On Lost, sometimes you need an episode to distract, and not one that features Jack’s tattoos.  This would be the perfect example-after three incredibly heavy-handed episodes, it was nice for something with a bit of levity to show up.  Hurley’s dilemma is a real one, as he must decide what to do with all of the food from the reserves in the Hatch, but it’s littered with a great deal of humor-Charlie getting angry at Hugo, Kate stealing shampoo, Rose taking that candy bar.  I also loved the rather magnanimous ending, with Hugo throwing a feast for his friends.  Even Hugo’s flashback is a reward, with humor and character insight to spare.  Honestly, aside from the fact that this story contributed zero to the show’s overall mythology, there’s really not a thing to complain about-a pleasant romp from start to finish.
Get Out the Kleenex: Bernard, realizing that Rose is alive, is beautiful.
Hurley Dude Count: 11, though Hurley actually has some dude competition in this episode, from Johnny, at 3.
Sawyer Nickname Alerts: Ana Lucia was also great inspiration for Sawyer and his creative process, perhaps best as Rambina.
Pause for Station Identification: We are now treated to our second station, The Arrow, which is perhaps the least interesting of the bunch.
Best Line: Okay, as this is perhaps the funniest episode of the series, there are so many to pick from, it’s ridiculous.  I’d probably go with have a “cluckity-cluck-cluck day” from Jin over Rose’s “I don’t even know what I would say” and Charlie’s “and this baby is made of chocolate lollipops.”
Best Moment: That opening scene, with Jin speaking almost Southern English, along with that mysterious Mr. Cluck Cluck.
Episode MVP: Hurley, who gets a shining hour almost entirely to himself, and he makes the most of his loveable self.

…And Found (#2.5)

Review: After the delicious high of Everybody Hates, it’s back to a rather shoddy business as usual-sorry Sun, but this is not your most intriguing hour of Lost.  As Sun searches for her ring (a rather pointless endeavor that will easily result in her finding it), her off-screen storyline tells us stuff we already know, that she and Jin came from different sides of the tracks, and that the way they met was inevitably adorable.  Combine that with Ana Lucia being uber-ornery (I liked this character, but can see why she didn’t endear in her earlier moments), far too little Hurley, Eko, or Locke, and you have the makings of a mundane, filler episode as we wait for the tale of the Tailies.  Oh, and Michael’s idiotic screaming for Walt (this is an island that is likely bigger than Hawaii-does he really think he’ll randomly find him?) didn’t help.
Hurley Dude Count: After last week, we are given just one.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Only a Chewie, and we’ve been there before.
Best Line: “Seoul-so is that in the good Korea or the bad Korea?” –Hurley
Best Moment: The haunting and creepy teddy bear being dragged across the jungle floor.
Episode MVP: A tough call, honestly, between Jin and Sun, but I have to give it to the husband in this case, as his storyline seemed a tad more honest off the island, and for the way he beams when he meets the woman that is his destiny.

Abandoned (#2.6)

Review: At times, when I have made some distance from the show, I feel bad for Shannon.  More than any other main character (except the dreadful duo of Nikki and Paulo), she has been greeted with great disdain by fans, and there is something to this-she contributed zilch to the show’s mystery, and most anyone would have wished for her to have taken Boone’s place the season before.  That being said, the one episode where she does get the chance to shine, she proves why she probably was a big hindrance on the show.  Her back story is interesting, no doubt, but wouldn’t she have learned something from her unfortunate incidents with her mother and her employer-like empathy? Responsibility? Humility?  Oh well, at least this was a catalyst for Sayid to distrust Ana Lucia.  And the return of the dreamy Boone, and his magical eyes.
Hurley Dude Count: Not a one!
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Ponce de Leon, referring to Ana Lucia and her quest to nowhere.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: I have trouble believing Adam Rutherford left his beloved daughter nothing, knowing the icy relationship between she and her stepmother.
Main Character Body Count: Shannon bites the big one, at the hand of Ana Lucia
Best Line: “They took a lot of things,” –Ana Lucia, responding to Michael’s standard “they took my son” as she tries to drill sense into his damaging tunnel vision.
Best Moment: Really, there’s a lot missing in this episode, so I’m going with Ana Lucia’s dramatic take on the previous 48 days.
Episode MVP: Boone’s hair (that’s not a joke-the best-looking guy on the island can rock almost any do, particularly this floppy JTT look).

The Other 48 Days (#2.7)

Review: This is one of the best episodes in one of the most maligned seasons, and I don’t care that some people weren’t fans of the Tailies, the reality is that this group of survivors would have been just as compelling to watch as the ones we had loved for over a season.  Eko, Bernard, Libby, Ana Lucia, even the quickly disappearing Cindy were all worthy of their own storylines.  It’s a testament to the writers that they so quickly made us engulfed in these characters lives, and that they were able to so properly illustrate the “it could have been worse” answer to the initial first season.  This is perhaps Rodriguez’s finest hour in the show, and she earns the starring role she’d get for the remainder of the season.  Kudos also have to go out to the editors toward the end, as we are washed into the episodes we already know with speed and respect to the storyline (and that wicked timpani!).
(Still) Unanswered Questions: There’s so many here, it’s hard to know where to start.  What qualifies someone to be on a list-how is that it seemingly good people like Bernard, Cindy, and Libby didn’t qualify them initially?  Why did they take the kids?  And perhaps most intriguing, what was Nathan’s agenda?
End of an Era: For the first time ever, Hurley and Jack do not appear in the episode-they were the final remaining characters to have appeared in every episode, and from now on, no one would have a perfect track record.
Best Line: “The kids, they took the kids!” –Libby, voicing the horror
Best Moment: The opening crash, and the plummet into the ocean.
Episode MVP: Ana Lucia, taking an intense sort of control that kindly Jack couldn’t do, but she kept her survivors as alive (as possible).

Collision (#2.8)

Review: In a large letdown from the previous week’s big high, this one is a fairly routine episode, where once again we are pulled along the inevitable storyline of getting the Tailies to unite with the Mid-Section survivors.  Ana Lucia’s anger issues are hard to work through until you hear the pregnancy breakthrough at the end.  The problem with her character is that her anger never allowed for enough depth-I think if Rodriguez had been given another season or two, we could have seen her sort out some of this emotional baggage, and given the camp a third leader to contend with.  I think her guns-and-ammo approach would have been a nice contrast to Jack’s do-good-fact-based and Locke’s man-of-faith.  As it is, though, her first introduction didn’t give us the emotional payoff that I think this character, properly nourished, could have delivered.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Get Out the Kleenex: Rose and Bernard, Jin and Sun, together at last
Best Line: “I was pregnant.” –Ana Lucia, breaking the silence
Best Moment: The reunited Jin and Sun, Rose and Bernard trumps the cold-blooded murder, but those two scenes combined brought this up at least two letter grade points.
Episode MVP: Ana Lucia, if only for that top notch one-woman firing squad.

What Kate Did (#2.9)

Review: In the long lore of Lost, this episode for some reason has gotten a bum rap.  For whatever purpose, people oftentimes rip on “What Kate Did,” when in fact it’s a pretty damn fine episode.  We get to investigate Kate’s back story, and perhaps one of her most interesting aspects of Kate’s persona-the real reason she became a renegade.  The entire cast appears (always a fine thing), and we get some of the quickest and most quotable lines in eons on the show (the chemistry between Locke and Eko is electric).  The filmstrip that results with Michael finally discovering Walt on the computer is eerie and chilling, and foreshadowing galore.  I could have done without the horse (no offense), but as a whole this is about as solid mid-season you can get without being a Locke or Hurley episode, so kudos have to go out to Ms. Austen and her pyrotechnics. 
(Still) Unanswered Questions: How exactly did Walt communicate with Michael?  And why no contact with the outside world-was it because they knew it would lead to the Incident?
Reallly?!? With John: Michael, come on-typing your name in that computer?  Have you never seen To Catch a Predator?
Hurley Dude Count: 8
Best Line: “When you say beginning, you mean beginning.” –Locke, after Eko started a story about Josiah
Best Moment: Eko’s uber-creepy delivery on his story of Josiah.  So mysterious, like Locke in Season One or “Henry Gale” would be later this season.
Episode MVP: Eko’s going to win for a couple of weeks now, it’s time to admit.  Here, he doesn’t even have to be the central character.

The 23rd Psalm (#2.10)

Review: One of those episodes that has gotten into the land of Lost lore, unlike “What Kate Did,” for its almost perfect narrative.  Indeed, while it lacks the mythology of “The Other 48 Days,” this is a brilliant episode.  Mr. Eko, one of those great mysterious icons of the show, gets his first taste of revelation with this story; if it weren’t a reality in the Lost world it would have served as a perfect parable for one of Eko’s sermons.  There’s so much to love in this episode-Eko’s staring down of the smoke monster (for the first time, on full display), the way he starts down the road to hell at such an early age, the way he doesn’t put up with Charlie’s whininess, the way Michael can take out that milk can.  All-in-all, this is a very human, very real episode, and one which stands apart as almost a movie, with a complete beginning, middle, and end.  Eko could have gone with no other episodes as the central character, and this would still be a towering achievement.
Hurley Dude Count: 4
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Only one, Pillsbury for Hurley (a weak nickname episode)
(Still) Unanswered Questions: While this has been hinted at, we’ve never had a firm answer on the discerning nature of the Smoke Monster (I know it has to do with the candidates, but what disqualifies someone, and why did Nikki or Eko eventually suffer at its hand?).
Best Line: “You going to beat me with your Jesus-stick?”
Best Moment: Eko and Charlie, reciting “the Lord is my shepherd…”
Episode MVP: How could it be anyone other than Eko?

The Hunting Party (#2.11)

Review: There are rare episodes of Lost that sort of get swept under the rug, and this is one of them.  While we get progress on the Walt storyline, and we see the Others, and we even uncover how Jack’s marriage went to shreds, this is just an “eh” episode (at least on a Lost very curved grading scale).  Not a lot happens, especially in the other storyline (who didn’t figure out exactly what was going to happen the second we saw how beautiful that man’s daughter was?), and everything goes almost exactly to plan.  Even the ending, with its “let’s build an army” storyline doesn’t really ring true (who didn’t assume they would fight?).  It can’t get a poor grade, basically due to the very solid showmanship and that harrowing scene in the woods, but is this one of those episodes that will be remembered eternally when people think of Lost?  Probably not.
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Sawyer Nickname Alert: In one that I couldn’t tell until years later wasn’t a nickname, there was the infamous “Zeke.”  For weeks I was confused and thought that Sawyer actually knew Tom Friendly and this was going to come out in a future episode.
Best Line: “Of course, there’s my favorite leaf” –Sawyer, reacting to Locke’s asking if things looked familiar.
Best Moment: “Light em up!”
Episode MVP: Tom Friendly the creepiest Other this side of Ben Linus.

Fire + Water (#2.12)

Review: Poor, poor Charlie.  He really does have the worst luck with everything-family, drugs, hallucinations, women.  It would make me feel worse if he were a solid sort of person like Hurley, but he’s a shifty sort of fellow who oftentimes can’t see the light from the distorted light.   The thing that has always bugged me about this episode is that I just couldn’t believe that Charlie would ever, ever have kidnapped that baby.  I don’t care how much he’s hallucinating, he would have known that Locke would never have hurt Aaron.  Also, I can’t believe that Claire would quite frankly ever have forgiven him.  This is when the fans started to turn on Charlie, and it’s hard not to see why.  The rest of the episode is decent-Ana Lucia, Jack, Libby, and Hurley all have great moments, but it in no way makes up for this being the worst episode up until this point in the series.
Really?!? with John: The Butties commercial?  Pourquoi?
Hurley Dude Count: For an episode that Hurley has a decent amount of air time, it seems odd that he doesn’t utter a dude once.
(Still) Unanswered Questions: Why exactly did Libby think the washer and dryer were newer in the Hatch?  Was there more there that we never got to see?!?
Best Line: “When a girl asks you something like that, she’s looking for validation.” –Libby, asking a clearly in awe Hurley what he thought of her new outfit.
Best Moment: Ana Lucia and Jack discussing “hitting that.”  It’s about time someone brought up sex on this island-wouldn’t they have thought of that eons ago?
Episode MVP: Libby, who is so sincere and sweet in her two scenes.

The Long Con (#2.13)

Review: This is one of the most fascinating episodes that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Lost.  I love this show, but any sort of caper/conman story is catnip to me, and combining that with my beloved castmates was heaven for me.  But there’s a lot for the Lost fans out there to love in this one.  For starters, Sawyer is at his most delicious here-meeting his match with Cassidy, getting as close to feeling as he could before his Island redemption.  Those tense moments where Sawyer is conning Kate, Jack, Locke, even Sawyer himself on the island are shockingly unnerving.  The new sheriff speech at the end, however, is the cherry on this sundae.  Sawyer would never be so ruthless as he was in this episode-while Sayid and Locke would continue to chart further and further down into the depths of hell, it was this moment that Sawyer hit his nadir before starting a long climb to redemption, and perhaps even, his shot at a soul.
Hurley Dude Count:  6, mostly toward Sayid of all people
Really?!? with John: I don’t believe for one iota of a second that Charlie would have ever hurt Sun-this was lazy, lazy storytelling.  Not even Sawyer at his most maniacal would do that.  Forget the unsolved mysteries-this is the plot point on Lost that still bugs me the most a decade later.
Ironic: “Or any time?” –Hurley, you predictive rascal
Best Line: “There’s a new sheriff in town boys,” –Sawyer, being quite iconic
Best Moment: The new sheriff speech
Episode MVP: Despite the more “ensemble” pieces of the second season, this one is all James.

One of Them (#2.14)

Review: Sayid episodes oftentimes have their own secluded nature.  He is perhaps the most introverted of the very chatty islanders, and therefore he has less of a connection with the Jacks and Lockes and Charlies who are constantly making conversation with him.  Therefore, his episodes are largely reliant on his backstory, which can be superb (see, “Solitary”), and sometimes they get a big “meh.”  This would be a “meh” episode.  I honestly have trouble remembering exactly what happened with Sayid, and I just saw him five minutes ago.  His journey to becoming a torturer (again) is quite redundant, and without the emotional pull of Nadia, it doesn’t resonate.  Outside of him, we get our first encounter with Henry Gale, who doesn’t quite register in this episode (that’ll be coming, oh Ben Linus), and the story of Sawyer and the tree frog.  But overall, not the brightest of Lost episodes.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Sawyer Nickname Alert: For Hurley, Barbar (of course incorrectly pronouncing France’s favorite elephant).
Iconic: And one of the most important characters in the series, Mr. Benjamin Linus, has now appeared.
Really?!? with John: Okay, this has completely and totally thrown me all these years for Lost­-how is there no one from Minnesota on this flight?  And couldn’t they have tripped up Ben with MN trivia?  Finally, a contribution that I could have made to the Island!
Best Line: “So tell me Charlie, have you forgotten?” –Sayid, in one of those rare instances where the best line has both gravitas and is the last of the episode.
Best Moment: Sayid’s final moments with Charlie
Episode MVP: Henry (well, Ben), already intoxicating and confusing the castaways.

Maternity Leave (#2.15)

Review: Claire gets further into one of her two great mysteries of her storyline, that of her mysterious time away on the Island.  In fact, we essentially get the entire kit-and-kaboodle on that one, as we learn that Ethan had drugged Claire, that they had wanted the baby, and they were worried about infection.  What that infection is, we’ll have to wait and see (they’re always opening windows on Lost).  Emilie de Ravin gets some room to play with her acting chops in this episode, and while they aren’t always successful (some of the histrionics seem a little bit staged), she does have presence, and it sets you up for the dark places Claire has yet to venture to.  On the other side, the actors who we know can act (O’Quinn, Emerson, and Akkinnouye-Agbaje), all three are able to pull off some rather terrific sequences, culminating in a discussion on Hemingway and Dostoevsky.  You feel like the episode is crescendoing to something, but the journey of Claire is worth stopping to take a look.
Hurley Dude Count: Not a one-Hurley’s barely in this episode, though, aside from his contant presence next to Libby.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Just a random Thelma for Kate (does that make Claire Louise…or Rousseau?)
Pause of Station Identification: The mysterious Staff, a house for medicine and treachery.
Best Line: “What is the alarm for?” –Eko, making the closest thing he’ll ever make to a joke, if accidentally, as Jack raises his eyebrows in the background
Best Moment: Eko and Ben, getting some solemn one-on-one (don’t you have the feeling that Eko is one of the few people he’d have trouble lying to)
Episode MVP: I’m going to give it to our girl from Down Under, who gets that very tender moment with Aaron at the end.

The Whole Truth (#2.16)

Review: Locke episodes always are a desperate search for purpose, Jack’s are a search for truth, Hurley’s a welcome break from the madness.  If there’s a theme to the episodes of Sun, it’s perhaps a quiet desperation of a woman who has been trapped her whole life, and is suddenly able to break free in the most remote place on earth.  That she finds that her old life was exactly what she would have chosen is just icing.  This episode is a rich tapestry of a woman caught in a whirlwind, and one of Sun’s better episodes (she’s usually lacking in mythology, but makes up for it by having one of the best flashback storylines of the characters).  The side stories are equally compelling in this episode-Sawyer and the pregnancy test (solid funny) and Ana Lucia/Sayid/Charlie traipsing through the jungle to a potential trap.  But it’s in Sun’s eyes that this show rests, so full of hope at times, and at the end, not necessarily sadness, but regret.
Get Out the Kleenex: Jin, telling Sun it’s a miracle that they are pregnant.
Hurley Dude Count: 1, and in a bizarre turn, to Sun
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Papa-Sun and Daddie-O show up as Sawyer outs the father to be.           
Best Line: “I guess it’s a good thing I’m not one of them, huh?” –Ben, revealing far too much (or maybe not enough)
Best Moment: As much as I want to go with the beautiful moments between Jin and Sun-there’s so much to love there, I have to go with Ben’s ominous, horrifying tale of a trap.  An episode that’s even better in pieces.
Episode MVP: Sun, for the way that she handles the tale of a woman in three desperate situations (marriage, pregnancy, and affair)

Lockdown (#2.17)

Review: Locke episodes are always teaming with purpose, always giving some sort of revelation into our Man of Faith.  It’s a little odd, then, that the episode where we see him lose his faith is the teensiest bit of a downfall.  Maybe because it’s so uncharacteristic of even the obsessive Locke to have sacrificed the perfect destiny of Helen, or that the once savvy Locke could have fallen so deeply for Ben’s lies.  Either way, this episode has much to lend to it (it’s still a Locke quest for faith), but it just doesn’t quite hit the bigger notes that would be Locke’s journey before and after this.  It says something when Jack and Sawyer’s flirtatious rivalry far outweighs the man who would be black.
Hurley Dude Count: 4
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Mongo, Cool Hand, Muttonchops, and my personal favorite, Amarillo Slim.  Sawyer should play poker in every episode.
Really?!? with John: I’m sorry, I love you Mr. Locke, but falling for your father’s line…again?  Going under that vent twenty seconds after you stopped it from falling?  John, trust is not your strong suit.
Best Line: “Should I go get a ruler?” –Kate, commenting on the “get-a-room” banter between Jack and Sawyer
Best Moment: The writing on the wall
Episode MVP:  An historic first, I’m not going with Locke for one of his centric episodes, but Jack, who gets some wonderful light-hearted moments playing poker and flirting with Kate.

Dave (#2.18)

Review: Hurley episodes have this great habit of being considerably better than you remember them being.  Maybe because you expect it to be all lightweight fluff, and it still has that Lost heft (sorry, not a fat joke).  Hurley’s mental instability is something that you always have to question-is what he's seeing real?  This island has a way of playing tricks-where’s the crazy and where’s the Man in Black?  His Libby romance is brought to the forefront, and the writers are smart enough to project all of Hurley’s doubts (and even our own) on this wandering Mad Hatter of the jungle.  The ending, with the stunning revelation that Libby has a little secret of her own (one that would have to wait four more seasons to be uncovered more fully), is just icing on an episode that is considerably better than you remember.
Hurley Dude Count: Just 2, the lowest count ever for a Hurley-themed episode.
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Deepdish for Hurley and Moonbeam for Libby
(Still) Unanswered Questions: I don’t buy that Libby was merely another mental patient.  In one of the great unsolved mysteries of the show, we never did figure out just exactly who is Libby?  And what was she doing in Australia-she’s the only main character whose reason has never been explained.
Best Line: “I did see a polar bear on skates with a mango.” –Charlie, discussing what he mockingly saw with Hurley
Best Moment: Hurley’s creepy discussion about how he is still in the asylum, confirming every fan’s worst fears.
Episode MVP: Hurley, whose psychological warfare is worth the investment.

S.O.S. (#2.19)

Review: In one of the most unexpected treats of the entire series, we got to investigate the lives of Bernard and Rose, and their back story.  It’s a pity we didn’t get this opportunity with any other ancillary characters (such as Cassidy or Jacob or Ethan).  The episode lends little to the mythology of the show, other than to show Locke continually tormented by Ben and for the return of Michael.  And yet, it’s a slow ride of a wonderful Lost offshoot.  One wishes that they would have taken these tangents more frequently throughout the series, as they are so deep and rich and rewarding for the characters involved.  At the end, though, this was the most impressive and only solo hour for our beloved couple, who valiantly realize that they have found their purpose, and it is each other.
Get Out the Kleenex: Bernard tells Rose that he will never leave this island.
Hurley Dude Count: 2
Best Line: “We won’t ever leave Rose.” –Bernard
Best Moment: Bernard, becoming the second person to realize that the Island was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Episode MVP: Sorry, for the first time ever, I’m going to tie this one up-how can you pick between Bernard and Rose?

Two for the Road (#2.20)

Review: There are some things on Lost that are difficult to imagine, like Smoke Monsters and “Candidates,” but that is part of the mythology of the show.  Then, there are some things that are completely unbelievable, and this episode was the most difficult to swallow.  While contractual obligation was the reason that Libby and Ana Lucia were written out of the show, if we take the show as reality, it’s difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t have immediately questioned that Michael had been compromised-how could he not have been.  As Ana Lucia so memorably pointed out, “these people are smart.”  How could they not have compromised Michael, whose character was so blinded by tunnel vision he made raft (err, rash) decisions that essentially got his son kidnapped.  It’s hard to wonder how he could justify killing Ana Lucia and Libby, and this episode, while supremely compelling, still leaves a bitter taste.
Hurley Dude Count: 3
Main Character Body Count: Ana Lucia technically is the only one to die this episode, as Libby will stick around for another episode.  She’s taken in the most brutal fashion on the show (until the sub), by Michael.
Best Line: “I guess that takes cuddling off the table.” –Sawyer, after fooling around with Ana Lucia
Best Moment: I know I’m a contradiction here (honestly I could have swung a full letter grade up and down on this one), but the brutal slaying is, while not the “best” the one that is technically the most shocking.
Episode MVP: Ben, as he slowly eats away at the impenetrable Ana Lucia’s veneer.

 ? (#2.21)

Review:  One of the more frustrating things about Mr. Eko is that his storyline slowly lost steam as the Tailies began to die.  This may have been because there were too many characters to juggle, or that the actor playing him became insufferable off-set, but those shots of manic as he slowly began to move along, so dangerously following his ghostly brother, made me think that if he had stayed on the show a little longer, he may have been a brilliant additional enemy to both the Others and the Castaways alike.  The rest of this story, a means to the ends of discovering the Pearl and bringing about the end of the Hatch (something I still have trouble comprehending happening), is rather haphazard with a throwaway story about a miracle (though it does explain how Eko got to Australia), and one compelling scene of Libby dying.  All-in-all, a fairly pointless endeavor as we wait for the finale. (D)
Get Out the Kleenex: Libby slips softly into the night.
Hurley Dude Count: Not a one, which is understandable as his girlfriend is dying.
Main Character Body Count: We get a back-to-back look at death as Libby slips away from Michael’s gunshot.
Pause for Station Identification: We get a portrait of the Swan, buried underneath the plane (how did John not notice this before?), and filled with crushed beliefs.
Best Line: “Michael,” –Libby squeezing out one petrified word as she slipped into the Island abyss
Best Moment: Hurley, attempting to say goodbye to Libby.
Episode MVP: Umm, I’m not really sure-Eko seems the obvious choice, but I’m going to go with Locke, whose epiphanies seemed far more realistic and believable.

Three Minutes (#2.22)

Review: It is time to just admit it-this is the single most infuriating episode of the series.  It should, quite frankly, be wonderful-we actually get to see some of the inner-workings of the Others, we see more of their world, but the episode is completely devoid of believability (and it has nothing to do with smoke monsters or time travel).   It has to do with the characters believing a clearly, completely lying Michael.  The fact that he would choose Hurley over Sayid-how could this not trigger any red flags?  The fact that he bosses around Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, and everyone follows this?  I cannot believe that the show’s writers couldn’t think of a better way for Michael to convince the characters to go according to the list.  And, I will end this by saying that Michael is a jackass-he pretends that he’s after this son he knows nothing about, and in the meantime justifies his reunion by killing two people, leading four others to what should have seemed like certain slaughter, betraying everyone on the Island, and acting like a spoiled petulant two-year-old (it’s not hard to guess who my least favorite character in six seasons was, is it?  And that’s including Nikki and Paulo).
Hurley Dude Count: 1
Sawyer Nickname Alert: Caught in a Net…aka as swinging from the rafters.  Oh Sawyer, you scoundrel.
Really?!? with John: Basically everything with Michael, and throw in Eko missing the funeral.
Best Line: “At least now we’ll get to kill somebody.” –Sawyer, finding the silver lining
Best Moment: The fabulous Ms. Klugh, giving Michael the list
Episode MVP: Sayid deserves praise for realizing that Michael has been compromised, Bea Klugh is wonderful in her line delivery, but I’m going with Kate for actually telling off Michael, and acting realistically when no one else did.

Live Together, Die Alone (#2.23)

Review: And so we conclude another season of the show, this one not quite as luxurious and enigmatic as the first, but still a worthy successor to the pantheon of Lost finales.  This one has it all-compelling storylines for all of our most beloved castaways (the boat crew, those wandering through the jungle, and the drama in the Hatch), it takes huge strides forward with the story, with the discovery of the Hatch’s true intentions, the Penelope Widmore storyline advance, and a welcome look into the world of the Others.  There are of course things to quibble about (namely the far-fetched Michael storyline (and how it comes to a head because they continually believe his lies)), but overall this is an intensely entertaining and action-packed episode.  To make matters even more delightful, we are actually given the centric storyline of one of the show’s most enduring and beloved creations, Desmond (and a glimpse of his unattainable goddess, Ms. Penelope Widmore).
Get Out the Kleenex: Penny’s Letter
Hurley Dude Count: Just 1
Desmond Brother Count: 12
Really?!? with John: There is a giant marble statue in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on an island, and you have a sailboat-how is it possible that you don’t circumnavigate this island and go and investigate that statue?!?
Best Line: “Who are you people?” –Michael, followed by “I don’t know what is more disturbing-where the rest of the statue is or that it has four toes.” -Sayid
Best Moment: A tough call between the statue and Desmond’s turning of the key, so I’m going with perhaps the most beautiful moment of the season, Desmond opening that book and seeing his beloved’s long overdue letter.
Episode MVP: Starting off a most compelling and revealing storyline, we are given Mr. Desmond Hume.

Season 2 Stats

Best Episodes
1. The Other 48 Days
2. Live Together, Die Alone
3. The 23rd Psalm
4. Orientation
5. The Long Con

Worst Episodes
1. Three Minutes
2. Abandoned
3. Fire + Water

Multiple MVP’s
1. Ana Lucia (2)
2. Ben (2)
3. Eko (2)
4. Hurley (2)
5. Locke (2)

Best Moments
1. Desmond Reads the Note (Live Together, Die Alone)
2. The Opening Crash (The Other 48 Days)
3. Desmond Turning the Key (Live Together, Die Alone)
4. There’s a New Sheriff in Town (The Long Con)
5. Opening Shot of the Hatch (Man of Science, Man of Faith)
6. Reciting the Lord is My Shepherd (The 23rd Psalm)
7. The Statue (Live Together, Die Alone)
8. The Dangling Teddy Bear (…And Found)
9. Eko Speaks to Ben (Maternity Leave)
10. Locke Convincing Jack to Push the Button (Orientation)

Have So Far Received MVP Status Every Season: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Locke, Jin, Sun, Boone, Rose
Number of A+/A Episodes: 2 (The Other 48 Days & Live Together, Die Alone)

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