Sunday, August 6, 2017

LOST S1 E20: Do No Harm

"I'm gonna fix this okay.
I am gonna save you."

LOST, Season One, Episode 20, Do No Harm opens ER-style with efforts to save Boone Carlyle who suffered a terrible fall from a downed plane in the previous entry, Deus Ex Machina.

The latest installment speaks to the recurring theme of Jack Shephard's life as a doctor and as a man. Jack is all about saving people. Jack is about fixing people. It's in his DNA to try and control things that are often outside of his control. As Jack's father tells him, "Commitment is what makes you tick Jack. The problem is you're just not good at letting go." Once again Jack goes to work on saving Boone while we learn more about Jack's past and the point that his betrothed had allegedly "fixed" him. At this point in the game one can't help but wonder if the statement by Jack's father doesn't have a much broader more profoundly existential meaning regarding the plane crash.

Meanwhile, as Boone's life hangs in the balance, Claire goes into labor with the promise of new life in a nice bit of narrative and visual juxtaposition.

As noted by John Locke, notably absent throughout Do No Harm, in Pilot (Part Two) there are "Two sides, one is light, one is dark." The island suggests a kind of symmetry or balance. Here as one life goes dark, another life is born to the light.

Additionally, Sun attempts to reach Jack regarding Boone's condition and that he can't be saved. Jack barks back, "Don't tell me what I can't do" informing us of the duality in play between Jack and John Locke. John Locke spoke those very words in Episode 4, Walkabout. Jack does here and reminds us of the two sides in play between the two men, one man of science and one man of faith.

It also is a trigger for viewers as much as Boone's death seems to be a trigger compelling Jack to look at Locke as a "murderer," sure, but also rather as something of an adversary on the island more now than ever. This schism is growing.

And where is Locke? He's a man who always surprises. Perhaps he knew Boone would not survive the night and simply could not stay for him, but these actions continue to create the impression of a fairly enigmatic presence on the island who may or may not be trusted.

Highlights: If I had to choose my favorite scenes in the entry it would be the final minutes seeing first the juxtaposition of the loss of Boone and Jack's "I'm sorry" to the arrival of a new life in Claire's baby. The duality of joy and suffering is underscored about as beautifully and poetically as any moment in the season. It is highlighted by Michael Giaccino's lilting score, a piece called Life And Death that is like the musical version of melancholic joy. Giacchino ties the two thematic threads to the episode together like artwork. There's a poetry and balance to the entry and it all comes together in those final minutes of beauty.

The moment Claire arrives on the beach basking in the glow of the beautiful sunshine following a mostly darkly lit episode the feeling is joyful and liberating. She shares new life with her fellow survivors and it is a moment that links everyone and offers hope. This is again juxtaposed with Shannon's suffering and pain at the loss of her step brother whom she knows was in love with her.

Boone's final words to Jack appeared to be to tell Shannon "I love her" but he passes before speaking beyond "I." The moment speaks to his inability to love Shannon. The moment also highlights the fact Jack is a flawed man as much as he tries to shoot for perfection. He can't fix everything or everyone. But in the same moment we see warm smiles on the faces of Sawyer and Michael, among others, smiles that are often absent, as they all take time to openly enjoy this newborn child and find a communal fellowship in each other. For me, it is indeed this gorgeously cut montage that is the priceless and glowing moment of the episode.

LOST is a completely engaging experience. It is filled with menace, mystery, danger, excitement and there is also something truly compelling about watching a group of survivors slog it out in the unknown lost on an island in the Pacific. My daughter always finds the thrill in and of a zombie apocalypse because part of her desire is that she would very much enjoy living and surviving in that world. For me LOST is the place to be and as viewer we intimately identify with that sense of escape and long to be lost with them all.

Flashback: Jack.

Notable Guest: Julie Bowen (Party Of Five, Modern Family)/ Zack Ward (A Christmas Story).

Writer: Janet Tamaro (Bones).
Director: Stephen Williams (Person Of Interest, Ascension, The Walking Dead, The Americans, Westworld).


Friday, August 4, 2017

Thunderbird 2

Thunderbird 2.

There are some vessels that rank consistently toward the top of any Top 10 list when it comes to spaceships. Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds would be among those favorite for any fan of spacefaring craft. Most important among them would be Thunderbird 2 followed closely perhaps by Thunderbird 1.

Thunderbird 2 is a glorious cargo vessel that consistently ranks in my Top 10. Capable of traversing great distances with a given payload or smaller auxiliary vehicles in what are called pods that are selected from a transport system within a pod bay on Tracy IslandT2 never fails to save the day.

The most popular vehicle often transported in T2 is the aquatic craft known as Thunderbird 4.

Other important vehicles include The Firefly and the earth-drilling The Mole.

Additional vehicles include Domo 1, Transmitter Truck and the Recovery Vehicles.

Since the highlight here is Thunderbird 2 that is where the focus of our homage will remain. All ancillary vehicles will be for separate posts. You can see some of those vehicles in an older post called The Sci-Fi Fanatic BIG 10: Thunderbirds International Rescue Craft here.

Though I have thrown in images of those associative vessels that inhabit the belly of the T2 for good measure. Most of the images included are those vehicles actually in the pod that is transported by T2.

As a kid T2 was always something special and its design, by Anderson and Derek Meddings, so perfect, like that of Space:1999's Eagle Transporter (another Gerry Anderson creation seen here), it perennially holds a special place in our hearts and minds to this very day.

This writer also has had the good fortune to purchase a few plastic as well as die-cast versions of the craft including a fairly large die-cast replica to adore for all eternity.

And there you have it. It's another F-A-B FRIDAY!