"We're not alone."
"We got a problem. The manifest. The names of everyone who survived... One of them isn't in the manifest. He wasn't on the plane."
The camera shot on a character's eye-opening (here on Claire Littleton) would be a staple opening shot throughout many of the installments of LOST Season One. This is a trademark of the series particularly when introducing a character's back story for the first time.
LOST, Season One, Episode 10, Raised By Another speaks directly to the heart of Claire's flashback in the land down under and the explicit advice given her by a palm reader/psychic to ensure her child is raised exclusively by her upon the child's birth. In other words she should not, for any reason, allow her unborn baby to be raised by another or, in a play on words, raised by an Other.
This is the first back story to tie to the island mythology. Though, wouldn't Locke's reversed paralysis as written in Episode 4, Walkabout count a little? Understandably Raised By Another establishes what's to come and not what was.
As noted earlier Season One of LOST never becomes impenetrable. It never wades too deeply into mythology and for that reason is likely the most accessible and least marred of the series, because things do get complicated. So stay focused to avoid getting lost.
Sayid would return to the caves and warn the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 they were not alone on the island at the end of the entry---there are others. There are the Others referred to by Danielle Rousseau in Solitary.
Ethan Rom steps into the creepy villain role at episode's close officially revealed as an Other according to an unofficial Hurley census. Ethan Rom is an anagram for Other Man. Once again, LOST is delivering on character and chilling thrills aplenty.
Highlight: Claire's exchange with the psychic is gripping. The intensity of the scene is really LOST at its riveting best. Images of evil such as Damien and The Omen immediately spring to mind. What are we dealing with here? Is it perhaps a demon or the devil himself? Whatever the case may be the scene is alarming and is at the heart of Claire's anxiety and nightmares and perhaps a premonition of things to come on the island.
What's troubling is that the psychic initially tells her adoption is not an option, but has a change of heart. The psychic then provides her with a plane ticket for Oceanic Flight 815 and a destination.
Did the psychic truly believe in this adoptive California couple? More likely, did the psychic know the plane would crash? Was he ensuring the baby would be in Claire's care on the island? Less likely, did he believe Claire and the child would die? He couldn't believe in the potential for the baby's fate to land in the hands of the Others. Could he?
The focus on Claire reminded me how much I enjoyed her character and found her, unlike the Shannon character portrayed by Maggie Grace, to be wholly underrated. Emilie de Ravin is a joy to watch on the screen and at her finest here. Of course the Claire character is entirely more likeable than Shannon and that may entirely be the reason.
Raised By Another and the performance by de Ravin further highlighted my disappointment she was essentially a supporting character in LOST, but by no means unimportant.
This writer is not one to get caught up in race and gender politics. It's certainly the order du jour today and more than I can ever remember it to be. Nevertheless, it's fairly fitting this Claire-centric entry is both directed and written by women. The two artists appropriately capture the character's voice beautifully. Director Grabiak in particular has directed some of my favorite television to boot.
Writer: Lynne E. Litt.
Director: Marita Grabiak (Firefly, Battlestar Galactica).