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).



Richard Bellush said...

Emilie de Ravin does seem one for having portentous babies. That ended up getting her killed on “Roswell,” yet there she goes and does it again on “Lost.” Not wise. She is cute though.

SFF said...

Thanks for making that Television connection to Roswell regarding the actress. Yes, cute as a button.