Follow along! The episode guide for “Raised by Another” is in Finding Lost, pp. 64-68.
Who’d have thought that a first-season flashback for someone who’s not one of the Oceanic 6 – someone who doesn’t even appear in season 5 – would have such resonance for the end of the series?! I loved rewatching this episode. Where most of the season 1 episodes so far have offered up questions that have been largely answered – with a few major exceptions, of course – so much of this episode still hangs in the air like a giant question mark over the whole series.
Fun stuff I noticed:
• I pointed this out in my season 3 guide for “Par Avion,” but there’s a huge inconsistency in this episode with what we later know to be true about Mrs. Middleton. Claire talks about her like they don’t get along, and at one point she says if her mom finds out she’s pregnant, she’ll disown her, and Thomas says she pretty much already has. Fans took that to be an indication that she’s in a coma, but I don’t buy it – she hasn’t DISOWNED Claire while in that coma, she’s in a coma. Before the coma, Claire and her mom fought a lot, which is consistent with Claire’s attitude here. But Claire was a black-haired goth girl who worked at a tattoo parlour in that episode, and she definitely wasn’t pregnant. Now she’s a blonde who works at the Fish N Fry. If they’d kept her hair blonde in that episode, we could say that maybe she was actually pregnant at the time of the accident, and that the scene of her finding out she’s pregnant happens only a few days before the car accident. But the hair colour throws that off. Later, when she’s visiting the psychic, she mentions that she hasn’t told her mother the truth yet, and asks if maybe she shouldn’t. She wouldn’t be that concerned if her mother were in a coma.
• Kate allows her feet to be rooted to the spot, which is unlike her. Yet at the same time, sand is always shifting, showing how temporary her rootedness will be.
• I wasn’t going to say this, but I can’t resist: how bad were the accents on Claire’s friend and the woman who wanted to adopt Aaron? Wow. OK, enough accent talk. ;)
• So why do YOU think Hugo’s nickname is Hurley? My bet is on one too many chilli dogs at a carnival.
• Despite Jack being wrong-o on this one, he’s right on the insanity of pregnancy dreams. When I was pregnant with my first, I began having nightmares right before she was born that I was forgetting her everywhere, or that I’d forget to feed her. In one, I walked into a grocery store with the baby and grabbed a head of lettuce, and stuck the baby in the spot where I’d grabbed the lettuce from. Only when I got home did I realized I’d left her there. Like… WHAT?!
• Ethan, for the record, really is from Ontario. He was working together with me on our scheme with Sawyer that he mentioned in “Confidence Man.” We’re all connected, us horrible Canadians. (His last name, incidentally, is the same as the ROM, or Royal Ontario Museum, which is the massive museum in downtown Toronto that recently got a controversial makeover by architect Daniel Libeskind.) And as I point out in my book, his full name is an anagram for “Other Man.”
• Claire’s phone looked HUGE.
• Sawyer’s sunglasses were awesome. My 4-year-old daughter has a very similar pair.
• Hurley notices that Ethan’s name isn’t on the manifest, but since he only knows Sawyer as Sawyer, and we later find out Sawyer was listed as “James Ford” on the manifest, why didn’t he immediately suspect Sawyer, too?
Things that have new meaning:
• In Claire’s dream, she sees Locke, who says she gave Aaron away. At the time it referred to her wanting to give him up for adoption, but now it’s prescient of the fact that she abandoned Aaron (and interestingly, Locke is the only one who’s seen her since the abandonment) and happily went on her way.
• Locke has one black eye, one white one, like the stones found on Adam and Eve; could it be an early foreshadowing that Locke would embody both sides of the good and evil spectrum? That Locke was white, and the Man in Black was, well, black?
• Malkin warning Claire that no one else can raise Aaron casts an ominous cloud over Kate raising him for the past three years. What will happen to Aaron now that they’ve gone against what the psychic said? Was the psychic nothing more than a fraud?
• Claire asks the parents if they could sing “Catch a Falling Star” to the baby, and in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” we see Kate singing that to baby Aaron. Also, Mrs. Littleton must have told Claire that Christian sang that, since in “Par Avion” we learn that she thought he’d died when she was 2.
• Locke looks VERY interested as Sayid is talking about other people being on the island. This is the first time Locke hears about the existence of his people.
Questions that still need to be answered:
• What is Malkin’s role in the bigger picture? We know that he’ll be the one to get Claire onto the flight, and later it’s his daughter that lures Eko to Australia and gets him on the flight, too. Is Malkin an off-island Other? Does he have something to do with all of this? Could he be with the Shadow Seekers in some way?
• What is the larger role for Aaron? This episode suggested he would be a very special child. It’s because of him that Kate has come back to the island, and he’s Jack’s nephew and Christian’s grandchild, so he has many island connections. Is it possible he’s the Adam skeleton, as some have suggested?