Thursday, July 23, 2009

1.11 All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Follow along! The episode guide for “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” (a.k.a. longest title EVER) is in Finding Lost, pp. 70-75.

You know what I said about Christian being a sympathetic character in “White Rabbit” if you watch it in light of season 5? Not so sure about that. I think the writers really wanted us to dislike the guy, though even with that said, he’s certainly not painted in a black or white kind of way.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• Any theories on what Hurley meant when he says he’s a bit of a warrior himself? Is he referring to his lottery win or something else? Perhaps he’s a master at Pong?
• How did Locke know the time? He had to have reset his watch for the different time zone, but how does he know what time zone he’s in? Is he basing it on the sun?
• Ethan is like the bully in “White Rabbit” who tells Jack to stay down, and of course, Jack doesn’t. What I really enjoyed about this episode is that it was pro-Jack, and showed that sometimes, tenacity is a good thing. Had he given up on Charlie when Kate told him to, Charlie would have died.
• That said, Jack turning to Kate and snapping at her about her tracking skills STILL baffles me, and I’ve seen this episode a gajillion times. Why then? Why was he suddenly on her case? Is it because he’s remembering his father lying to him? It just seems like the wrong time for that.
• I remember being absolutely convinced Charlie was dead. This is one of the only times on television that someone has come back to life and it completely shocked me. I love how they played with it. Even if they did kill Charlie two seasons later. :::sniff:::

Things that have new meaning:
• It’s so strange to see Locke actually helping out with the group. This is the man who dumped Boone’s body at Jack’s feet and slunk back into the woods. The man who threw a knife into Naomi’s back before disappearing into the jungle again. The guy who mutters that he’s doing his own thing for the greater good, but doesn’t seem preoccupied with making friends on the island in any way. But here, he realizes Claire’s been taken, and dashes off into the jungle to find her. It was a refreshing change to see him focused on something other than his “purpose.” But that all changes when he discovers the hatch.
• Locke says he’s going to travel north, and tells Michael to go south. We know from season 3, when he sees the etching on Eko’s stick that says, “Lift up your eyes and look north” that the north has a significance to the island, and it’s where one finds New Otherton.
• At the time I didn’t notice it, but after “Special,” where we find out Walt can visualize something and make it happen, we realize he was willing the dice to roll in those numbers.
• Hurley tells Walt that he’ll give him his $20,000, and we know now that he really can afford that. So… considering Hurley and Walt are two people who made it off the island, didn’t Hurley owe Walt some cash? Har har…
• Christian’s touch seems like Jacob’s – Jacob has marked them all in some way that’s as yet unclear, and similarly here, Christian’s hand on Jack’s shoulder seems like a 10-ton weight to him.


Writing is my Passion said...

First comment! All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues is one of my favourite episodes of Season 1 (despite the fact that the flashbacks are about Jack). The scene where they find Cha-lee, after seeing it for the tenth time, I still get chills. I was so close to crying in that scene when I watched it yesterday afternoon even though I know how it ended.

Jack had no right telling Kate off like that in the jungle. I mean, what did she do to him?? I'm glad that she had a slightly snappy reply.

I love the ending of this episode, now knowing about the Dharma Initiative.

Fred said...

Nikki, your chapter of the episode from your book seems spot on, particularly in its focus on Jack. In this episode, Jack turns on Locke rather than following Locke’s lead in tracking Ethan, and we begin to empathize less and less with Jack as his hostilities are directed not only at Locke but also at Kate, whose own skills at tracking prove valuable when the trail divides into two. The fork in the trail not only separates the party, but takes them along different paths, both literally and figuratively. Even at the outset of the search for Claire and Charlie, sides materialized as Boone turned to Locke, not Jack, and asked whether he could join the search party, a fateful decision on Boone’s part. When Michael tries to join as Locke and Boone are leaving, Locke brushes off having Michael join the group because there are already enough people searching and any more would slow the party down. Michael’s reaction suggests his reasons for wanting join Locke and the others was more to impress Walt and less so in searching for Claire and Charlie. When Michael arrived at the caves after Jack was trapped inside, he made a point of telling those there he had expertise in such matters (after the tunnel collapsed, he seems to have given up, until Kate arrived and began digging).
Nikki you ask in the book why Jack acts the way he does? Clearly, as you say it is a daddy issue. Jack would like to bury his father, but with the crash he simply can’t do that, not only because of the empty coffin but because Jack sees his situation as a permanent crisis. If I were a Freudian, I would suggest Jack had transferred some of his daddy issues to Edward Mars, the Marshall whom Jack buried alone (in the following episode, “Whatever the Case May Be”, Kate has to approach Jack to find out where Mars is buried, suggesting Jack buried him in an isolated location away from the survivors). But if Jack buried him, he now has to dig him up again. Jack’s daddy issues don’t remain hidden away for long, and when Jack confronts Ethan, from Jack’s own point of view is he fighting with his father through Ethan? And when Ethan puts his foot on Jack’s chest, he is telling Jack through this action to stay down, as the older boy told Jack in his flashback (Jack obviously won’t listen, and he gets the usual thumping).

JW said...

1.11 All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

This has always been a favorite episode of mine because of the flashbacks. John Terry (Christian) always takes everything the writers give him and hits it out of the park, but here he’s given some exceptionally great stuff to work with. He and Matthew Fox have crazy chemistry together for the tense scenes, too. Throw in some great Terry O’Quinn stuff, and you have must see TV.

Funny note: Boone asks John if he ever watched Star Trek and John says no. But John (or rather Terry O’Quinn) was actually an admiral in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nikki, Regarding the question about Hurley (which you also ask in your book), I think it's just supposed to be a funny line, because it sounds like the sort of thing I'd say to my nephews. Of course, this is Lost, so I could be wrong.

Marebabe said...

Regarding Hurley's remark that he's a bit of a warrior himself, that is the sort of thing that a devoted gamer might say. I can totally see Hurley as someone who enjoys quality time in front of his computer, playing Mech Warrior. My husband really enjoys that game, and one day he ran across someone in online chat who also loves to play it. Only this other person said, "I'm a Mech Warrior." The other person made it into an identity statement. Just as all of us reading/writing on this site would probably never say, "I enjoy the ABC show LOST." We would, each and every one of us, say, "I'm a LOST fan!" So I've always thought that Hurley was referring to his favorite combat simulation game.

humanebean said...

The psychodynamics of this particular episode are still reverberating 4 1/2 seasons later. You can almost draw a straight line from Jack's 'daddy issues' here to his determined desire to blow up the bomb at the Swan construction site and hit 'reset' on the lives of the Losties. I think of Jack saying, "I'm not letting him do this ... not again". Knowing now that it will be the appearance of Christian Shepard that sends Locke off-Island to bring the O6 back ... even as he will return in a box just as Christian's body did. Wow.

Hurley's quote is odd ... but accurate. Hurley is a warrior. Again and again, when Jack's reason or Locke's blind faith or Kate's impulsivity or Sayid's strength fails the Losties, Hurley's humor, nobility and strength will rescue them, or at least pull them back from the brink. Even as he battles the demons within, the voices or the visitations of the dead. Plus, he drives a mean Dharma van when necessary.

Finally, another great quote that holds meaning for this season's future. Kate says to Shannon, "if there's anyone on this Island your brother is safe with, it's Locke". Um, actually ....

Katey said...

Great recap, this was an intense episode!

A few things:

**I noticed that, right after Jack is attacked by Ethan and then he and Kate here the weird noise in the jungle, Jack hears "Claire" screaming and then dashes off saying "didn't you hear her?" and Kate says "hear who?" I found that interesting. It's as if something wanted Jack to find Charlie--but why was the only one who heard her scream? It just seemed weird, I doubt Ethan can command the powers that who was it and why?

**Seriously about the Jack bagging on Kate thing, okay--I get it, Kate's a fugitive and Jack's a respectable doctor, but honestly--who is he to think that she somehow owes him anything? She's been nothing but good to him and she's shared some of her deepest secrets with him despite his insistance that everything she says is a lie--he on the other hand has never told her or anyone else ANYTHING about his past, and that persists to this day...his wife, that weird Spanish lady who kissed him, the divorce, his obsession. And actually--the one really intimate thing he's shared, the story about "counting to five" was total CRAP the way he told it! I love Jack, but he bears quite the double standard on people. I understand why though, it's a part of his obsessive nature, he doesn't see why he should have anything to give because he's the hero, but he mistrusts everyone who's not himself at the same time. It's the daddy issue thing and sort of the same trust issue that Kate has except where hers is introverted, his is extroverted. She mistrusts everyone because she believes she's bad and everyone else is better, but Jack mistrusts everyone because he believes he is the good one and everyone else is fallible. That makes Jack out to be a bad guy, but far from it--he has good reason to see himself as the only trustworthy one, in a way he is the only truly good character, but that doesn't mean he isn't fallible--and that's where his problem lies, he tries to bear his own humanity alone.

**The Charlie resurrection scene was SPECTACULAR acting. Just saying.

**As to the Hurley "warrior" thing, I instantly imagined him dressed up in Legend of Zelda attire or something like that and prancing around with a lightsaber in the back yard with his little skinny friend. =P It would be so Hurley to attend a Jedi convention or something like that!

**Nikki, I just thought I'd add "blowing up the submarine" and "imploding the hatch" to your list of selfless deeds our dear Mr. Locke has done for the gang since his saner, season one self. Oh Johnny boy...

Jenn said...

Haha. When Hurley said he is a warrior, I absolutely thought of something like, a Star Wars club, or Magic the Gathering!

JW said...

@humanebean: yes, Hurley has been heroic on the island. However, I have to agree with Walt's (hilarious) look when Hurley claims that back in the regular world he's considered something a warrior... especially after seeing him back in the regular world in later seasons. Marebabe's gamer theory is my favorite so far.

Anonymous said...

"The guy who mutters that he’s doing his own thing for the greater good"

Haha! Crazy old man! Something that occurred to me though is that with hare Daddy issues, you'd think Kate would be all about Locke...


Anonymous said...

Hare Daddy issues? Like Bunnies? What?


Kirathena said...

Someone might have said this but...Did anyone have that thought that maybe the second trail Locke & Boone were following wasn't a dummy trail by Ethan but actually Desmond's? That is why it led them to the hatch which is near the main door?

Susan said...

Nikki the same thing happened to me with Charlie. My husband, who started me on Lost, said "poor little hobbit" when Charlie died. I figured Dom was such a world-famous movie star that he didn't want to stick with a TV show for very long. Then Charlie started breathing again, which was a bigger shock than when he was found hanging.

When Jack asks how one man could drag away 2 people, John says that how is not important, but why. It's a valid question though because I think that Ethan must have run to get help when Charlie encounters him in the jungle.

Michael's complaint about some of the survivors being treated like second-class citizens will be echoed by Arzt pretty soon.

Jennifer said...

I think someone mentioned this for "Raised by Another" but it struck me here: Locke never noticed that there was anything "off" about Ethan...perhaps because Ethan is an Other and John is supposed to be his leader? Hmm...

I like that Sawyer says, "Ever think he lied about his name," and Walt answers, "It's stupid to lie about your name." HA,HA! And that brings it back to Hurley not picking up on the fact that James Ford boarded Oceanic 815, not someone named Sawyer. And then Sawyer goes on to say something about a tribe of evil natives planting a ringer to kidnap a pregnant true!

JW brought up the fact that Terry O'Quinn was on Star Trek but how about the fact that Boone is a red shirt & Locke is the "piss poor captain" since he lets Boone get killed.

Katey brought up the fact that only Jack hears Claire screaming: think we could attribute that to a sibling connection? Or Jack is just more in tune with the island than Kate?

Jack: "I'm not letting him do this. Not again." So, time loop theory or just an allusion to the death of a pregnant woman (which would be supported by the flashback?)

Charlie...hanging in a tree...coming back to life...yes, so sad considering that he later dies. And I cried when he came back to life. Charlie can't remember what happened, perhaps some Ethan drugs? "That's all they wanted. Claire." How does Charlie know there's a they? Did he see someone else with Ethan?

The Shout said...

I count the hanging as the third near fatal incident Charlie has been involved with so far (the explosion in 'The Pilot', the cave in). I guess he was cheating death from the first moment he set foot on The Island!

Jenn said...

@ The Shout
Could we consider Charlie's heroin addiction another "incident" in which he almost lost his life? Had Charlie never landed on the island, his addiction may have consumed him. Lucky for him he landed on a an island inhabited by polar bears, smoke monsters, Others, and John Locke.
Talk about extreme rehab!

The Shout said...

Jenn: I never thought of it like that but you're right. If the plane hadn't crashed,who know's how long Charlie would have lasted.

I'd copyright your idea for Extreme Rehab - it sounds like it could be a new show on Fox. A group of D list celebrities with addiction problems have to fight it out on The Island. May involve time travel.

Ali Bags said...

Great idea - and there are PLENTY of candidates for such a show, who would certainly appreciate going back in time.

Katey said...

I'd sign up. I don't particularly know what I might be rehabilitated for but I'd do it all the same!

Well come to think of it, come next June and we're all going to be needing rehabilitation.

SonshineMusic said...

@ The Shout: People would so join in and watch a show called Extreme Rehab! LOL!

I think this episode really showed the dichotomy between Locke and Jack. Nikki and other people touched on a lot of it already, but here's a couple of things I noticed...

Jack says, "Do you think it was Ethan?" and Locke replies, "It feels like Ethan, doesn't it?"
Note the words THINK and FEEL. That says so much about them. Jack thinks about things and goes on what he thinks is best/logical/right/whatever. Locke goes with how he feels in a situation, which is why he flipflops around a lot more than Jack.
Also, Locke's comment, "You be the doctor, let me be the hunter." Which goes back to the earlier episode where Sawyer says they all have a role to play (I commented on it then).

I totally see Christian as the master manipulator. He told Jack what he knew Jack wanted/needed to hear in order to get Jack to go along with the deception about the death of the patient.

One thing I do love about Locke is how much he enjoys the rain, because I love it too :)

Sawyer's sarcastic story really is hilarious since now we know that every word of it is true :D

They all have such strong feelings about children... In "Confidence Man" Sawyer calls off the deal when the little boy comes in. Here, Jack changes his story after he hears that the woman who died was pregnant.

The life and death music motif is my favorite and I love how it was used with Charlie's apparent death here.

It's a good thing Boone has such bad hand/eye coordination ;)

A couple of broad picture things...

My sister suggested that perhaps Locke is only possessed sometimes at this point in time. His body can't be fully possessed until after he dies in season 4?5? But he is at times under the influence of the smoke monster or the MiB now. That would explain some of his wild swings in behavior.

I noticed why I dislike Boone so much... He's like a mini Jack at times. He hides the water, because he thinks his is the only right way to do it. He berates Jack for trying to be the leader, saying he knows what to do just as well. There are numerous times that he gives off that righteous vibe that Jack gives off.

Oh, and totally unrelated...I was visiting my grandmother and saw a collection of LPs - A Patsy Cline collection - and my immediate thought was KATE! (Now I know for sure I'm Lost Obsessed :)

V said...

John mentioned he had been hunting with Ethan. I wonder if Ethan recognized John from the time in Season 5 when John flashed into Ethan's past. When Ethan held the gun to John, that had to be before the 815 crash or Ethan would have recognized John instead of doubt his story. So after the crash maybe Ethan wanted to hunt with John to spend some time with his future leader.

Anonymous said...


Just a few quick notes:

To Nikki,

Locke, even in this season, does several things that benefit others and are unrelated to his own purposes: he teaches Walt; he gives Vincent to Michael to give back to Walt and thus tries to make a kind of "peace" with Michael; most importantly, he builds the cradle for Claire; and he helps Charlie with his addiction.

In general, I have found that watching these episodes closely undermines just about every generalization most people have about *all* the characters. We get a fixed image of them based on a few crucial scenes, but then we forget or overlook the many scenes that conflict with that fixed image. (I'm finding this to be true for a *lot* of the characters.)

I think you are right to call Charlie's coming back to life a "resurrection" (and I'm not a fan of the theological overtones of the show). The way this is shot, I'm not sure Jack is the effective agent (or at least not the sole agent) here. After Jack stops the first time trying to bring Charlie back, there is a moment where everything "takes a breath" (it's on a long shot from a great distance looking at Jack, Kate, and Charlie in the jungle). Here my sense was that "the island takes over" and insists that "it's not Charlie's time yet". (This may be important because the island is going against Ethan's intention here.) Jack continues, but doesn't he stop again, and then out of nowhere Charlie suddenly breathes. Certainly Jack's efforts made a difference, but it feels to me like something more was necessary to bring Charlie back.

Your question about Jack is a good one. I'll try to post later on why I think Jack is right to be angry with Kate. But one key element of the answer is that he's so conflicted inside about not having listened to Claire. (This makes him angry and edgy about *everything*. This is Jack's central motivation throughout the episode.

To SonshineMusic:

I think it is a good question to wonder when Jacob's Other (Esau? guy in Dark shirt) did begin to inhabit or take over Locke. I thought it might have gone back to Season 1 too. (I don't think it was when Locke had his moment of wonder, though that might have made Locke susceptible to later manipulation.) But in the finale (123-24), the monster tries to drag Locke to a hole and fails to get him down there because Jack and Kate save him. We have seen (from Rousseau's people in Season 5) that the monster needs you to itself, preferably under the ground, to take you over. So, I conclude that Locke is not yet taken over at this point; otherwise the monster would not have needed to drag Locke into the hole at that later stage. And because it failed to take him at that time, he still is "clean" or himself unpossessed at the end of Season 1. (This assumes that Dark shirt and the monster are related, if not identical; something I'm still not sure of yet.) Is there an error in my reasoning here?


Jazzygirl said...

I also started to cry when they thought Charlie died (even though I knew he'd come back). I chalk it up to great writing and great acting. Kate's facial expressions, her body movements, the raw emotion...Jack's agony and the way his muscles tense in his neck. Just great great stuff.
And, did anyone else think of Desmond lurking around down there when they found the hatch? LOL If we only knew back then!

JW said...

@Kirathena: You know, I'm thinking the writers probably didn't have that in mind (I doubt they had even thought of Desmond when they wrote this episode) however, with the knowledge we now have, it seems a more plausible theory than Ethan leaving a dummy trail. Cool theory!

@Jazzygirl: Someone on a messageboard back during the first season did say they thought a 1970s computer was down in the hatch. :) Like you, I've been trying to think of what the other people we now know about are up to while watching this first season, such as thinking of Desmond being down in that hatch. Kinda fun!

Anonymous said...

I am joining in late, but I've been watching all along and I'm now trying to catch up on reading posts.

There are just a couple of things I noticed that have not been mentioned: 1)Doesn't Ethan seem to have near super human strength? He, apparently takes both Claire and Charlie hostage (not too bad) but he fights Jack, who appears bigger and better muscled, and throws him down hill and literaly stomps on him. Later he even bests Sayid, and still is beating Jack bloody. In addittion he can hold Charlie off the ground with one hand to threaten him.

The other thing I keep doing is wondering if all the 1970's time travel group are acting out of post "event" knowledge. Probably I am just being paranoid, but. . . .


Katey said...


I don't know about the time-travel group, I'm not that paranoid yet! =P But as for Ethan's superhuman strength--I've noticed that too! All the Others seem to have some intense combat training and insane strength. I recently rewatched seasons three and four and noticed this idea especially in light of Juliet. Juliet beats down Kate on several occassions without even much of a fight (once while juggling a plate and sandwhich when she was surprised by Kate from behind a door with a pool cue!! That's talent!). Juliet apparently dragged Kate out into the jungle during Left Behind. It appears that they all share some kind of...natural enhancement? Being the guardians of the island. I don't know--maybe we'll get more on that later. The only thing I could think of for Ethan dragging off both Claire and Charlie was that he made the walk. We know Charlie had his hands tied and was blindfolded so he could take them along on the end of a rope and not have to carry them. Who knows?

Casey said...

Don't know if anybody mused on this yet, but John Locke says he hunted with Ethan and didn't notice anything off. So they did spend time together, albeit off-screen. I'm wondering why Ethan didn't recognize the man he shot in the leg at some point in the past. You know, the crazy bald guy who claimed he was Ethan's leader. Surely that's the kind of encounter that can stick out in an Other's mind.

Casey said...

Oh. I see that V posted on that before I did. Didn't mean to retread old ground.

SonshineMusic said...

I wonder if that's why Ethan hooked up with Locke to go hunting. Trying to find out more about him. I would bet he never told anyone about that happening because how would he possibly explain to anyone what had happened.

Juanita's Journal said...

Seriously about the Jack bagging on Kate thing, okay--I get it, Kate's a fugitive and Jack's a respectable doctor, but honestly--who is he to think that she somehow owes him anything?

I found his attitude also annoying, but I understood where he was coming from. After all, Kate had failed to mention that she was a fugitive from the law . . . something that many of the Losties would have not been comfortable with. Besides, Kate got her own back with her response.