Wednesday, August 19, 2009

2.02 Adrift

Follow along! The episode guide for “Adrift” is in Finding Lost, pp. 171-175.

Michael has always been a difficult figure on Lost. Many, many fans hated him after his betrayal at the end of season 2. Harold Perrineau was upset about the treatment of Michael in the fan community, and said publicly that in season 4, he blew up because fans wanted revenge against him (I actually thought his character redeems himself by dying, but anyway…). But there was something about the desperation of this man that kept me from hating him. I didn’t like what he did at the end of season 2, but I understood the length a father would go to for his son, especially after he’s lost Walt before. However, for me, this episode really tested Michael’s likeability for me. Sawyer attempts to save Walt, gets shot in the shoulder, then he pulls Michael out of the water saving him from drowning, and performs mouth-to-mouth on him, saving his life. And Michael is cold and arrogant and rude. I wanted Sawyer to throw him to the Dharma shark. Ahem…

Fun things I noticed:
• Poor Jin… this is the first of two times he’ll be floating in the water, only to wash ashore on the island once again. I felt so bad as we heard him call out, “Soya!” but Sawyer had to save Michael instead.
• I still wonder who drew that mural. Was it Desmond?
• Have I mentioned how much I HATE Susan? I have? Well, you have to listen to it again. I HATE SUSAN. This woman keeps claiming that she’s doing the best thing for Walt, and tells Michael that he has to stop thinking about himself, and she, on the other hand, says that Walt will have a wonderful life because of her new job as senior partner in a law firm in Rome. You will A) put Walt into a country where he doesn’t speak the language, surrounded by people who don’t speak his language, B) wrench him from his father so he’ll never have that relationship again, and C) allow him to be raised full-time by a nanny, so he really doesn’t have a mother, either. And THAT is the best thing for him? “Oh, don’t worry, Walt, are you homesick? Do you wish you had a real father? Do you miss having a mother? No worries… this $400 toy will make you feel better.” ARGH. Hate her and her attempts to buy her child’s happiness. She tells Michael that he doesn’t think about Walt’s best interests – was she thinking of his best interests when she dumped Michael’s ass and moved away? OK. End of rant.
• I love that Kate is distracted by the chocolate bars. I’ve always thought it was odd that in S5 when Sun gets that surveillance package, she immediately lifts up that layer of chocolates to grab the gun underneath. She’s not tempted to grab a chocolate or two?!

Things that have new meaning:
• I’ve said this before in this rewatch, but while much was made of Sawyer the Hero in seasons 4 and 5, he certainly shows all the signs here already. It’s sad seeing Sawyer go to such lengths to save Michael, knowing what Michael will do to him at the end of the season.
• Michael’s lawyer tells him that he’s looking at a David and Goliath situation, which could be said of just about everything on the island. Widmore is Goliath; Dharma is Goliath, and all these little Davids are running around trying to change things and save themselves.
• I always feel for Locke in this episode. When Desmond comes up with him, gun pointing at his head and says, “Ah yoo hem?” Locke says “Yes, I am.” He’s not lying – he thinks that Desmond thinks he’s his savior, and Locke believes that’s exactly what he is. So it comes as a surprise when Desmond uses the snowman riddle on him. That’s the first thing that begins to erode Locke’s hope. Jack's comments echo the ones he'll later say in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," when he mocks Locke's destiny talk and tells him he's delusional.
• Sawyer calls the island “home,” which signals the shift in season 2. In season 1, everyone was desperate to get off the island; in S2, they’re trying to figure out how to make the island their home.


Joan Crawford said...

Yeah, I was thinking about Sawyer's mixed emotions toward the island as well. In season 5, he is all about being Mr.Island Big Shot and loves his life. Then when he is leaving for the sub he says something like "Good riddance" to the island (not just Dharma but to the actual landscape) - as if he always hated the island. Even though his "island life" has been, all in all, way better than his other life.

Joan Crawford said...

Also, I kinda am this close to hating Michael. My sympathy is with him to a degree, in terms of doing whatever it takes to save his child. Except for the whole killing Libby for no reason thing. Did he have to kill them? Why not just shoot them in the leg, so they can't follow you? And Susan is awful - I can't stand people who damage their kids in irrevocable ways just so their life "fits" better. And that wet noodle she married. What a piece that guy was. "Oh, your mom died and true, I was your "dad" but, well, you know how these things go...See Ya!"

Marebabe said...

There's a thing about Susan that's never made sense to me. (And yes, I loathe and despise her, too.) It's basically when she says she's going to be a senior partner in her new firm in Rome. (Nikki, in the previous recap, you said that pretty much all you know about emergency room procedures you learned from watching ER. Likewise, all I know about the legal profession came from reading the complete works of John Grisham.) OK, So! When we first see Susan, she's preggers, and a law student, and she and Michael are shopping for nursery furniture. Cut to the later scene when she's going on about the fabulous opportunity in Rome, and darling baby Walt is looking like he's maybe 9-12 months old. (I'm guessing.) So it's, like, no more that 2 years later, and she's talking about being a senior partner?! In all the legal thrillers I've read, it takes at least 10 years to become a partner in most firms, and even then, one would be a junior partner. I think the writers (who are, after all, flawed human beings like the rest of us) simply made a mistake.

Desmond's initial question, "Are you him?" always reminds me of "Ghostbusters", when Venkman goes to Dana's apartment after she's possessed, and she asks, "Are you the Keymaster?" The wrong answer gets the door slammed in his face. And near the end of the movie, when Zuul asks, "Are you a god?" Good times.

Jazzygirl said...

I'll start with Michael since Nikki ranted on it. LOL I have to say, re-watching this episode actually made me feel more sympathy for Michael than in the past. I was reminded of how evil Susan was. Here's this guy who goes to a lawyer and can't really afford it. You know he's probably on disability and yet he fights for his son. He really was a tragic figure in this one. And when he has to say goodbye to Walt? I just really felt his emotions. Then he has the breakdown on the raft remnant and we get it. I don't blame him for being SO crazed to get Walt back. I'm not saying he should have killed Anna Lucia and Libby...I do believe he didn't plan on it and we definitely know Libby was accidental. I guess what I'm saying is that knowing what's to come, here is a man who was taken advantage of again and again and he decided to draw the line, turn his friends in, and leave the island with Walt.
Okay enough about that. I froze the frame on the mural to get a better look. I am thinking it was done by Kelvin b/c it's the drawings of a madman really.
And here we have the beginning of the end with the button pushing. LOL

JW said...

I admit, Michael initially turned me against him so badly at the end of the second season that I couldn't help thinking of Harold Perrineau himself as evil. I remember seeing a promo for his visit to a talk show (Jimmy Kimmel, I think), and I had to remind myself that it was okay for Harold to sit on Jimmy's couch and joke around with the host, and that Harold wasn't O.J. or Wernher Von Braun.

Anyway, I wanted to mention that Nikki's analysis of this chapter in Finding Lost is one of my favorites in the book.

Marebabe said...

Oops! My bad! I goofed on the "Ghostbusters" quote. Near the end of the movie, it was Gozer the Gozarian who asked, "Are you a god?" Just wanted to clear that up. We now return you to our regularly scheduled discussion of "Lost".

Nikki Stafford said...

Marebabe: Wow, great catch!! I can't believe I never noticed that before. You're absolutely right... she'd be an articling student for the first year or so, then would be a junior associate, then a lawyer in the firm, etc. etc. It would be YEARS before she'd even be near a senior partner, much less become one (and my law experience is from Law & Order, ha! OK, that and my brother is one).

JW: Aw, thanks! You made me actually go and read it (I've been keeping up with most of them, but this is one I hadn't checked ahead of time). And I realize I repeated myself on the whole Sawyer home thing. :) Oh well, it's important!

Jazzygirl: I agree. I think that's the reason why I've always had some sympathy toward Michael. He's just been defeated so many times.

tiasabita said...

Did not notice the Dharma symbol on the shark - cool but I definitely don't understand it! I, too, hate the way Michael treats Sawyer but I do understand Michael's desperation over losing Walt and needing someone else to blame to help make sense of a non-sensical event. He seemed to come around a little the next morning when he broke down and said it was all his fault. But his need to reunite with Walt will sure cause everyone else a heap of hurt. I'll never really learn to like Michael that much I'm afraid.

What made Dez feel more threatened by a 100 pound woman than by a bald, muscular guy who looks like he could have had a military background? I never got that. But Kate and her cleavage crawling thru the vents made for a better shot than if it had been John crawling thru coming to Kate's rescue!

'We're gonna need to watch that again.' I feel that way after every episode!

I laughed at the 'Maybelline' logo rubbed out on the
well-known pink and green mascara tube!

So cool seeing Jack watch the video of the one-armed Pierre Chang knowing that Jack himself caused the loss of that arm in the future past.

I wonder, too, who painted the mural in the hatch. It is crazy looking and Kelvin was crazy but I wonder if someone we know now drew it in another time/life. I don't really know how since the 1977 group presumably has flashed out in the season five finale but maybe they didn't actually leave at that time and one of them was involved with the initial happenings in the hatch. I don't have any idea what I'm talking about!

I found myself trying to see where the darts were placed on the dartboard in the hatch! I know there's a 4,8,15 & 16!

Nite kids!

Susan said...

OK I took notes on this episode (like I've lately started doing for them all) and have found most of my comments covered already! But I'm going to mention them anyway ;)

I thought the transition of Michael's feelings on the raft debris was very well written. He believably went from blaming Sawyer to blaming himself.

I'm not defending Susan, I don't like her in spite of her name, but I think she's one of those people that find money so important that she thinks that's what's best for Walt. Contrast her to Sabrina, who cut off Shannon just out of spite. I know I'm getting ahead on this point, but Sabrina places ahead of Susan on the worst parent list.

As for Susan's lawyer, she sounds just like Bea Klugh -- for someone who wants Walt back, you don't know much about him. Well duh, of course Michael doesn't know much about Walt, he wants to get him back so he can get to know him.

Something you may have missed...when Jack is walking through the hatch, and Desmond has started the music, if you listen very carefully you can hear Kate yelling "Jack!" a couple of times from the vent.

I think the producers have said that Desmond drew the mural.

I didn't think Jack caused Chang's arm loss. I thought it was Radzinsky who wouldn't let Chang turn off the power so the electromagnetism started dragging things into the hole, including the piece that dropped on Chang's arm.

The Question Mark said...

When Jack, Kate & Locke were climbing down that hole, I couldn't help but think: "Juliet's skeleton is probably a few feet underneath that mirror".

Yeah, you're right, Nikki- Susan sucks. I've always loved Michael, and even though he did wrong, I can't help but feel immesnely sorry for him. Here's a man who is constantly dealt hands of disappointment, grief and bad luck (like the car accident). He's never, ever had a chance to win, because fate simply would not let him. And then when he goes and makes a desperate, tragic move by betraying his fellow Lostaways, everyone immediately turns on him and pens him as a "bad guy" and a "dirty traitor". Correct me if I'm wrong, but the other people on that island are no saints, and Michael's probably been through more turmoil than all of them (with the exception of Locke, of course...poor Locke)

There are two lines in this ep that i just loved so much: if you go back and listen to them, the way they were delivered & the expressions on the actors' faces, these lines just had so much resonance.
First, there's Locke's look of bewilderment, fear & insatiable curiosity after Des tells him to press EXECUTE. Locke looks from the computer to Des before mumbling, "Wha-what's gonna happen?". Loved it.
The second line is spoken by Sawyer, after he pulls Michael onto the driftwood. mike asks where they took Walt, and for the first time ever we hear a defeated, exhausted, and forlorn sawyer reply with the simple line, "I don't know." But just the way Josh Holloway said it, and the pain in his eyes...I'm an actor myself, and I honestly thing that's my favourite piece of acting Holloway has given us so far on the show.

Oh, and one more quick thing- Susan is evil, but she's got competition: her lawyer.
That woman would give Hitler goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Susan's husband also her new employer? That would explain how she fast-tracked to senior partner.

I hate to say it, but I'm glad Ana-Lucia and Libby were killed off. (Go, Michael!) I didn't like either character, and frankly, the idea of a potential Libby/Hurley love scene made me squirm. She was completely wrong for him, and vice-versa.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: I wanted Sawyer to throw him to the Dharma shark.

Yes please.

I do sympathize with him and there are definitely moments when I kind of like him, but this episode made me want to ... well Nikki already covered that :)

Sawyer can save my life any day.....ahem.

I have a continuity nitpick (and maybe Nikki covered this in her book, but I haven't had a chance to read these episodes yet.)

Michael acts all shocked in the flashback when the lawyer tells him Susan wants him to give up his rights ... but he already knew this! She tells him straight out when she comes to the hospital to pay his bills! I don't understand!

And Susan chooses a lawyer that is just as cold and cruel as herself.

Sawyer had the bestest lines in this episode.....

"Well, I'll just stop bleeding then!"

"You gotta band-aid?" HA!

"What you gonna do? Splash me?" hehehehehe

A woman and her chocolate.... I so identified with Kate in this scene.

What IS the sickness exactly?!

I love how Michael gives little Walt a polar bear of all things.

Teebore said...

What IS the sickness exactly?!

Ah, yeah, that's another one of those nagging, relatively minor Dharma questions I fear will never get answered.

Michael has always bugged me, but it's always had less to do with his betrayal and murder and more the fact that his entire character from this point forward is essentially just him screaming WAAALT in the jungle as loud and frantically as possible.

It's a realistic reaction to the situation, sure, and I don't begrudge his grief and anger over losing his son yet again, but it makes for a fairly dull, one-dimensional and uninteresting character that I washed my hands off long before he betrayed the Losties and killed Anan Lucia and Libby.

On the other hand, had the writers NOT written Michael with such a driving obsession to get Walt back, it probably would have seemed contrived and unrealistic, and we'd be complaining about that. So I think Michael's character was kind of "damned if he did, damned if he didn't", due to the circumstances of his story.

Katey said...


I agree about the Sawyer lines! Priceless, Sawyer at his best. I don't know what I'd do without my snarky cowboy during this show!

And the Kate chocolate scenes is much beloved to me in this episode! I get that feeling, like, five times daily! Hahah! It truly is a special relationship--a woman and her chocolate. I just ate a bunch of oreos about ten minutes ago...blissful delight! I can't even imagine what it must have been like to live off of just mangos and fish for weeks until finding the hatch storeroom!! :O

I agree with you Nikki, Sun must have some super power of self-control or something, or else maybe she's not quite all human--she didn't even take a moment to smell the chocolate aroma before going for the gun! Psh, even violent, bloody revenge can wait just a chocolate moment!

About the whole Michael-killed-Libby-and-Ana-Lucia thing: I wasn't too mad that Libby died I'll admit, I really didn't like her that much...she creeped me out. And Hurley/Libby was strange to me too, but I just went with it because I thought Hurley deserved a little romance in his life after all he'd been through. But Ana Lucia I really grew to like and was devastated that her character never got the redemption she totally deserved! I didn't like her at first just because there really didn't seem to be much depth to her character and I don't appreciate gruffness just for the heck of it, but as it went on I really appreciated her character arc and unique personality. She was definitely a needed deviation from the typical "Lost girl" stereotype. Rather than sappy and vulerable and caring like Rose, Kate, Claire, etc. she was sort of the anti-woman woman, hardened by pain and a life of being outcast and angry. I thought it was fascinating to find out what had made her the way she was. I was so sad when she died because she had just begun finally earning her redemption and letting go of her anger! And she was robbed of it so quickly! I guess it can be said that she at least earned it enough by giving up her gun in those last moments and not being unable to shoot "Henry"...but still, she wasn't able to really get that moment of triumph, she died crying on the couch full of self-loathing and the belief that absolutely no one cared about her worth a darn. :( Poor girl! It was also soooo sad seeing that last conversation with her mom when she was in the airport! She was going to go home and get things right, and her mom said she'd be waiting at the airport to pick her up...and then bada bing, bada bing--she's crashed, messed up all over again, and then shot.

Anyway, I was most sad about Ana Lucia's death...probably more than any of the others actually. I was able to deal with Charlie pretty well because, as sad as it was emotionally, story-wise, it felt right. He died a hero, he got to have his shining moment--it was actually something he needed for himself--to contribute his ultimate gift. But Ana, gah, it just felt like such a character cheat.

Fred said...

Notice how Locke takes off his shoes. Sure they squeak. But it did remind me of what Tom later says to Jack and Sawyer: "Do you come in a man's house and put your feet up on his coffee table, eat of out of his fridge." I wonder what Jack thought when he saw the shoes there, realizing their Locke's?

Jazzygirl said...

I agree about Locke's delivery of that line before pushing the button. He hesitates and delivers the line. Honestly, that's stellar acting and O'Quinn does is all the time. He LIVES that character. I am positive that half the expressions and body movements aren't written in the script. O'Quinn just does that so naturally as Locke. A lot of the actors do it but there are a few that just SHINE. :)
I'm getting a little mixed up with my episodes since I've watched next week's already but someone mentioned this so I'll mention it too (I wont be here next week to discuess). Walt dripping water in the jungle "talking" to Shannon. I agree with Teebore that that may be one of those things we never get resolution to.
And someone else mentioned this in this thread but I mentioned it in the other one: how the hell do they pour concrete and finish the Swan with all that magnestism? And I too thought of Juliet's skeleton, although moreso in the next set of episodes when Jack and Sayid are crawling around under the Swan trying to find out what's beind the concrete wall.

Fred said...

They can finish the Swan if they use non-magnetic metals, like titanium, also aluminium, copper (Ben says he's Henry Gale, owner of a Minnesota Mining company that specilizes in non-magnetic metals). Pretty expensive. I gather before (Season 5: The Incident) they were using go old steel.

Joan Crawford said...

@Fred! So smart - that whole nonmetallic metals thing did seem so weird at the time. And inconsequential too, at least to me. I love Lost and I love it when people figure out this stuff!

SonshineMusic said...

Sheesh. I seemingly find myself in the minority here again (unless other people just aren't voicing their opinions).

I loved Libby and I absolutely adored the Libby/Hurley arc and I was angrier with her death than I think any other death on the show.

I agree with Katey about Charlie. As sad as his death was, it did feel right (though I still have that vague, nagging, unfounded suspicion that maybe he didn't die, but I've had that conversation here before.)

SonshineMusic said...

@Katey: Definitely not offended or being snarky, but you keep misspelling my name as SoShine instead of SonShine :)

Fred said...

@SonshineMusic: I agree with you about the Libby?Hurley arc. It made me feel good, and to have it cut so early, when it did. Curses, Michael! I can imagine Harold Perrineau must have felt #$*&!!!! when he read the script. I read an interview with him years later, wherehe complains the writers didn't give his character a chance for redemtion. Jin began as one of the most vile characters on the show, and now he's one of the best loved. Nothing like that for Michael.

But anyway, I felt bummed out when Libby departed form the show. Here's wistfully hoping she'll make a surprising comeback, and Hurley can feel good again.

Teebore said...

I also loved the Libby/Hurley arc, and was disappointed when she died for a number of reasons:

1. I enjoyed the developing relationship between her and Hurley, and was sad to see it cut short.

2. Once again, Lost killed off one of its attractive female cast members

3. Her death meant several of the intriguing mysteries in which she was involved were more likely to go unanswered (which seems more and more to be the case).

Susan said...

I believe that Libby was killed off because the producers realized that just killing AL would not be as shocking for the fans, since she was not popular at all. Killing Libby added that extra "Oh my gosh" to the scene.

I have to agree with Teebore about Michael as a character. Once Walt was taken he became a flat character with only one real story and one purpose. I did like him before Walt was taken, but we don't see a lot of him in season 2 before he kills the girls, so it's a little easier to hate him for what he did.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that Walt just isn't Michael's son?
There have been several questions on this and other ep's about his not being Walt's father.
I wonder if we will find that to be the case in season 6.

SonshineMusic said...

I really felt like Hurley's character became marginalized with Libby's death. He became the voice of the viewer, as it were, and comic relief and still holds some significance, but I feel like his story line went stagnant after that.

Jenn said...

I too, really liked the Libby/Hurley story because it seemed to be going somewhere really interesting—especially with Libby being in the same facility as Hurley at one time. I really wanted to know more. THat being said, I think Libby's death was necessary (yes, even though I liked her!) because it further proved to Hurley that his "curse" had followed him all the way to an island of unknown whereabouts, coordinates, and time-period. Poor Hurley.

The Rush Blog said...

It's interesting how so many fans hate Michael for Ana-Lucia and Libby's deaths, yet these same fans couldn't care less about Ana-Lucia and didn't know much about Libby. Worse, they dislike Ana for accidentally killing Shannon. As for Libby . . . I never liked the Hurley/Libby romance. I found it soooo contrived. I suspect that the only reason so many were upset over her death was because she was about to romance a very popular character, Hurley.

In contrast to the hatred toward Michael, when Kate wronged the Littleton family by keeping Aaron for herself, everyone was all tea and sympathy toward a woman who had more or less stole a child and kept him from the mother of her fellow castaway for nearly three years due to her own selfishness. And except for the fans who dislike Kate, most of the other fans and the media tend to be sympathetic toward Kate and make excuses for her crimes - including the one against the Littleton family.

The hypocrisy in the human mind is amazing.

By the way, Nikki . . . why didn't you point out that Michael expressed remorse for lashing out at Sawyer and blamed himself for taking Walt off the island? Why didn't you?

Juanita's Journal said...

I never hated Michael for murdering Ana-Lucia and accidentally killing Libby. I didn't like what he did. But I understood why he did it. And I suspect that many (but not all) people failed to realize how ruthless the average human being can be when they lose someone they loved or if that person was endangered.

After all, Michael wasn't the first "LOST" character to do this. Shannon Rutherford tried to murder John Locke for her stepbrother's death. Charlie Pace murdered Ethan Rom, because he called himself "protecting" Claire Littleton (although I suspect that revenge was in his mind). Sawyer spent nearly three decades holding Anthony Cooper solely responsible for his parents' deaths and eventually murdered the guy and an innocent man he believed was Cooper. The ironic thing is that Sawyer's dad was the one who truly destroyed the Ford family. Ana-Lucia Cortez murdered the man who was responsible for the death of her unborn child, despite the fact that his chances of ending up in prison were very good. Claire Littleton held the Others' responsible for Aaron's disappearance. When she learned that Kate had kept Aaron for three years before handing him over to her mother, she tried to murder the former fugitive. Ben Linus murdered Charles Widmore in retaliation for the death of Alex.

What I am trying to say is that what Michael did was nothing new. He did what a lot of people would have either done or probably did for the sake of a loved one, namely his son. What I do not understand is why so many "LOST" fans failed to realize this and branded him as a much hated villain. And I cannot help but wonder why they refused to understand or empathize why he had committed his crimes, when they were capable of empathizing with other "LOST" fans who had committed crimes.