Follow along! The episode guide for “The Other 48 Days” is in Finding Lost, pp. 212-218.
In a recent comment on one of the other episodes, one of my readers mentioned that they didn’t care for this episode at all because they really didn’t care much about the Tailies. I’ll agree that where we got 25 hours about the Losties in season 1, that same period is summed up in 42 minutes in this episode, but at the same time I think “The Other 48 Days” is extraordinary. It’s beautiful storytelling, and amazing writing. The attention to detail is superb – right from the beginning, the writers keep inserting things in there that make us remember what the Losties were going through on the other side of the island. There’s a guy screaming because of his leg on the beach. The Losties had the marshal. They eventually silenced him with a gun (and added smothering) but in the case of this guy, they didn’t have the luxury of a gun. They had to sit there and listen to him scream for days. The Tailies had children; there were no children on the other beach. They dealt with kidnappings and deaths. The Losties burned the Fuselage to dispose of the dead bodies; Eko pulled the dead bodies out of the ocean one by one, and then they buried each one of them. Without any tools of any kind. When Ana Lucia shoots Shannon at the end of the episode, bringing us right up to the moment that the previous ep ended on, it’s completely different. At the end of “Abandoned,” we looked at the fury on Sayid’s face and thought, “You go, dude… hit her. Just HIT HER.” But now, we see what Ana’s been through as the leader of this group, how she had to be a combination of Jack and Sawyer – a leader who doles out tough love and who refuses to get attached to anything.
Fun things I noticed:
• That opening scene is freakin’ excellent, complete with plane chair flying at the camera.
• When Jack showed up on the beach, he was met with a group of people standing there dazed or screaming, and no one was trying to save or help anyone else, except for Boone, who was trying his best, despite not being very good at it. Ana Lucia has Eko to help her, and the two of them save as many people as they can together.
• At first I was thinking it’s interesting that Goodwin and Ethan used their real names, but then realized, what good would it do to make up fake ones? It’s not like the survivors would have been able to find them out by knowing their real names. Which, of course, makes Ben’s fake name of “Henry Gale” even funnier… there was no real reason to lie other than the fact it’s WHAT BEN DOES.
• Bernard doesn’t have the same unbending faith that Rose does.
• I love the way they do the fastforward scenes at the end to remind us of what happened and quickly go through ground. Did anyone else notice that the drumbeat was the same as the Previously On drumbeat that always opened Battlestar Galactica?
• That scene with the radio is awesome. I still remember in season 1 when you could hear the person on the radio when Boone’s in the Beechcraft say, “WE’RE the survivors of Flight 815!” and then to see the other side of it in this scene was exhilarating the first time.
Things that have new meaning:
• When Emma regains consciousness she asks if they’re in L.A. and AL says “We’re not there yet.” The yet takes on a new meaning in light of S5… if they do change time and the plane lands in L.A., AL was right. Will we see Zack and Emma be reunited with their mom, even if it’s just a brief alternate universe moment? I really hope so.
• AL stares at the kids longingly, and they’re the only people she actually becomes attached to. By the next episode, we’ll know why.
• Excited chills went down my spine when we actually saw one of Jacob’s lists for the first time. EEEEE!!!
• Ana Lucia shows Goodwin the knife, and explains it’s U.S. Army issue, and probably 20 years old. Wrong: it’s more like 50 years old, since it would have come off one of the 18 soldiers who came to the island in 1954 and who Alpert’s people killed by order of Jacob. SO cool to see this detail so early in the game.
• I’m still wary of Libby, as much as I love her character. She’s a clinical psychologist, yet also knows a lot about medicine. Despite her saying that it’s because she started off in med school, it just seems strange. Notice how she keeps AL on the path of believing Nathan is the bad guy, which would deflect attention away from Goodwin.
• I found it odd in retrospect to see the Quarantine word on the inside of the Arrow station. The reason the word is on the inside of the hatch at the Swan is because that bunker was built for the express purpose of dealing with the aftermath of the “Incident.” The Arrow station already existed before the Incident, so it wouldn’t have had that word on it. It had to have been added later, either after the Incident or after the Purge.
• That glass eye always freaks me out (moreso because last week I was talking about Crazy-Eyes Des and suggesting maybe HE had a glass eye, forgetting about the one in the chest!) Who does the eye belong to? It would actually be kinda nice if we never find out, and we can just speculate for eternity. Could it belong to Mikhail? Was he working at the Arrow station, became pissed with Dharma and defected to the Others? Maybe they convinced him he didn’t need the eye, and helped him sew it shut (we do see it briefly and there doesn’t appear to be a socket to put a glass eye into) and he wore an eyepatch from that point on while working at the Flame?
• Interesting that the Arrow station was actually a defense station (we discover that in S5 when Chang is doing the orientation video for it in “Because You Left”) yet here it doesn’t look like anything of the sort.