Follow along! The episode guide for “Maternity Leave” is in Finding Lost, pp. 259-265.
“Maternity Leave” was the episode that introduced the on-island flashback, which would be used in later episodes, and we saw the Others living without rags for the first time. I remember how confusing it was when Tom showed up and talked to Ethan (and we heard about someone ordering lists for the first time) and how loopy Claire was when they gave her the drugs. But Alex! Rousseau! And BENRY!!! Oh, what a great episode it is to watch in retrospect.
Fun things I noticed:
• Oh, how many moms have carried a screaming baby into a walk-in clinic or doctor’s office only to be told it’s nothing, just wait it out, and be forced to leave completely heartbroken that the baby’s suffering won’t be helped by any medication, nor will you be getting any extra sleep that night? Oh Claire, honey, I know how you feel…
• I’ve said it many a time before, and I’ll say it again: Emilie de Ravin’s eyes are STUNNING. I never noticed them that much when she was on Roswell (then again, I hated her on Roswell) but MAN they are gorgeous.
• You know, in these later seasons, I really do miss John Locke’s Cliff Claven-like “Obscure Moments in History.”
• While Claire undergoes hypnosis, Kate holds Aaron nearby, and yet later in Eggtown she won’t pick him up.
• I still love Sawyer’s smarmy line when Kate says he doesn’t get to ask why. “Yes I do, watch… Why?”
• Claire tells Ethan the needle hurts. As someone who had an amnio on my second child (and therefore AFTER this episode) I can say that… YES, YES it hurts a LOT. Especially when you have an uncooperative baby who moves to the top of the womb, right in the spot they’re going to stick the long, LONG hollow needle, and so they have no choice but to come up from the bottom, through all that stomach muscle, and as they go to pull it out the muscle wraps around the needle and they have to YANK it out. Yes. It hurts A LOT. Ahem… sorry, where was I?
• Aaron’s entire existence seems to be about being taken. He was going to be given away, then Claire kept him, then she was kidnapped while pregnant with him, and he was about to be taken from her womb, and then he was taken by Rousseau, then he was taken by Charlie… and he’ll ultimately be taken right off the island – away from Claire – by Kate.
• It’s so sad knowing that Rousseau will only be reunited with Alex for a few days… and that both of them will die. Wah.
• Jack comes to the beach and refills his water bottles in that tank there, and yet back at the hatch (where he will be in a few minutes) Locke is running the water CONSTANTLY while cleaning one lousy bowl. You’d think they’d be preserving that water JUST a tad, considering what they’d been through. Why isn’t Jack filling the bottles with the water from the taps and carrying it to the beach, rather than taking water from the vat on the beach and returning to the hatch with it?
• On the Ack Attack, Rachel made a joke about Ben saying, “hhhhhhhwhat?” and I remember laughing my head off at the time because it’s something I’ve always noticed about him (it’s a very “theater-speak” way of saying it… and it’s actually the correct pronunciation… I remember a teacher in elementary school who always insisted that we said hhwhere, hhwhat, etc. and wouldn’t respond to a question unless we pronounced it like that, and I know I probably still do it sometimes). In the hatch, Locke says they think he’s an Other, and he says, “An Other hhhhwhat?”
• And he also says, “Why would I lie?” Another round of laughter from those who’ve seen him later. Oh Ben. Like you need a reason…
• That baby playing Aaron has got to be one of the cutest babies EVER. Seriously, if you could see my son, you’d see how much he looked like that baby when he was one, and how much he looks like a 2-year-old Aaron now. Oh, cruel fate that kept me from having my baby on the show!!!
Things that have new meaning:
• Kate’s the one who comes to Claire’s rescue when Rousseau approaches her in the camp, then helps her talk to Libby, and then goes into the jungle with her, which foreshadows that Kate will be the one to protect Aaron later.
• Ben says, “What, you don’t have any Stephen King?” which is SUCH a delicious moment in retrospect, considering we find out in “A Tale of Two Cities” that he despises Stephen King and gets thrown out of book club as a result. Dostoevsky is EXACTLY the sort of book that Ben would savour. And he will.
• So what WAS that vaccine they were giving Aaron? We still don’t know that. Is it possible he was being primed in the womb as their next leader? Or was it a vaccine that they really thought would protect him against whatever was killing the babies on the island? (But given that they don’t KNOW what is killing the unborn babies, how could they have a vaccine for it?) Or is it just a placebo and this is nothing more than a mind game?
• Eko chopping down trees reminded me of the way Horace was chopping them down in Locke’s dream.
• Sun says to Claire with some animosity, “A mother should not leave her child.” Oh, REALLY, Sun??
• Tom refers to “him” when talking about the list… does he mean Ben or Jacob?
• What was in the water canteen that Ethan gave to Claire?
• Interesting that Eko appears to Ben and tells him that he regrets what he did, and confesses his sins, and yet later, when Yemi asks for that same penance, he refuses. AND interesting that Eko is killed by the smoke monster… the very thing that Ben controls, and Ben knows that Eko killed two of the Others. Did he send Smokey after Eko on purpose??
• Claire tells Aaron they’re meant to be together. If it’s destiny that they’ll always be together, does that mean definite reunion in season 6?
**I'll be posting The Whole Truth and Lockdown tomorrow night.