Thursday, September 17, 2009

2.17 Lockdown

Follow along! The episode guide for “Lockdown” is in Finding Lost, pp. 276-280.

Probably my favourite episode of season 2 (with the exception of the finale), “Lockdown” is the episode that turned all of the events that had happened so far and threw them headlong in the direction of the season-ender. Henry Gale being the liar we all suspected he was… the lockdown… Locke seeing the blast-door map… the food drop on the island. It’s all here.

Fun things I noticed:
• It still baffles me that after three hours of searching for a balloon, no one bothered to look UP (you know, in the trees? Where a balloon is most likely to land on an island FULL OF TREES?) or saw the ORANGE AND YELLOW balloon up there. It’s not like it was camouflaged or khaki. It was ORANGE AND YELLOW. Sheesh, people.
• Is it just me, or every time someone walks into the room with the computer is that clock at 47? It seems like an homage to Alias to me.
• “How ’bout you put your mangoes where your mouth is?”

Things that have new meaning:
• Oh, John. If only you’d gone on that picnic. This entire episode was filled with moments where I just wanted to say, “No, John… don’t do it!” DON’T go to Cooper’s funeral. DON’T walk over to that car parked near Nadia’s house. DON’T go have a drink with the guy. DON’T go to the safety deposit box. DON’T give him the money. DON’T ask Helen to marry you (because it’s so sad and pathetic and breaks my heart every time)... DON’T listen to Ben.
• Sawyer asks Jack what he was doing in Thailand. Oh… if only we’d never found out the answer to that question. Sigh.
• Check out Sawyer guessing correctly that Thailand is where Jack got his tats!
• Hurley: “Jack and Sawyer are finally gonna beat each other up.” No, you’ll have to wait three more years for that. ;)
• Sawyer says he got the clap in Tallahassee, which is where Cooper was caught.
• So, did Ben really knock himself out by falling in the pantry, or was that just all a ploy to completely freak out John? Did he actually push the button when he said he did? Did he pull some smoke and mirrors show (or better yet, was another Other doing it from the Pearl?)
• How much of the map did John Locke take in? Is it possible he has a photographic memory?
• Benry is BUSTED!!! Oh how I love that moment.


Batcabbage said...

Oh, John. If only you’d gone on that picnic. Oh, how true. I love any episode of Lost with Leela/Peggy Bundy in it. I hope she shows up in whatever passes for a flashback/forward/sideways in season 6. And you're right, it's truly heartbreaking to watch John grasp at what's left of his relationship, on his knees, practically begging her to marry him. Poor man.

In regard to Benry falling and knocking himself out, I think he played it up a bit. And I'm of the opinion that he just stopped the countdown and then fed Locke whatever information he thought would manipulate Locke's feelings at the time. Great, great episode.

Gillian Whitfield said...

I LOVE this episode. It's far and above my favourite of the season. Out of all the episodes that I watch in season 2, this is the one that I watch the most. Damon and Carlton are that good at writing.

There's one scene that scared me in this episode the first time I saw it. When John is trying to get under the blast door, and then it "lowers" onto his legs.

When I watched this episode with my brother, I said, "Do you think Ben knows the numbers, now that we know that he was in the DHARMA Initiative?". To which he said, "Yeah, he was probably thinking 'I know the numbers'". Ben probably did know the numbers once he became an Other disguised as a DHARMA member.

JW said...

"Sawyer asks Jack what he was doing in Thailand. Oh… if only we’d never found out the answer to that question."

Just imagine the horror had Bai Ling been cast as Sun.

This is a good episode, and I liked watching how Michael played "Henry" back when it looked like the character might really be a good guy. It's touching to see him stay by John's side right after we see a flashback of everyone abandoning John. The way Michael played Henry, from walking to talking, is different than how he plays Ben.

Marebabe said...

Sayid is pretty good at spotting a liar, but I’d say he’s really got his work cut out for him on the Island. Think of what a smooth liar Sun was in “The Whole Truth”, and how convincing Henry was when he said he never pressed the button. I used to wonder if Henry was lying about that, until I realized that if he hadn’t pushed it, there would’ve been an earthquake and metal objects flying through the air during another “system failure”. So of course he pushed the button! It’s not just con artists who lie, but speaking of Anthony Cooper, he sure was cocky, conning THE MOB for 700K!! What was he thinking?

And I agree, Nikki. I totally loved Hurley’s line: “Jack and Sawyer are finally gonna beat each other up” over the poker game.

Another exceptionally good commercial break cliffhanger was when Henry was lying knocked out on the pantry floor as the alarm started beeping.

I’m so suggestible. I was getting hungry, watching this episode, and when Kate picked up the box of Macaroni & Cheese Supper from the food-drop pallet, I thought, “Ooh, mac & cheese munchies!” When this episode was over I took a break, went and fixed some mac & cheese, and enjoyed it as I watched the next episode, “Dave”.

Susan said...

Nikki I agree with you about the looking up to see the balloon, but also, how weird was it when AL realized it wasn't raining, and instead of looking up she looks at her hands and comments? I know it's for a dramatic revelation, but it looks weird.

Whenever I see the number 47 I think of Star Trek. That number plays a part in lots of episodes (something to do with one of the crew's college experiences I think).

Every time I see the picnic basket/obituary scene, I want to yell at Helen "Don't tell John!"

The poker game is one of my favorite scenes. Very funny and well acted and directed. My only complaint is Kate's condescending attitude about it. It seemed out of place.

This is, like many before me have said, one of the best episodes. Some awesome interactions between Henry and John, and JW I liked your comment about how Michael Emerson played Henry.

The Question Mark said...

@Nikki: too bad Jack wasn't the one who got a glimpse of that blast door map. Knowing his memory, his explanation would've gone something liek this:

"There was a map painted in pink and blue ultraviolet paint, although the question mark in the center was covered in a ring of sixteen yellow dashes. There were drawings and symbols for each of the six Dharma locations situated about six and a half inches away from one another, and running clockwise were written the following Latin phrases, two of which were misspelled, if I'm not mistaken...Kate, grab a pen, take this down."

(she stands there, looking shocked)

"Kate! Pen! Now!"



Oh. Right. Sure.

Poor John Locke. I really, REALLY hope that he's not truly & utterly dead. If he is, then what a tragic and unfullfilling life that poor man has suffered through. He deserves happiness, and I hope he gets it in S6.

I don't know why, but EVERY time I watch this episode, I laugh my butt off at the line, "Hello, John. I'm Jimmy Bane." That guy's hoarse 'I-have-strep-throat' mobster voice always tickles my funny bone :)

Marebabe said...

@The Question Mark: Oh, Lordy-Lord-Lord! Tell the truth, you're a comedy writer, aren't you? I laughed my butt off just now reading your proposed script for Jack and Kate, and your comment about the stereotypical mob goon, Jimmy Bane. Seriously, his pal's name was probably Joey or Rocco. Well done!

SonshineMusic said...

@The Question Mark: HA!!!! I loved your alternate scene. Yes, that is how it would have gone. :D

Something I noticed, Jack says, "So, what's done is done." It sounds an awful lot like, "What happened, happened."

YEAH! Sawyer and Jack's poker game. It always makes me smile.

And for the first time ever I wondered who the REAL Henry Gale is. Did he have a wife? Did he crash the way Ben says? How did he die? Who buried him so nicely with a cross and everything? If he had a wife, did she get absorbed into the Others like Cindy, etc? Does it matter?

And seeing Nadia with John made me wonder if the hit really was for her when she died. Was someone perhaps out to get her? She just has SOOOOO many connections to so many of the Losties. Are they just coincidence or was she part of some grander scheme, perhaps working for or with someone and then leaving them to be with Sayid?

The Question Mark said...

:) thanx, Marebabe and Sonshine. And actually, Marebabe, I AM a comedy writer! Well, I'm an actor/writer who tends to steer things towards the comedic side, even when it's probably not a good idea LOL

JS said...

What was interesting to me about this episode, besides the fact that it was great, as everyone has said, was that just about every interaction in every scene was someone lying. Poker is all about lying, Locke's father lies about dying (tough to do), John lies to Helen, Jack lies to Kate about the shower, and of course, Benry lies to everyone and is finally caught in his long con. (ME's face is great in that scene. I agree he plays Benry differently then he plays Ben)

It was painful to watch Locke be so gullible - he wants so much to believe and to be loved and he gets taken every time. When he was standing near the window with his father I was all Mystery Science Theatre 3000 - don't stand near the window! Also, didn't they wonder who arranged the funeral?

@the question mark - loved it!

One question I have - if there is a lockdown every time there is a drop, and the lockdown is meant to keep them inside the room, how are they supposed to get to the button? What was the normal protocol?

Lastly, on a meta level, all these crossings of characters before the crash - fate or coincidence? I wonder if we'll get an answer to that in S6.

BTW - I have been quietly following the blog since the beginning of the re-watch. I had previously watch S1, 4 and 5 during the normal season, so watching 2 and 3 did clear up a lot of things for me. That was my pre-re-watch. Now that I am caught up, I am actually rewatching. Facinating, I know.

variabull said...

Henry/Ben "I did what you told me to. I punched in the code and pressed the execute button, but nothing happened other than the clock flipping back." I think when he says "I didn't do anything" he is referring to anything that would reverse the lockdown.

Talahassee--A.Cooper (man from T) carjacked by Others in vicinity of T., Sawyer contracted the clap in T., Juliet went to college at T., Kate was buying a ticket to T. Nothing but strip malls and waffle houses...and the largest magnet in the world at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Seems whenever the Island reveals something to Locke...crash of the in the sweat lodge...the donkey wheel...the blastdoor map, it takes away the use of his legs.

So what purpose does the lockdown fulfill, keeping the inhabitants of the Swan from being crushed by a Dharma pallet, keeping them from seeing that there isn't an airplane associated with the parachute drop, or that the pallet isn't being dropped at all?

So Ben obviously knew that the real Henry Gale along with his ID and $20 bill were buried under the balloon since he refers to Jenny in Sayid's interrogation. Ben is nearly always two steps ahead. So doesn't he want to be found out?

Widmore's balloon race or sponsorship. Widmore's yacht race. Wouldn't the balloon, the Elizabeth, and 815 all have to have had the 305 bearing info to reach the Island, or did the Island bring them? How deep is Henry Gale buried?

Anonymous said...

Ben's having an alibi all ready to go seems to indicate that he intended all along to get caught. But as I asked before, hhhwhy? The goings-on in the hatch can be observed from the Dharma station with all the cameras; there's no need for another spy. And if his plan is to cause strife among the Losties by manipulating them (he's pretty good at it so far), what purpose will this serve?

Marebabe said...

@variabull: Sorry, sorry! I was jumping ahead a bit. I forget exactly which episode it is, but it's coming up pretty soon where Ben will say, "I never entered the numbers. I never pressed the button." In THIS episode, he's still maintaining that he pushed the button as John instructed.

Jenn said...

Ben is awesome in this ep!

@studiorose: I commented once on this blog that I believed that Ben definitely got caught on purpose. I thought that he was sort of "If I want to spy on these people right, Im going to have to do it myself." You know, since Goodwin and Ethan failed. Miserably.

Even though I had suspected all along that Ben got caught on purpose, I never considered what you said about his alibi. That's a great point, and I think it further suggests that Ben got caught in that net on purpose.

What do you think would have happened if Danielle found him first? I wonder if Ben planned for this possibility? What would he have done? How did he know that Losties would find him? (If I were Ben, I would NOT want to meet Danielle while I was, um, tied up so to speak.)

Anonymous said...

But Danielle did find him first, remember? She went and got Sayid, who cut him down, then she shot him with the arrow. I still have to wonder why she didn't *mention* to Sayid that this was the guy who stole her baby 16 years earlier. Then they could have dispensed with all the "is he or isn't he?" garbage right from the outset. I'm guessing the writers hadn't, at that point, decided that Benry would end up being the one to steal (have stolen?) Alex in the future/past.

Nikki Stafford said...

Susan: Nikki I agree with you about the looking up to see the balloon, but also, how weird was it when AL realized it wasn't raining, and instead of looking up she looks at her hands and comments? I know it's for a dramatic revelation, but it looks weird.

I couldn't agree with you more. Some detective she would have made, eh? :) I don't know about you, but I think the human reaction is to hold out one's hand to see if it's raining when you step outside while first looking at the pavement for drops and then looking up at the sky. And if you're in a downpour and walking down the street with an umbrella and it suddenly stops, you generally stick out your hand, then glance up to see if the black cloud has passed by. But she stared at her hands saying, "Wow... that's weird... it's like totally not raining. Let me stare at my hands a while longer." You're right: dramatic revelation that takes precedence over actual common sense...

Jenn: What do you think would have happened if Danielle found him first? I wonder if Ben planned for this possibility? What would he have done? How did he know that Losties would find him?

Actually, Rousseau DID find him first. She caught him in the net and then went to get Sayid, who cut him down. So Ben DID plan for the possibility, I think, and having seen what she did in "Exodus," he knew she'd go straight to Sayid again. Maybe THAT is why they lit those fires! Maybe it was an experiment to see what she would do if she thought the Others were coming, and also, to give her the heads up that they WERE coming so she'd go running to Sayid the moment she got him in the trap.

Nikki Stafford said...

studiorose: Oops... I see you already answered Jenn's query first. Sorry! :)

However, as for him taking her baby, I think she had just watched her team members die, she'd killed her lover, and was dealing with no sleep on account of a newborn, and she was probably delirious. I would bet that she had something close to a nervous breakdown immediately following him taking the baby, slowly went mad, and between that and the 16-year gap in between, it's understandable that she wouldn't recognize the very person who took her baby. I would think, as a mom, that if someone took your child their image would be seared onto your brain forever, but I also think she wasn't in her right mind to begin with, and losing Alex pushed her over the edge. He was counting on that. He probably triggered something in her brain that made him seem familiar, which would ensure that she would go straight to Sayid.

Nikki Stafford said...

And a P.S.: this is just my watching of the season, but the "is he or isn't he" stuff is the very crux of the season, and some of my favourite stuff of the entire series, and far from garbage, IMO. :) The whole question of doubt is integral to season 2, and it's what led Locke to not pushing the button.

If they hadn't had Benry in the armory, and Rousseau had instead shown up and said, "Oh. He's one of them. He actually took my baby, I think the other kid called him... Ben or something?" and they knew he was an Other, found the rest of them, and dealt with the situation, we kinda would have lost the remainder of the series. The entire question of Ben's identity is what causes everything from this point on to happen, from Michael betraying them to the 3 of them being captured to the groups splitting up to the freighter folk arriving and on and on...

But maybe you didn't literally mean "garbage" when you were saying that. :) (I'm glad you did, though, because it really got me to thinking about how important that mix-up is to the entire series!)

Anonymous said...

No, I didn't literally mean it was garbage. :) I agree, the question of Ben's identity was pivotal to the success of this particular storyline.

I also wonder why Ben and his pal didn't kill Danielle when they took the baby. It seems counterproductive to allow a crazy, vengeance-seeking loose cannon like her to exist when that danger could have been taken care of so quickly and easily. Would've at least saved Ben the trauma of an arrow in his back. :)

But again, I'm sure the writers decided it was Ben who took the baby long after these episodes aired. It's during the re-watch that certain elements they chose later don't seem to add up.

Teebore said...

Sawyer asks Jack what he was doing in Thailand. Oh… if only we’d never found out the answer to that question. Sigh.


I love this episode, though it's yet another one filled with Dharma-related questions to which I'm increasingly worried we won't get answers.

Nikki mentioned most of them, surrounding the "normal" lock down procedure and food drop.

Presumably the garbled voice Locke heard was an announcement that regular DI staffers would know meant a lock down was approaching, so they would know to stage someone in the computer room, right?

Who dropped the food?

More importantly, who dropped it when Locke was locked down?

Did Radzinsky really start the map? Why? Isn't a lot of the info on the map stuff Radzinksy, someone we now know to be highly-placed in the DI (at least on the island), would have known already?

Thankfully, this episode is good enough all around that even if those questions don't get answered, that won't take away from this episode too much.

Susan said...

I'm with you Teebore, I want to know more about the DI but I'm thinking we won't see too much of them in season 6.

ashlie said...

@ Question Mark - "Pen!" Oh dear, now I'm going to be yelling at random people to get me a pen. That was priceless.

I forget who mentioned Jack's comment about "What's done is done" but it definitely made me think about Season 5 and how far Jack has come in his mindset.

I can't get over how fascinating it is to revisit these episodes knowing what we know now. It's amazing that we still don't know the full answer to the food drop, but I believe it's been confirmed at ComiCon that it will be answered in Season 6 - is that right? And Happy LOST Day to everyone!

Jenn said...

@ Nikki and Studiorose.

Right. Danielle found him first. I admit to being a bit behind in the land of re-watch. But yes, I remember now. Weird. So I guess we know what will happen in Danielle finds him first. *wink

Marebabe said...

In the very first comment here, posted by Batcabbage, he mentioned “a flashback/forward/sideways in season 6”. A very prescient and astute thing to write, seein’ how we had yet to see S6 with all its crazy “flash-sideways” action. Nice one, Batty!

Batcabbage said...

Thanks, Marebabe! Truth be known, I had pretty much covered myself with the 'back/forward/sideways' thing, but my gift for prescience can't be ignored. For example, this morning I got up and just kinda knew that I'd want a burger for dinner. Guess what I'm having? THAT'S RIGHT! A HOMEMADE BURGER! It's freaky, isn't it?