Thursday, September 24, 2009

2.19 S.O.S.

Follow along! The episode guide for “S.O.S.” is in Finding Lost, pp. 290-294.

This is the episode that people always mention when talking about how the writers didn’t know where they were going. “They gave a flashback to Rose and Bernard?? Before Rousseau?” But this isn’t as standalone as it seemed at the time. Between the Ben scenes (which are DELICIOUS) and the scene with Isaac in the desert talking about the pockets of energy, there are several moments of this episode that figure into later seasons. Season 2 was definitely the season of doubt – whether it was Jack doubting the button or Locke doubting Henry or Henry making Locke doubt himself or Hurley doubting his own sanity, everyone at some point in this season is faced with a doubt, either of themselves or someone close to them. But NO ONE is as good at planting the seeds of doubt as Benry. Oh, how sublime he is in this episode…

Fun things I noticed:
• I’ve always noticed this, from the first time I watched this episode until this time, which is probably the 7th or 8th time… when Jack walks into the armory, Ben sits up slowly like he was some robot that was in sleep mode and suddenly turns on and comes back to life. I remember having this creepy feeling that Ben wasn’t actually real or alive, and that in the dark he’d just sort of turn himself off. Now I see it’s just Ben being, well, creepy Ben.
• I love how fake the snow looks on the streets of Hawaii… the production crew must have read the script and said, “Oh, thanks a LOT, writers. You couldn’t have had the woman leave her lights on in the summer heat and Bernard jumps the damn car??” LOL!
• Rose and Bernard = cutest couple in the universe.
• “Here comes Dr. Giggles.” HAHAHAHAHA!
• Bernard to Eko: “I think I liked you better when you just hit people with your stick.” Charlie to Eko: “I like you just the way you are.”
• Kate’s feeble “sorry” when she’s caught in the net with Jack is hilarious.

Things that have new meaning:
• Here’s the episode I mentioned a lot at the beginning of season 5, where we first get the Frogurt mention. Fans enjoyed it so much that they referred to Frogurt a lot, and eventually the writers decided to just show us the damn guy. And then have him die a flamey, wonderful death.
• The look on Ben’s face when he hears Locke freaking out at the door is PURE EVIL. It’s probably my favourite moment of the season, that horrible look on his face as he realizes his plan is coming together.
• If there’s anything left of Locke in that body that we see at the end of season 5, no wonder he has that meltdown in the jungle in “Follow the Leader” when Ben’s firing question after question at him and he says, “You don’t like not knowing the answers, do you, just blindly following people and trying to figure out what’s the truth? Now you know what it was like to be me.” (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.)
• Isaac is the father of Jacob in the Bible. In this episode he seems to be aware of the various pockets of energy around the world (the ones that Eloise later briefs us all on in “316”) and he knows they’re connected, and that Rose will find another one that heals her. Is there any connection between Isaac of Uluru and Jacob, or are the writers just playing with us?
• I’ve never understood why, at the end of season 3 (or maybe it’s the premiere of season 4), Rose says to Claire, “Your man just got us all rescued” and talks about giving him extra lovin’. Why is Rose so happy that they’re all about to be rescued when she and Bernard have decided to stay? I know that she makes some comment in the S3 finale to Bernard that she’d rather leave the island than be stuck on it with Locke, but… really? You have people in the jungle right now who are kidnapping everyone, and you’re fine to stay on the island to stay healthy. Yet you’d leave because John Locke killed someone? You haven’t seen anyone else on this island kill another person before? You'd rather have your cancer back?
• It’s interesting to me that S.O.S. means “Save Our Souls,” and the sign never gets finished on the island, as if their souls aren’t yet ready to be saved.


celandinehaleth said...

I always thought SOS stood for "Save Our Ship" and was particularly usefull as in Morse Code S is ... and O is ---, hence really easy to remember.

What is really showing up in this re-watch is the lack of logic. Just because Bernard and Rose do not want to be rescued, doesn't mean a signal can't be built. Originally, much of the illogical acrions and decissions went past me, but now they seem more contrived. I am, however, more than willing to continue susspending disbelief until Season 6 is over.

I also found it oddly uncharacteristic of Bernard to be so aggressive and touchy. Enthusiastic, yes, just plain grumpy and a bad "boss" no. He seems to be playing "Jack" in this episode. Maybe that is why he had no wife for such a long time!

I also questioned the whole "false hope" argument. Yes, they need to deal with the circumstances on the island and get on with life,; but isn't false hope better than no hope?

On the other hand, I did adore the flashback moments! Roses exasperation with and love of Bernard, Bernards single-minded devotion. I just love the entire relationship.

One last issue, many if not all the survivors now seem to know about the "hatch" but Jack didn't know about the visit to the Medical hatch? I assume many things are discussed outside of TV time, but why so many apparent contradictions?

JW said...

As I understand it, SOS was chosen as a distress signal because it's the easiest morse code to understand, and later people came up with the idea of it meaning save our ship or save our souls.

Anyway, I loved the fake snow as well. I may not be from Canada, but being from Wisconsin, I know my snow and have been stuck in it. The set people did a great job, though I can't help but think Nikki's right about their thoughts though.

I do have to say Rose can annoy me at times with her attitude that she always knows what's best, she knows what's right and she thinks her husband doesn't have any good ideas. I mean, even if she doesn't want to leave the island, what about Aaron? Meanwhile, Bernard (who I will admit will never win manager of the year) comes up with a great idea to get rescued... and everyone says, "Oh, I'm busy, but good luck with that." What? At least when Charlie has this attitude towards Claire in season 3 it's explained eventually.

But annoyances aside, I did like this episode.

Gillian Whitfield said...

I love what Jin says to Bernard in Korean right after Bernard says something like "Do I have to do everything myself?!". I have no idea what he's saying, but I like to think he said something like "Now, you do!" or something like that. Daniel Dae Kim is excellent.

Speaking of excellent, how excellent was the Artist Formerly Known as Henry Gale in this episode?

tiasabita said...

I love seeing Rose and Bernard meet and fall in love! I guess she finally got that beach honeymoon!

This was maybe not supposed to be funny but I laughed anyhow cuz Hurley just makes me laugh! When Bernard was giving orders about moving the rocks from a half mile away and Jin says something in Korean, Bernard asks, "What did he say?" and Hurley answers, "He said that's a really bad idea, dude", (not verbatim). When did Hurley start speaking Korean?!

Susan said...

I love this episode. Rose and Bernard (before she gets all cranky in season 5), the conversation Nikki mentioned with Bernard, Charlie, and Eko, Ben's evil manipulating smile, and the flashback of Rose and John in the airport. Nikki you mentioned Kate's weak "sorry" but I also liked Jack's sarcasm: "Are you OK? Oh good, so you CAN hear me." ROFL

One reason I like this episode so much is that even though it has some serious and/or poignant moments, it's the last bit of lightheartedness for a long time. Michael reappears at the end of this episode, starting a turn of events that will include murders, captures by the Others, a hatch implosion, Desmond's flashes, etc. For so many characters things are going to be getting worse very soon.

The Question Mark said...

Time to play Hilarious Charlie Pace Line again!
This week: "I like you just the way you are"

Rose is a really sweet lady, but when Bernard takes her to see Isaac, and she bellows "I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS!", I got goosegumps. Note to all other Lost characters: Do NOT eff with Rose.

Very true about the sign, they could still build it for everyone else. I mean, it's nice that they get to play house on the beach and everything, but...Jack's got family. Hurley's got family. Claire's got Aaron. These people need to go home so, miracle cure or no miracle cure, they still should have finished that sign (although, now we know it won't do a whole lotta good anyway).

Fred said...

The funnies part was when Bernard asks the group what they've been trying to do to get off the island. And Hurley replies, we built a raft, and it got blown up. LOL And, oh yes, they've kept a signal fire going for how many weeks, tried to triangulate a position on the tower with walkie talkies so they could shut it down and get a clear signal, and Sayid tried once again with the radio Bernard brought over. But I guess that's just not trying for Bernard.

Poor guy, Rose says he's always trying to do something. Kind of like Jack-lite, always trying to fix things.

And where does a doctor learn to shoot out a rope while hanging from a net that is slowly spinning?

The episode ends with jack being Michael. Kate asks him how long he'll keep shouting, and Jack replies he'll continue once he gets his voice back and then yell some more. I guess that's why Michael showed up. He didn't want Mathew Fox to take away his role.

Azá said...

Great episode and sweet recap Nikki...

Alway's wondered why Rose can't be healed and it's kinda like the same feelings that [that] shrink gives Claire.

Great acting from Bernard and Rose, and also love their lunching with a view of Niagara Falls :)

This is the time where Jack and Kate "get stuck in a net", which really winds Sawyer up and it's great how Sawyer will later use the same line back to try and wind Jack up - great continuity there!

When I heard the name Isaac in this ep, I thought, 'Isaac Mendes' will he paint Rose's future ;)

How freaky is the conversation with Rose and Locke re: his leg. We all now what precious time Rose has on screen that she always has something wise to say, as with Locke and his faith:

Locke tells her that he's "done with the hatch", but Rose is skeptical. Locke tells her that Jack diagnosed a four week period of healing, but Rose says "you and I both know it's not going to take that long."

Teebore said...

I guess that's why Michael showed up. He didn't want Mathew Fox to take away his role.


I've never really considered this episode a filler ep. Between the Benry stuff and the pockets of energy (as well as the Rose/Locke convo, which was really the first time the healing power of the island was explicitly acknowledged by a character) this is definitely an episode that adds another piece to the puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Gah...I can't watch any "lovey-dovey" scenes between Rose & Bernard without bawling like a baby. The Niagara Falls scene, especially...went through a couple of paper towels on that one. Definitely a favorite episode, despite the frustrating lack of scenes featuring Sayid.

JS said...

@tiasabita – When did Hurley learn? Korean - LOL! I thought the same thing.

I am always slightly uncomfortable with the way rose talks to Bernard. But it never seems to sway him from his goal, so I guess it works for them.

Lots of great tidbits in this episode but I cannot find my notes, so I'll leave it at that.

OMT - I like the way Eko doesn't answer questions he deems irrelevant, like he has a higher purpose and can't worry himself with these mundane earthly things.

SonshineMusic said...

I like the flashbacks and the other stuff going on, but the on-Island story line with Rose and Bernard gets on my nerves. It just seems pointless and contrived, kind of like - oh, we need to do a R&B flashback, what can we have them do?

My favorite lines from this episode...

Jack: "Hey, you gonna get that?" about the button - it sounds like he's talking about a phone ringing or something.

Ben's "Heh" - only he could express so much with one non-word syllable.

Bernard: "I think I liked you better when you just hit people with your stick." and of course Charlie's reply, "I like you just the way you are."

If you look carefully when the camera pans up Benry to his evil, evil, evil smile you can see his shirt is on inside out. When did that happen?! And that smile is our first true glimpse into the real Ben. LOVE IT!

Rose is very much like Walt in this episode - not wanting to leave the Island and sabotaging her family member's plan to get them rescued.

Where DID Jack learn to shoot like that? That whole segment with Jack and Kate is great, though, all shipping aside.

Locke says the button isn't his, but just a couple episodes ago he talks about it as "his" hatch. He really goes through such a roller coaster this season.

I love those music montages.

Emilia said...

This episode made me remember that somebody different must have been writing Rose's lines in Season 5. Before then she's a tough and sarcastic but ultimately gentle woman, but in Season 5 she's just full of snarky one-liners that seem more mean-spirited than I think Rose is supposed to be.