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.